It strengthens the acting muscles to tap into other parts of yourself. When you can accomplish something that's unexpected, for you as well as the audience, that's really important. It's also very important if you want people considering you for other projects to broaden their view of you.
The world, post-Katrina, was a hard time for my city. The hardest time. For people who didn't live through it, no words can fully express the pain, the rage, the grief, and the futility we New Orleanians felt. For the people who did, words seemed like a feeble protest against a relentless night without end.
It was really great to also see the response that people were having to 'Treme' 'cause you're in a vacuum when you're on a TV show. You see the response online, you read about it and all of that, but actually to be live and have that many thousands of fans come out, it's really wonderful.