Sarah Steele on Balancing Broadway and Television Roles: “I feel like I hit the jackpot”

Actress Sarah Steele

“The Good Wife was just a part that I got in college that was just supposed to be a couple of episodes and then they decided to expand the character.” – Sarah Steele

After a successful off-Broadway run, The Humans by Stephen Karam (whose play Sons of the Prophet was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) is now running on Broadway. Starring in both the off-Broadway and Broadway productions is The Good Wife actress Sarah Steele. Speaking with the Associated Press, Steele spoke about how she balances the schedule of a Broadway play and a television show, her thoughts on Karam writing a character for her, and why she put her acting career on hold to attend college.

Steele debuted as a teenager in the 2004 Adam Sandler movie Spanglish, then scaled back her career in order to attend college. Steele points out that the break helped her as an actress, saying, “It seemed very natural to me at the time. I was 15 and I just remember having a feeling, being out in Hollywood, that, ‘I am not ready to attack this world yet. I am not strong enough to withstand this yet.’ I really, honestly went back home and went to school to become my own person. Because I was like, ‘Once I know who I am, I think I can do this, but right now I’m 15.'”

Karam has said he wrote Steele’s character with her in mind, which Steele recognizes as a great honor. She says, “There’s nothing better than a great writer — a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer — writing you a part. I feel like it’s all downhill from here… What’s so funny is that I think he captured something about the rhythm of the way I speak and made a character that is so completely not who I am at all. I mean, he really actually challenged me. It’s very different from any character I’ve ever played and very, very different from me.”

Of course, the more obvious challenge of Steele’s Broadway role is that she also appears in a currently-running television show. However, Steele points out that because the role is recurring it isn’t a difficult balance. She explains, “I feel like I hit the jackpot that people seem to think I have this TV career because of The Good Wife when The Good Wife was just a part that I got in college that was just supposed to be a couple of episodes and then they decided to expand the character. It’s been such an amazing thing for me.”

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