Ciaran Hinds talks Playing Big Daddy in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof': “Having the nerve to play him is the beginning”

ciaran-hindsTennesse Williams’ character, Big Daddy, in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, is one of the most quintessential American characters.  So the Irish actor Ciaran Hinds was more surprised than anyone when he landed the role in the new Broadway revival of the play.

Playing Big Daddy required the actor, best known for his role on the recent USA miniseries, Political Animals, and films like Munich and There Will Be Blood, to buckle down and take on the challenge.  “Having the nerve to play him is the beginning, because you have to have some nerve to step up to it,” he told The Wall Street Journal.  “But you’re encouraged through the director to be bold, be brave.  There is the question of the amount of language and how fast they speak.  A torrent of words which, I’ve talked with [director] Rob [Ashford] and we try to get it even faster with my accent and trying to work in this Mississippi dialect.

“So, to take on those words of Tennessee Williams and to commit to the idea of the truth behind them and allow the poetry, which is inherent in the rhythm—not to play it but to somehow inhabit it and let his rhythm come out.”

Hinds noted that there is a great deal of improvisation onstage, despite the text being such a well-known play.  “The scene I do with Brick [played by Benjamin Walker], it’s never the same twice,” the 59-year-old said.  “The structure is the same, it has to be because of lighting, timing.  But inside the actual connecting thoughts, different rhythms come into play.  We take a slightly different route through the many different sections through the piece. It’s like trying to think on your feet, but inhabit it at the same time.  It’s one of the most difficult things to do in our trade of acting, to actually listen.”

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is currently playing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway, and Hinds can also be seen in the upcoming season of HBO’s Game of Thrones starting March 31.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/ryan-gosling-lost-river.jpg
Ryan Gosling on Using Dreams in Acting and How He Regards Bad Reviews
"That's a style of acting that's pretty popular right now, where actors use their dreams to connect whatever material they're working on." - Ryan Gosling
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Charlie-Cox-Vincent-DOnofrio-Daredevil.jpg
‘Daredevil’ Stars Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio on Working Together in the Marvel Universe
"I think it was finding how to portray Fisk in an emotional way, as well as a menacing way." - Vincent D'Onofrio on Playing the Kingpin in 'Daredevil'
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/scott-eastwood-the-longest-ride.jpg
Scott Eastwood on His Rise to Fame: “The only thing I can say is that I’ve been doing this for 12 years”
"As quick as somebody can be 'the guy' in Hollywood, he can be gone the next minute. For me, it's about doing great work" - Scott Eastwood
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/steve-coogan-happyish.jpg
Steve Coogan on Filling Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Shoes and Becoming ‘Happyish’
"This is kind of like a vacation for me. All I have to do is concentrate on the character and capture the voice.” - Steve Coogan on Happyish
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/jon-cryer-two-and-a-half-men.jpg
Jon Cryer on Why He’s Only Cast in Comedic Roles: “I’ve always felt I was kind of a ridiculous human being”
"When I get super dramatic, the urge to giggle nearly overtakes me. It’s the reason I think I haven’t been cast in science fiction" - Jon Cryer