Ed Asner Talks Going Back to Broadway in ‘Grace’ and Working in His 80’s: “If I can’t act, I may as well be lowered in a box”

ed-asner-graceEd Asner is appearing for the first time onstage since 1989 in the Broadway production of Grace, alongside Michael Shannon and Paul Rudd.

“We’ve had some difficulties during the rehearsal process, but our interrelationships are magnificent,” the 82-year-old told Broadway.com.  “It’s a mutual admiration society.  Before the show, I had never seen either Paul or Mike in anything.  Since then, I’ve seen Mike in Boardwalk Empire and in Premium Rush.  I thought he was beautiful.  Well, ‘beautiful’ is not a word you use for Michael Shannon.”

Asner noted that Grace was the play to bring him back to the theater world because “it’s the first time I was asked.  I never got another offer for a Broadway appearance after Born Yesterday with Madeline Kahn.  I got offers to tour, but that was limited, as well.  When Grace came up, I was intimidated to pick up roots and leave for such a long time.”

But the actor was attracted to the role.  “I’m basically a very sappy person internally—I’m a mass of Jell-O,” he admitted.  “So it’s not hard at all to tap into this sappy part of me.”

Asner has had a lengthy career, dating back to his days on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a time he remembers fondly.  “We never got up a sweat rehearsing—banker’s hours rehearsals,” he said.  “Friday night, you assembled in front of a crowd of 300 adoring people.  Life was very sweet.  We took five days to prepare the show.  Nowadays, you’d be lucky if you got two-and-a-half, even for a hit show.”

Experiences like playing Lou Grant have kept the actor working far past the age of retirement.  “Well, I found out a long time ago that I was only good for acting,” he said.  “So if I can’t act, I may as well be lowered in a box.  It’s my way of resisting death.  I love the whole milieu.  In his autobiography Child of the Century, Ben Hecht was asked, ‘What do you think of actors?”  And he said that if he went to heaven to find it was populated by actors, he wouldn’t be unhappy.  And I certainly feel the same way…as long as I was God!”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/kevin-spacey-house-of-cards.jpg
Kevin Spacey: “I’m used to people thinking I’m nuts. And you know what? I kind of love it”
"Unless it's Martin Scorsese, and it's a really significant role, fuck off. I'm not playing someone's brother" - Kevin Spacey
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/william-h-macy-shameless.jpg
William H. Macy on ‘Shameless’, Nude Scenes and Winning a SAG Award
"Of all the awards, that one means the most to me because those are my peeps" - William H. Macy on winning a SAG Award
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Helen-Mirren-The-Audience.jpg
Helen Mirren on Reprising her Role as Elizabeth II in ‘The Audience': “I was determined not to do it”
"When I took my bow at the end, they were not applauding me. They were applauding the queen." - Helen Mirren
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Christian-Bale-Knight-of-Cups.jpg
Christian Bale on Not Having a Script for ‘Knight of Cups': “I never had any lines to learn”
"I never knew what I was going to be doing each day" - Christian Bale on working with Terrence Malick in 'Knights of Cups'
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Larry-David.jpg
Larry David on Who he Wanted to Star in his Broadway Play ‘Fish in the Dark': “Anybody but me”
“It’s one of the reasons I didn’t like acting. I don’t like not being able to interject” – Larry David on acting with a script   Who doesn’t like Larry David? Well, to be honest, Larry David probably doesn’t like Larry David. In fact, David didn’t even want to cast himself in the lead of […]