Hamish Linklater on Writing His New Play, ‘The Vandal’: “I really just want an audience to have a good ride and for actors to have fun things to do”

Hamish Linklater isn’t the only one who describes producing art as a physically draining process.  But Linklater does describe it a little more graphically.

“Sort of by the end of it, I feel like I’ve been through a blender and then someone’s eaten the smoothie and then they’ve pooped it out again—that’s me,” Linklater confessed in an interview with Yahoo! News.

Linklater is specifically talking about his latest project, a play he wrote called The Vandal, that’s onstage at The Flea Theater in New York.  The actor, who’s previously appeared on The New Adventures of Old Christine and The Big C, is taking his newest foray into playwriting very seriously.  “What’s so nice to discover is that if I have to be a playwright, at least I’m a deeply pretentious playwright,” he said jokingly.

Aside from the jokes about his writing process, Linklater did write the script with a specific desire in mind.  “I really just want an audience to have a good ride and for actors to have fun things to do and then if it’s a good play at the end of all that, it doesn’t really matter,” the 36-year-old said.

The subject matter of three characters dealing with mourning was initially what inspired Linklater to write the play.  The production, which stars Zach Grenier (The Good Wife), Deirdre O’Connell (Law and Order) and Noah Robbins, was fueled by Linklater’s marital breakup.  “When there’s something that feels intimate and taboo and transgressive and compulsory, then it sort of works its way out,” he said of The Vandal.  “And then I get to have a play out of it.”

Even if one gets the impression that Linklater is living the life of a tortured artist, he’s quick to point out that he realizes how lucky he is to be acting and having his play produced.  “I’m living my ambition,” he said.  “This is the dream, right now.  Lightning is going to strike me.  I’m going to implode.  It’s the embarrassment of riches.  I’ve never blushed so deeply red.”

Linklater will also be seen in the upcoming season of HBO’s The Newsroom.

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