One of the most-anticipated theater performances of the year has arrived in Brooklyn.
When I went to St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn on a recent sunny Monday afternoon to interview Gillian Anderson about her upcoming must-see run as Blanche DuBois, in a highly lauded London transfer production ofA Streetcar Named Desire, there was little indication of the whiskey- and perfume-scented hurricane that was about to blow through. Crew members were putting things together—chiefly the stunning rotating set that acts as both canny staging device and metaphor for a swirling, unknowable mind—though their work was surprisingly quiet. The production, directed by Benedict Andrews, uses modern furniture and sleek lines, not your usual Streetcar aesthetic, but what rages around all those IKEA trappings is as primal and elemental as Tennessee Williams gets.
And Anderson, petite and friendly and measured when we spoke in a little side room antechamber at St. Ann’s, was, of course, nothing like Blanche, Williams’s most indelible creation, an addled, broken, toweringly tragic anti-heroine. Which makes Anderson’s performance, a breathless and breathtaking piece of finely tuned melodrama, all the more impressive. Blanche is something of a Mt. Everest in the theater world, a perilous undertaking that many actresses feel a kind of calling to attempt at least once in their lives. I was curious if that was the case for Anderson, who’s enjoyed over two decades of critically acclaimed success in television and on the London stage.
The gallery was updated with screencaptures from Gillian’s first role in a movie: The Turning. Take a look!
Take a look at some glimpse of her interview for Watch What Happens Live.
Special to the Brooklyn Eagle
Diane Arbus, who certainly knew a thing or two about risk-taking, once said, “My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.” Judging from the bold choices Gillian Anderson has made as an actress, she also lives by this credo.
In the course of her almost 30-year career, Anderson has been fearless and determined in her pursuit of difficult, demanding roles. She refuses to be pigeon-holed; it would have been easy and safe to have dined out on agent Dana Scully for the rest of her career and to have coasted: another series, tent-pole movies, vanity projects.
Instead, she chose Arbus’ route. In the past 10 years, on stage and television, Anderson has tackled such challenging roles as Nora in “A Doll’s House,” Ms. Havisham in “Great Expectations,” Lady Dedlock in “Bleak House” and Anna Pavlova Scherer in “War & Peace.”
Now, following an award-winning, sold-out 2014 run in London, and marking the first collaboration between the Young Vic and St. Ann’s Warehouse, Anderson will be reprising her acclaimed performance as Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” She is rejoined by fellow London cast members Ben Foster, Vanessa Kirby and Corey Johnson. Benedict Andrews once again directs.
Recently, via email, theBrooklyn Eagle had a chance to catch up with the actress before the play’s opening night.
Take a look in the gallery for photos of Watch What Happens Live from yesterday. Hopefully videos will follow soon!
Talk Shows & Interviews > From 2016 > Apr 24: Watch What Happens Live