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

Luke Evans on Being Cast in Beauty and the Beast and the “Huge Moment” He Had Early in His Career
"It's a validation that you are the right person for the job because they've chosen and they've seen you do something connected to that role." - Luke Evans on Auditioning
Parker Posey on Her Improv Skills: “I still don’t think I’m actually good at it”
"Every time I do something, I worry it’s my last job... I think that’s normal though." - Parker Posey
William H. Macy: “This may sound pretentious, but I am getting better at what I do every day”
"I love the fact that I work every day." - William H. Macy
Luke Hemsworth on ‘Westworld’: “It was a no-brainer to me. I was absolutely going to jump onboard”
"As an actor, if you're given very little information about what's going on, then you're forced to make it up." - Luke Hemsworth
Khary Payton on His ‘Walking Dead’ Audition: “It was one of the more substantial auditions I’ve ever done”
"I always say I’m in the hope business. You’ve got to stay hopeful. You’ve got to get up off your behind and try again..." - Khary Payton