Mikhail Baryshnikov on his American Stage Debut in Broad Stage’s ‘In Paris’

in-paris-mikhail-baryshnikovMikhail Baryshnikov is starring in a new play, In Paris, at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, which will ultimately end up at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York in August. 

In an interview with The Daily Star, the 64-year-old dancer/actor says that because the play is told in Russian, he has enjoyed speaking his native tongue and learning new slang from his younger costars.  He said, “It’s a different kind of phonetic pleasure, so to speak…I hear my voice more than when I speak in English.  There’s certain [sounds] that roll more comfortably from my tongue, and it’s a bit of a kind of romantic nostalgia about the language, about the culture.”

The play marks Baryshnikov’s American debut onstage.  He admits the undertaking has made him anxious: “I hate those first few hours before the show—the uncertainty…I’m a nervous performer no matter what I do.” 

Although there’s only one small dance scene in the play, he says he still feels the performance is similar to dancing onstage.  He said, “I don’t think that I am doing something so different from what I’ve done in the dance.  Of course I am not dancing, but I think this is not a realism play.  It is a highly poetic, conceptual kind of palette, the way he tells a story, so you have certain liberties of exaggeration of the character and there is a lot of movement in it”

Although Baryshnikov has had various roles including his Oscar-nominated part in 1977’s The Turning Point and Carrie Bradshaw’s boyfriend on HBO’s Sex and the City, he is reluctant to return to the screen.  He said, “The problem with movies is you have to leave home, and if it’s a big serious movie you have to leave home for six to eight months.   It’s problematic.  The role has to really fit me right.  I read a lot; all the time people send me scripts but they’re not really interesting.  It’s always some Russian bandit or a choreographer or an ex-dancer.”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/dylan-obrien-american-assassin.jpg
Dylan O’Brien on His ‘Maze Runner’ Injury and Working with Michael Keaton on ‘American Assassin’
"Getting to play a character over a lengthy period of time is always a pleasure, especially if you like the character." - Dylan O'Brien
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/billy-eichner.jpg
Billy Eichner on His Unsuccessful Past as a Child Actor: “I was too tall. I was too this. I was too that”
Eichner reveals that he turned to comedy because his initial forays into acting proved unsuccessful.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/eddie-izzard-victoria-and-abdul.jpg
Eddie Izzard on Creating a Character: “I should be able to come off script and improvise”
"The better you researched it – the better you are into the character before you land on the set, the easier it’s going to be. " - Eddie Izzard on Preparing for a Role
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/mackenzie-davis-halt-and-catch-fire.jpg
Mackenzie Davis on Breakthrough ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Role: “It was one of my very first jobs. I was so nervous”
"When I started this job, I remembered looking up “how actors prepare for parts” because I just didn’t know!" - Mackenzie Davis
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/michael-keaton-american-assassin.jpg
Michael Keaton on Choosing Roles: “If you overthink the money part, you tend to mess it up”
Keaton explains why material is so much more important to him than money.