Interview with Tony nominee Laurie Metcalf
Four-time Tony nominee and three-time Emmy Award winner Laurie Metcalf is currently starring as Nora in Lucas Hnath's smash hit play A Doll's House, Part 2 at Broadway's Golden Theatre until July 23, 2017.
She has received Tony nominations for her current role, as well as November (2008), The Other Place (2013) and for Misery(2016) - her last appearance on the Great White Way, opposite Bruce Willis. She also appeared in the 2009 Broadway revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs and made her Broadway debut in My Thing Of Love in 1995.
She is internationally known for her TV role as Jackie Harris on the long-running sitcom Roseanne, for which she earned three Emmy Awards (and a further Emmy nomination) and two Golden Globe nominations. Other notable screen credits include The Big Bang Theory, Getting On, The McCarthys, Norm, and the Toy Story franchise.
We caught up with Laurie to talk about one of the surprise hits of the season...
Thomas Hayden Millward: Congratulations on the success of A Doll’s House, Part 2 – the last official opening of this season. I feel it’s taken Broadway by storm…
Laurie Metcalf: …And I feel it’s taken everybody by surprise! Because you’ve got that title: “A Doll’s House” – you start there. Then “Part 2” – which is pretty audacious that the playwright Lucas Hnath stuck that onto the end of “A Doll’s House.” And then you don’t know what to expect. I think people expected it to be a bit stuffy, or at least of the period. And it’s neither! I think that from the top – when you walk into the theatre, you’re not quite sure what setting it is. Can it possibly be contemporary? And it is.
THM: And the language is very contemporary! And the comedy caught me off-guard. It’s such a funny play.
LM: Exactly! I think so too. I saw the comedy potential of it right away, when I read the script. That’s one of the things that drew me to it from the start.
THM: When you first read the script, did anything surprise you about what has happened to Nora in the last 15 years since she left her husband and children?
LM: Yes. I had no idea which way he would take it. Would she be successful or not? What is the reason that has brought her back? I think Lucas initially went around - before he started writing the play – and pulled friends of his and asked: “What do you think her ending would have been?” And they all had a very negative ending for her. So he decided to go the opposite way. So that was the seed of the sequel.
THM: If you could write a sequel to a classic play yourself, what would it be?
LM: Ohhh, I don’t know right off the bat. I’d have to pick something that has that kind of cliffhanger that “A Doll’s House” does.