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Wed 07 Jun 2017 return to previous page

Interview with 4-time Tony nominee Laura Linney

Laura Linney

The Little Foxes
Laura Linney

We caught up with 3-time Academy Award nominee Laura Linney at The 62nd Annual Drama Desk Awards this past Sunday, fresh from scooping the award for "Outstanding Actress in a Play." She is starring alongside Cynthia Nixon - who took home the "Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play" award herself - in the Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway revival of Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Ms. Linney is alternating the roles of Regina Giddens and Birdie Hubbard with Ms. Nixon, appearing opposite each other at every performance - a proposal made by Ms. Linney herself.

Laura Linney has earned a total of four Tony Award nominations to date. Aside from her current nomination, she was also recognised in 2010 for Time Stands Still, in 2005 for Sight Unseen, and in 2002 for The Crucible. She made her Broadway debut in the 1990 Broadway premiere of Six Degrees of Separation and has since also appeared in The Seagull (1992), Hedda Gabler (1994), Holiday (1995), Honour (1998), Uncle Vanya (2000) and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (2008).

She is globally known for her career in film and television, earning Oscar nominations for The Savages (2008), Kinsey (2005), and You Can Count on Me (2001). She has won Golden Globe and Emmy Awards for The Big C and John Adams and other notable screen credits include Love Actually, The Squid and the Whale, Wild Iris, The Truman Show, Primal Fear, Mystic River, Nocturnal Animals, Sully, Mr. Holmes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, P.S., Frasier, Congo, and Dave, among many others.

Photo by Sarah Downs
Laura Linney
Laura Linney

Thomas Hayden Millward: Congratulations on winning your Drama Desk Award, Laura! How are you feeling?

Laura Linney: Stunned! Thatís how Iím feeling.

THM: Now, before we talk about ĎThe Little Foxes,í I just have to get something off my chest: ďLove ActuallyĒ equals Best. Film. Ever!

LL: (Laughs) Oh, youíre so sweet!

THM: How was it for you to return to your role of Sarah for the recent ďRed Nose DayĒ mini-sequel reunion?

LL: Oh I loved it! I mean, any moment I can be with Richard Curtis, I will grab! So, it was really exciting!

THM: And she ended up with Patrick Dempsey in the end. Thatís not too shabby, right?

LL: I know! How about that?! Not too bad, right? She did OK! (Laughs)

THM: Well, I will continue to watch ďLove ActuallyĒ with my family for years to come, safe in the knowledge that things do indeed work out OK for Sarah! But we digress. Letís talk about theatre. How does it feel that BOTH you and Cynthia Nixon, who share the roles of Regina and Birdie, won your respective awards tonight?

LL: Well, I havenít been able to see her since I won. But who thought this was going to happen?! Nobody did. Certainly I didnít. Itís very exciting and itís a huge confirmation for us and for our entire cast. We really are just having the best time!

Photo by Joan Marcus
Laura Linney as Regina Giddens & Cynthia Nixon as Birdie Hubbard in The Little Foxes
Laura Linney as Regina Giddens &
Cynthia Nixon as Birdie Hubbard in The Little Foxes
More Production Photos

THM: And youíre not able to see the other work that has been awarded tonight?

LL: No, sadly Iím not. Iím so busy. Itís the one thing that is frustrating. Our show closes on July 2nd, but weirdly a bunch of shows all close on the same day or around the same time. I wish they could stay open a little bit longer so we could all see each other.

THM: Whatís your favorite thing about playing Regina and your favorite thing about playing Birdie?

LL: Thatís a really good question. I think my favorite thing about playing Birdie is just how loving she is and how much she needs love. And then itís kinda fun playing someone who doesnít need the love. For Regina, money is love.

Photo by Joan Marcus
Laura Linney as Birdie Hubbard in The Little Foxes
Laura Linney as Birdie Hubbard in The Little Foxes
More Production Photos

THM: On the days when youíre playing Regina, do you have a different mindset when youíre travelling to the theatre? Do you have to psyche yourself up more?

LL: (Laughs) Do you know, I donít. And Iím always so happy when I hear people say that sheís so mean because I donít feel mean when I do it. You know, Iím always so surprised when I hear people say: ďGod! You were soooo mean!Ē To me, it all makes sense. Sheís behaving in a way that makes complete sense to me. Iím always satisfied to hear that.

THM: Well, Iíll add to that and say you were mean too. Finally, you also work extensively in film and television, but are there any particular dream roles that could entice you back to the Broadway stage?

LL: You know, I donít think that way. I really wish I did. It would make life a lot easier for my agents, if I did think that way. I look at them more as assignments. But thereís certainly people Iíd like to work with. Iíd love to work with [director] Dan Sullivan again and I wanna work with [director] Sam Gold and there are a ton of people Iíd like to work with.

Photo by Sarah Downs
Laura Linney

The Little Foxes is booking through to July 2, 2017 at Broadway's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Click HERE for tickets!

- by Thomas Hayden Millward

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