John Lithgow has been a familiar face to nearly everyone with access to a screen since the early 1970s, when he began performing on Broadway and appearing in films. Globally, he is beloved for his starring (and award-winning) role in the long-running television series 3rd Rock from the Sun, but his extensive body of work has led him to all sorts of interesting universes. (His role of Winston Churchill, in The Crown, is especially relevant.) In recent years, he has parodied Donald Trump in his best-selling Dumpty books, and now he is directing the new Off Broadway production of Everything’s Fine, which was written by frequent Air Mail contributor Douglas McGrath, who also stars in it. Between rehearsals, he found a few moments to share his key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker

Airport: Atlanta International makes the most sense, and One Flew South is a fabulous restaurant in Concourse E.
Alibi: A truthful one, with two unimpeachable witnesses.
App:, although it’s ruining my life.
Bag: A leather man bag I stitched in my arty youth, which my younger son still uses.
Birthday: My own is very nice, thank you.
Breakfast, weekday: Porta Via, Beverly Hills (sentimental reasons).
Breakfast, weekend: Cafe Luxembourg, Manhattan (same).
Child: At the moment, a two-year-old granddaughter.
Cocktail: Ketel One martini, straight up, olives, very cold.
Couple: Michelle and Barack.
: J. Sheekey in London, then a West End play.
Dinner, weekday: Marea, in Manhattan.

Dinner, weekend: A five-hour Sunday lunch in the home of a London acting couple.
Disguise: Rudy Giuliani.
Dress: I had a pretty spiffy Ann Roth frock in the scene where Glenn Close was shot in The World According to Garp.
Drive: Going-to-the-Sun Road, in Glacier National Park, with no traffic.
Enemy: Donald J. Trump. My Dumpty books made me a best-seller.
Escape: A certain lake in Montana. (If I said the name, it wouldn’t be an escape.)
: “I have a show that night.”
: My own, nuclear and extended.
First Lady/First Man
: Chasten Buttigieg would be awfully nice.

King Lear bawling out Goneril.

Flaw: How can a flaw be perfect? Please!
Foil: I liked the one I used when I played Laertes.

Good-bye: Debra Winger saying good-bye to her older son in Terms of Endearment.
: Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris.
: Anything involving concentration and no thought: New York Times crosswords? Oil painting? Baking a pie?
: A Loro Piana navy cashmere number in the fall.
Longtime friend
: My older brother, Dave.
: The U.S. Open final. Or maybe Liverpool v. Man City when Liverpool wins.
Movie: At the moment, Midnight Run, with De Niro and Grodin.
Name: Benedict Cumberbatch. How he managed to become a star with a name like that …
: Bill and Judith Moyers, the best people I know.
: Douglas McGrath, seen now in his own solo show, Everything’s Fine, Off Broadway at the DR2 Theatre on East 15th Street, just off Union Square. You didn’t think I’d leave that out, did you?

Novel: So Long, See You Tomorrow, by William Maxwell.
Piece of Advice: “Don’t worry: whatever choice you make, it’s sure to be the wrong one.”
: Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, my most fun conversation ever.
Rule: Never do pornography (the only rule I haven’t yet broken).
: Mine, Mary.
Television Series
: My most recent favorite? Irma Vep, hands down. The best portrait of what making a movie in Europe is really like.
Work of Art
: Vermeer’s Girl with the Red Hat, at the National Gallery. It’s worth a trip just to see the tiny white dot on her lower lip.

John’s Essentials

Clockwise from top left: So Long, See You Tomorrow, by William Maxwell; Vermeer’s Girl with the Red Hat; a Loro Piana jacket; a Liverpool Football Club soccer ball; Glacier National Park; Manolo Blahnik slippers.

To hear John Lithgow reveal more about Everything’s Fine, listen to him on AIR MAIL’s Morning Meeting podcast