Monday, June 08, 2009

Congratulations, Marcia Gay

I missed the Tonys last night, and the academic quarter system reaches so far into June that I've mostly had to abandon my once-customary practice of reading all the nominated plays before the big night, a delicious treat that this guy obviously swiped from me. I'll eventually catch up with the ceremony from someone who taped it—or, what do they say now, DVR'd it? But I do want to congratulate Marcia Gay Harden on her win as Best Lead Actress in a Play. Sometimes I totally get what Marcia Gay is doing with her roles and sometimes I totally don't, but I increasingly like that about her: you can't quite call what you're going to get. And I think she is ingratiatingly patient, thoughtful, generous, candid, and articulate in this interview about God of Carnage and the Tony experience, beautifully sailing through the frequently smug or tactless questions posed by Tom O'Neil (and that's even before his cell phone goes off mid-interview).

I'm not saying I necessarily would have voted for her, having seen none of the nominated performances, and acknowledging the formidable talents of Jane Fonda, Harriet Walter, and the transfixing Janet McTeer—one of the actresses I most often recruit when I mentally recast movies, feeling sure she'd do better than the bigger names who often snag the key roles. (Leaving Hope Davis off this list sounds like more of a dig than I mean it to, but Secret Lives of Dentists aside, she's often on a different performing wavelength than I am.) Meanwhile, speaking of mental casting, I'll look forward to reading God of Carnage and imagining what Marcia Gay might have done with the meaty part. Maybe one day I'll see for myself? More to the point, I appreciate how honest she is about wanting to win but also how sincere and reflective she is about how actors feel about these contests, and how different that often is from what we awards-mongers might project onto them, or what we over-emphasize among ourselves. Chastening and admirable. Well put, Marcia Gay—and, incidentally, way to look like a million bucks on your big night!

P.S. Lovely to hear that, one way or another, Neil Patrick Harris' first, ahem, outing as an awards-show host coincided (or not?) with a major bump upward in the ratings, and that Bret Michaels, bless him, is recovering just fine.

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Blogger Bill C said...

Do you watch "Damages", Nick? Curious to know what you think of Marcia's performance thereon. Actually, given its wet-dream of an ensemble (Harden, Tom Noonan, William Hurt, Glenn Close of course, Philip Bosco, half the cast of "The Wire"), I'd kill to hear your take on the show proper.

1:23 PM, June 09, 2009  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

The ugly truth: I don't get TV reception in my apartment, and I don't get cable. And except for my Battlestar Galactica crush, I don't watch TV on DVD, because I try to limit myself to only so many addictive stimuli.

I know, I know, I'm only hurting myself...

1:56 PM, June 09, 2009  
Blogger Bill C said...

Hell, I wish I had your willpower.

3:14 PM, June 09, 2009  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

Thanks for that link. I hadn't seen that but it is totally your thing! :)

I admit that i have never once done it (read any of the plays in their TONY year) but i have read some plays over the years and it does have a peculiar specific joy to it... and thankfully i have seen some of them since moving to NYC (gulp) almost 11 years ago. ANYWAY... this year i have not seen any of the plays but i am so curiosu about GOD OF CARNAGE (one friend of mine has seen in 4 times already. yipe)

6:32 AM, June 12, 2009  

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