Variety, with its amusing lingo, recently pointed out that three performers from the cast of WGN’s Manhattan are now doing “legit projects” in New York: John Benjamin Hickey, Christopher Denham, and Mamie Gummer. In a conversation with the three of them conducted by Cynthia Littleton, they discuss the lure of the stage, the differing demands of stage and screen work, and the value of a theater background. Here’s an excerpt from their chat.
Why did you all dive into plays after “Manhattan” wrapped in the summer?
Hickey: In television and film the hardest part is that drive home at night and you know you’re never going to get to do that thing you did today again, and so you hopefully left it all there. You have good days and bad days. Some days you feel like you hit the nail on the head and some days you feel, ‘Why didn’t I do it that way.’ That happens in theater all the time too …
Gummer: But you get to go back and do it again.
Incidentally, acting has this in common with journalism. At a monthly magazine, you labor for weeks to get right as many details as you can, because the result is going to be out there for a while; on a daily newspaper, whatever you accomplished one day is soon left behind, and you start all over again.
The Variety post is here. My short review of Ugly Lies the Bone, the play Mamie Gummer is doing, is included here, and my nod to Manhattan is here. Manhattan continues to be the most interesting show I’m not watching. A recent post by Alex Wellerstein, a historical consultant for the series, adds to the interest: it discusses how the show improves on the common view of Los Alamos as staffed by “a bunch of genius white, male scientists.”