Information Diet: Oliver Platt

The star of 'The Big C' and 'X-Men: First Class' reveals he's a gadget guy

The Big C's Oliver Platt

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

When my alarm goes off on my phone, I click on Google News to see the headlines.

What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?

At the breakfast table, I read, watch, and listen to my kids.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train, or bus?

In the car, I listen to NPR, WFAN Sports, and the Classic Vinyl station on SiriusXM. One of the reasons that I love to drive is that I love to sit there in control of all my media.

Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?

I’m definitely on an airtime-restricted diet, especially when I’m working. If there’s some sort of newsworthy thing happening, I surf the cable news networks. But I mostly get my news from the Web.

If you’re a couch potato, what do you watch, and how: TV, laptop, or tablet?

We watch Friday Night Lights as a family, and I watch South Park with my son and Cake Boss with my daughter. When I’m traveling, I watch shows on my iPad. I have a Slingbox, which lets you access your cable box anywhere in the world. It’s especially great for sports.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter, or fast until morning?

I’m surfing or reading. I love Gizmodo and Engadget because I’m sort of a gadget person, and Pitchfork. I’m also reading Gold Coast by Elmore Leonard and SEAL Team Six. I’m fascinated by the people who would sacrifice everything anonymously.

Which is more nutritious: print or Web?

I think print, definitely, especially for someone whose mind works the way mine does—I’m so scattered. On websites, if I see animation and pictures, they will draw my eye. But if I’m reading a book, I’ll just read the book.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

I love Dragon Dictation, which is voice recognition software. You can respond to texts and emails without actually typing. Also, I’m totally addicted to Words With Friends. We’ve been doing it on The Big C since the first season—I guess we’re early adopters.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?

My camera stuff. I would say my computer and my iPad and my iPhone, but I rely on them for work, so I can’t really call them indulgences, even though I probably don’t need them all.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?

I’m so haunted by that New Yorker cover from Halloween a couple of years ago with the kids trick-or-treating, and their faces are all lit up by an open door, but their parents are down on the sidewalk, and their faces are eerily lit by their BlackBerrys. I think we need to be careful—not just with our kids, but with each other.