Tom Skerritt on Making His Broadway Debut at Age 80: “I’m terrified”

tom-skerrittTom Skerritt has had a five-decade career in both film and television, but Skerritt — who just celebrated his eightieth birthday this week — is finally making his Broadway debut in A Time To Kill, an adaptation of John Grisham‘s 1989 novel (which was previously turned into a 1996 film starring Matthew McConaughey, Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock, and Kevin Spacey).  Though the play doesn’t begin previews for a month, Skeritt tells The New York Post that he is both excited and terrified about making his debut on Broadway.

Skerritt admits that living in New York while doing the play will be a major life change for him.  He explains, “I never lived in Manhattan. I’m from Detroit. I went to UCLA to be a filmmaker and been in Seattle, an outpost with NYC influences, 25 years. Simple life. Immersed in civic activities. Go to the movies once a year. It’s outdoors, up early seeing water, mountains, an eagle overhead. Staying up late, dinner late, sleeping late will be difficult.”

On the surface Skerritt wasn’t sure if the offer was worth it.  He confesses, “My agent said, ‘You have this offer.’ I’m thrilled but terrified. I’ve worked lots in films but couldn’t see eight months on Broadway for little money.”  However, Skerritt admits that while he doesn’t have much of a background in theater he loves the idea of having a live audience.  He says, “I experienced a live audience. I recall that surge of energy. But Broadway?! Holy shit.”

But even looking forward to the reaction of live audiences doesn’t make Skerritt any less nervous.  He says, “I’m terrified. Rehearsals start now. And memorization? My heritage is Irish. I’m the type who’ll just go at it. Grab it by the throat and deal with it. Having never seen the movie, I’ll fortunately come at this with a fresh view.”

1 Comment

  1. Belinda Panelo via Facebook

    August 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Wait! Tom Skerritt is 80?!! Where has the time gone?! I would run into him in Seattle every now and then. Didn’t realize how old he was and I feel a bit weird admitting now I actually have a crush on him. 😉

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