Q & A with André Holland when he was starring in the Shakespeare in the Park productions of All's Well That Ends Well (as Bertram) and Measure for Measure (as Claudio), playing at the Delacorte Theater.
Place of birth?
Bessemer (just outside of Birmingham), Alabama.
You now live in?
Did you go to training school, if so which one?
I went to Florida State University for undergrad, and NYU for graduate school.
As an actor, do you have a preference for stage, tv or film?
I like them all for different reasons and my preference is always changing. At the moment, I'm very intrigued by the film making process.
Your first stage performance was?
In Oliver at Birmingham Summerfest Theatre when I was about 11.
Career highlight to date?
Performing for President Obama and the First Lady when they came to see Joe Turner's Come and Gone.
What roles would you most like to play?
It's always changing but at the moment..Jackie Robinson.
What's the best advice you have ever received?
My acting teacher Ron Van Lieu used to say "Decide what kind of actor you want to be and work towards becoming that everyday".
What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
I was in a production of Blues for an Alabama Sky in grad school and in my last scene I was supposed to shoot a guy in the back. On our closing night, and with my father in the house having come from Alabama to see the show, I accidentally came onstage without the gun and had to 'kill' the guy by sneaking behind a wall and stomping my foot on the ground as hard as I could. The other actor had no idea what was happening since his back was turned but took a peek over his shoulder when he heard the noise and proceeded to die a very slow and confusing death. SO embarrassing!
What is the most annoying part about your job?
Not having a great deal of control over the process,
Briefly tell us how you become involved with Shakespeare in the Park?
I was in the non-equity ensemble the summer after my first year of grad school and then again the summer after I graduated. I love Shakespeare in the Park as well as the Public...it really feels like home.
Briefly tell us about the characters you play in Shakespeare in the Park?
I play Bertram in All's Well and Claudio in Measure. They are both young men who find themselves in trouble over love.
If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
I really don't know....maybe a lawyer, a politician or a carpenter.
Who are your favorite actors/actresses?
Mark Rylance and Daniel Day Lewis at the moment.
What was the last Broadway show you saw?
Favorite TV programs?
I don't watch much tv, but I really got into Friday Night Lights and Boardwalk Empire.
Favorite holiday destinations?
What are your future plans?
To have a great run of these shows and then go on vacation in August. Beyond that, we'll see....
Questions by Alan Bird