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

Linnea Berthelse on Her ‘Stranger Things’ Audition and Keeping Her Role a Secret for a Year
“Sometimes when actors don’t get the part, it’s not always about an actor being a bad actor; it’s about connecting to the material.” – Linnea Berthelsen Stranger Things is back on our screens with its second season, something fans have been waiting for ever since season one arrived on Netflix in 2016. Returning to the […]
Jonathan Groff on Playing King George III in ‘Hamilton’: “I rehearsed for about a day, and then went into the show”
Can you even imagine stepping into a role in one of the biggest Broadway hits of all time with barely any time to prepare?
Lina Esco on Playing the Only Female Officer on ‘S.W.AT.’: “I have to portray her as someone equal to all of the guys on her team”
"The important thing for me when I read scripts is how much respect I have for the character and how far I can take her" - Lina Esco
Sam Rockwell on Typecasting and One of His Worst Auditions
"I’m kind of a workhorse. It takes a toll" - Sam Rockwell
Rachel Bloom: “The way that I learned comedy was not rigid, but this very specific technique taught by the Upright Citizens Brigade”
"I went from being a person who was doing moderately successful videos online and working as a moderately successful TV writer and aspiring to do this to having a Golden Globe." - Rachel Bloom