Actor Justin Long is currently appearing in Seminar, a production that will thrust the actor for the first time into the world of Broadway. Making his big debut on stage at the Golden Theatre, Long will portray the character Martin, a student to Jeff Goldblum‘s Leonard, a relentless teacher that believes he knows what it takes to be the best author.
The comedy comes from writer Theresa Rebeck and is directed by Sam Gold. Sitting down to talk about his foray into the world of theater, Long says he took on the role for the simplest of reasons. “Because I was asked to! I would have done it any time. As far as my own level of confidence, I think it was helped by the fact that I’ve been dipping my toes back in the theater the last couple of years. It’s also a play that I was familiar with and really love, since I had done a reading of it the summer before.”
The star of He’s Just Not That Into You also shared a little about his character during an interview with TheaterMania. “He is unlike guys that I am used to playing in the sense that he’s a lot more narcissistic, and he’s kind of pompous about his own talents. He projects this air of confidence, as if he’s above everything. I remember saying to [director] Sam Gold about a line he wanted me to do, “I just feel like that’s kind of shitty of him to do.” And Sam said, “Well yeah. He’s a shitty guy.” So I have to kind of play into that and embrace that attitude. There’s something very liberating about playing the flaws in an unlikable character like that. It’s almost in a similar vein to the guy I played in those Mac commercials. He would come out with that white background and say, “I am better than you” to the PC.“
While Long did shift gears during his interview, adding that he always feels like his latest movie could be his last acting opportunity, the performer snapped right back into his hilarious self, making jokes about his last name when asked if it was ever an impediment. “There’s actually a soft-core porn star named Justin Long, who I looked up on Cinemax. I remember when I shot the pilot for Ed, they said there’s another Justin Long out there who may get the rights to my name, and that if he did, I would then have to change my own. I played with the idea of being Justin J. Long as a dumb personal homage to Michael J. Fox, who was my hero growing up. My name is so porny that you would just think it’s a pseudonym, but it’s not. Tragically, I do have an uncle named Dick Long.”
Seminar is currently running until the end of May at the Golden Theatre.