Ciarán Hinds has had a long career of impressive roles in film, television, and theater, and will likely earn some new fans in his new role on the next season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. However, at the moment Hinds has returned to Broadway to star as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He spoke to Newsday about the experience and his most impressive, yet most stressful, role.
Hinds admits that on first look he’s an odd choice to play a Southern American, but despite his doubts others had faith in his ability. He says, “When [director] Rob Ashford asked me, I said, are you sure? But others see bits of you that you may not be aware of yourself.”
Because he plays Big Daddy, Hinds spends much of the second act in intense interactions with his character’s son Brick, played by Ben Walker. Hinds enjoys the energy, explaining, “We go to war every night. It feels alive! You throw open those doors, walk onstage and you’ve got this burst, for just under an hour. Then you walk off and go phew.”
Perhaps Hinds’ most impressive accomplishment is stepping in to play Richard III with the Royal Shakespeare Company only eight days before the first performance. On how that came about, Hinds reveals, “They asked me to do Richard III because the lead actor — his disc went… I was younger then. I couldn’t have done it without that brilliant company. I remember getting through the first night, numb, and someone says, ‘The show tomorrow is at 8…’ And you think, ‘You’re joking — I have to do that again?’ I had a panic attack the second night.”