Interview with Tony nominee Corey Hawkins
Tony nominee Corey Hawkins is currently starring in the Broadway revival of John Guare's Six Degrees of Separationat the Barrymore Theatre.
Corey is currently Tony-nominated for his performance as Paul in Six Degrees of Separation. He made his Broadway debut as Tybalt in the 2013 revival of Romeo and Juliet and previously made his off-Broadway debut in the 2012 Signature Theatre production of Hurt Village.
He is perhaps best known for his movie role as Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton and his TV role as Eric Carter in 24: Legacy. Other notable screen credits include Kong: Skull Island, The Walking Dead, Non-Stop and Iron Man 3.
We briefly caught up with Corey to talk about the mysterious character of Paul and how Six Degrees stands out in a jam-packed season of Broadway plays...
Thomas Hayden Millward: Congratulations on the success of Six Degrees of Separation as well as your Tony nomination, Corey!
Corey Hawkins: Thank you so much!
THM: I can imagine your character of Paul being quite a tricky one to play as his origins and ultimate fate are never clearly explained. What were the main challenges for you?
CH: Well, I think that’s just it. People ask: “Who is Paul?” And I think if I knew the answer to that, I wouldn’t be able to get up there and play it and do that show every night because I think he’s a bit of an enigma. But he sort of awakens something in Ouisa – Allison Janney’s character – that I don’t think she ever experienced before. It’s a play about connection and meaning and reaching out to find out who you are or who you think you are or who other people think you are. It’s a joy though, man. I’m having a blast doing it! I love my cast. I’ve been so lucky with the nominations and everything. I’m really happy!
THM: In a jam-packed season of extraordinary plays on Broadway, what do you personally think makes Six Degrees of Separation stand out?
CH: Well, first of all, I would say - come see Six Degrees of Separation because it’s so interesting. This show first originated on Broadway in 1990 and it still stands the test of time. In this day and age when we have Google and this interconnectivity with the interweb… or the internet or whatever we call it (laughs)…
THM: Ah, that old interweb thingy! (Laughs)
CH: Yeah, that thing! (laughs) I’m so not a techno-guy. But it’s amazing how this play still holds up. It’s a play about this young, black kid who comes to this Upper East Side white society life and he’s trying to find meaning in his life and he’s trying to find meaning in their lives. He thinks that the grass is always greener on the other side. Even in this day and age of Google and Social Media, we’re still all not as connected as we hope we could be. So, hopefully this play can awaken something in people who regularly come to the theatre as well as those who don’t. Hopefully they come and enjoy it.