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NEW YORK — A week ago, The Hollywood Reporter was on Broadway — or at least at a studio nearby — for a momentous occasion: the taping of our first Tony Roundtables, which represent an expansion of our award-winning Roundtables franchise that was previously limited to the Oscar and Emmy seasons.
With the 68th Tony Awards rapidly approaching — voting closes on June 6, and the ceremony itself will take place on June 8 at Radio City Music Hall — we decided to gather six of this year’s most impressive Tony-nominated actors for a photo shoot and a videotaped conversation about their lives, careers, pet peeves and the roles for which they are nominated.
They were best actor in a musical nominees Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Andy Karl (Rocky Balboa in Rocky) and Jefferson Mays (nine members of the D’Ysquith family in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), best featured actor in a musical nominee James Monroe Iglehart (Genie in Aladdin) and best actor in a play nominees Chris O’Dowd (Lennie in Of Mice and Men) and Tony Shalhoub (middle-aged Moss Art, Moss Hart’s father and George S. Kaufman in Act One).
As you can see by checking out the video of our conversation at the top of this page, we touched upon a wide variety of topics. Among them: the actors’ earliest memories of performing; their thoughts on other mediums versus the theater, and what those who have worked in other mediums face coming back to the theater; how they first heard about the roles for which they are nominated, and what drew them to those roles; how they handle the immense physical demands of their performances, including rapid character changes, boxing matches and hyperkinetic dancing; the behavior of audience members that they find most annoying; how they feel about entrance applause; the number of shows they wish they could do each week; and how they hope their shows will impact those who see them.
Which of these actors first saw someone else in the role for which he is nominated today back when he was 17 and knew then that he wanted to play that part one day? Who marked out the sides and created lines of his own for the audition that landed him the part for which he is nominated? Who is nominated for a show that was put off for three years in order to enable him to star in it? Which actor sees a vocal massage therapist who sticks her hands down his throat? Which recently blacked out for a count during a performance of his show? And at whose show did Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour get really into the action? For answers to these and all sorts of other fun questions, check out the video!
Our Tonys Actress Roundtable also posted today.
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