Katie Finneran: “I’m feeling more pressure about Annie than anything else I’ve done”

Katie-FinneranAlthough she’s a Tony Award winning actress, Katie Finneran has had to work tremendously hard on her portrayal of Miss Hannigan in the new Broadway revival of Annie.

“The hardest thing in musical comedy is to be economical with my performance, to avoid being over-the-top for the sake of it,” Finneran told The New York Times.  “I’m feeling more pressure about Annie than anything else I’ve done.”

The director, James Lapine, and Finneran had many discussions about the best way to depict the orphanage manager as more than just a joke.  “James basically told me, ‘Trust the story, and remember the subtlety we’ve worked on,’” the 41-year-old said.  “The show makes some sudden leaps in mood, but then again, it’s based on a cartoon.  I think there’s a chance here for me to show a subtler side of her, and a subtler side of myself to audiences—at least for those who think all I do is play silly dames.”

After winning her Tonys for Noises Off and Promises, Promises, Finneran admits, “I knew that no matter what, somebody would always hire a Tony-winning actress, even if it was doing Medea in Idaho.”

But the journey to theater success has not always been an easy one for the actress.  Diagnosed when she was young with spatial dyslexia and attention-deficit disorder, Finneran finds memorizing lines “a terribly uncomfortable process.”

“I always worry that people think I’m flaky, but learning lines and then understanding the action of a line or the body movement—all of those things together is like a whirlwind for my brain,” she said.

Despite her challenges, the actress has proven herself to be a formidable comedienne onstage.

Leave a Reply

‘Call Me By Your Name’ Star Timothée Chalamet: “What scares me is being boring”
"At a certain point I was able to come to grips with the idea to just 'be.'" - Timothée Chalamet
‘Phantom Thread’ Star Lesley Manville: “It’s so easy to make someone bad look good on film. In theatre, there’s no hiding place”
"Filming is different. You’re getting a moment right. You can go in and create something very good, very quickly. That’s a different challenge to having five, six weeks to rehearse a play.” - Lesley Manville
Chadwick Boseman on ‘Black Panther’ and How He Refocused His Career
"As soon as I came to L.A., things immediately shifted for me." - Chadwick Boseman
Bernadette Peters on Returning to Broadway and Why She is Still Trying to Improve Her Craft
"You have to do your best to fulfill the role, not fulfill yourself" - Bernadette Peters
Ellen Pompeo: “Acting, to me, is boring”
"Anybody can be good on a show season one and two. Can you be good 14 years later? Now, that's a f*ckin' skill." - Ellen Pompeo