Sophie Okonedo Talks Working with Denzel Washington on Broadway’s ‘A Raisin in the Sun’

Sophie-Okonedo-Denzel-Washington-raisin-in-the-sun

Sophie Okonedo is stepping into the bright lights of Broadway in the revival of Lorraine Hansberry‘s A Raisin in the Sun. For the actress who calls the opportunity a “dream come true,” the London-born star talked to The Guardian about her role in the classic play.

Okenodo plays Ruth, the wife of Walter Lee played by Denzel Washington. Ruth has worked long and hard to make their American dreams come true, but life has been hard and weary for the family. The matriarch carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

To get into character, Okenedo had to nail the Chicago accent which took weeks of practice with a dialect coach. She also researched “the legacy of slavery in America” which pushed show director Kenny Leon into a more realistic direction with the play.

Leon explained Okonedo’s methods on the first day of rehearsal, “I need the iron to be real and hot, I need real running water on stage.” Leon told her that if she worked toward “a great, honest Ruth … I will give you everything that you need.”

In addition to working hard to get into character, the 46-year-old actress developed incredible chemistry with her co-star Washington.

She shared, “We’re similar in that we like to try out different things all the time, every night. I never know quite what he’s going to do and he never knows quite what I’m going to do.”

With strong reviews, the show is doing well on Broadway. For Okonedo, it’s exciting, but she does wish she could spend more time at home in London.

She said, “I just get offered a lot more work in America than I do in Britain. I may be here now. There are just more roles for me in America. Sadly. Because I love working in Britain. It’s my home.”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/kristen-dunst-fargo.jpg
Kirsten Dunst: Auditions are “the most stressful thing to me on the planet Earth”
Despite being a well-known actress with dozens of credits, Kristen Dunst tells Variety that she still thinks of auditions as “the most stressful thing to me on the planet Earth.” Most audiences first became familiar with Dunst after her appearance as the young vampire Claudia in 1994’s Interview with the Vampire, but Dunst confesses that […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Jessie-Mueller-Waitress.jpg
Jessie Mueller on Following up ‘Beautiful’ with ‘Waitress’: “I think early on I did feel little bit of pressure”
"I was taken with theater from the beginning, it was the coolest thing for me." - Jessie Mueller
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Sean-Hayes-An-Act-of-God.jpg
Sean Hayes on Why He Loves Theater and His Return to Broadway in ‘An Act of God’
"I think one of the worst mistakes an actor can make is run away from the role that made them beloved in the first place, that gave them an audience." - Sean Hayes
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/zachary-levi-she-loves-me.jpg
Zachary Levi on Starring in Broadway’s ‘She Loves Me’: “Honestly, the biggest challenge is just my own brain”
“My whole life, all I’ve ever wanted to do was be an actor and an entertainer and make people happy and also feel like I belonged" - Zachary Levi
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Ewan-McGregor-Last-Days.jpg
Ewan McGregor Talks Playing Jesus and the Devil in ‘Last Days in the Desert’
"I was just trying to play him like any other role, really. Who do I think he was? Who do I want him to be in this story?" - Ewan McGregor