I did not expect to win. From the very start, when people told me I would win, I appreciated their sentiments but never felt it was a Tony sort of role. Then, once I saw “Mary Stuart” and “God of Carnage” with the four other Tony nominees I felt I truly didn’t deserve to win. Those performances were towering. Truth be known, the entire 5 month experience was the prize for me and I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to return to Broadway and discover how much I like being on stage and performing night after night.
Friends often asked how I managed to do it over and over eight times a week. While it’s true that staying healthy and getting enough sleep is challenging, the chance to grow and deepen in your role makes it all worthwhile. I was finding new ways to play moments right up to the end. This deepening is something that you don’t get in movie acting. Also, it is a wondrous thing to have your whole life so intensely focused on that one thing-that one 2 hour performance. While I’m glad I don’t have to worry so much about sleep, I miss this focus a lot.
My agent, Joe Machota (who was also my date at the Tonys), gave me all the reviews of the play the last day I was in New York and I had time to quickly read through them all before leaving for Paris. I deliberately avoided reading reviews until it was over and I am glad I did. They reflected such contradictory opinions of the play and of my performance that I would have gotten confused. Some really liked what I did. Some really didn’t like what I did and some were ambivalent.
I find it very useful to read reviews. I always have. I learn from the reviews both the good ones and the bad ones. I learn about the reviewers themselves, about perceptions they have about me as a woman beyond me in the role and I learn how what I do can be perceived by others. This last is especially useful, I think.
In a few weeks, while I am recovering from my up-coming surgery I intend to reread the reviews so that I can better interpret them and decide what’s important to know about my work. I will probably write more about all of this later.
Right now I am in Paris memorizing my French dialogue for the L’Oreal commercial I will be shooting.
See you next time.