David Strathairn went to Ringling Bros. Clown College. Just fyi. I thought that was a neat bit of trivia, when I read it.
Another thing I noticed on a recent re-watch of Dolores Claiborne...I think a good portion of JJL's performance was informed by the performance of the younger actress who played Selena at 13. The younger actress did an amazing job, but I think JJL was playing her at 30, not whatever she might have imagined of the character from the book or the script, if that makes sense.