Larry David on Who he Wanted to Star in his Broadway Play ‘Fish in the Dark’: “Anybody but me”

“It’s one of the reasons I didn’t like acting. I don’t like not being able to interject” – Larry David on acting with a script

 

Who doesn’t like Larry David? Well, to be honest, Larry David probably doesn’t like Larry David. In fact, David didn’t even want to cast himself in the lead of his first Broadway play Fish in the Dark, which is now in previews and opens on March 5. David spoke to the New York Times about why he didn’t want to star in a Broadway play and how he ended up doing so anyway.

David confesses that he vastly prefers the unscripted nature of a project like Curb Your Enthusiasm than performing with a script, but he still found thinks to love about performing on a stage. He explains, “It’s one of the reasons I didn’t like acting. I don’t like not being able to interject. I don’t like waiting to talk. You have to wait for the other person to finish with his lines. But I have to say the rehearsal process, much to my amazement, has been fun. I enjoyed it. I didn’t expect to.

When asked if he wrote the play with any particular actor he mind, David instead narrows it down to the one person he didn’t want to see star in it. He reveals, “Anyone but me. That was the problem. I didn’t have anyone in mind and if I did, the character might have sounded different than me. The character sounds just like me, so it wasn’t a stretch for the producer Scott Rudin to go, ‘You should do this.'”

So if David didn’t want to star in the production, how did super-producer Rudin convince him otherwise? David responds, “He’s a very persuasive guy. He kept talking to me about it. He said, ‘Let’s do a reading.’ I said, ‘O.K., we’ll read it and see how that feels.’ I was in L.A. with a bunch of actors. It was fun. Rob Reiner, also a persuasive guy, said, ‘You got to do this play!’ When Rob Reiner yells at you, you listen to him.”

Now that he’s performing Fish in the Dark on Broadway seven times a week against his initial wishes, what does David hope to get out of it? He keeps it simple, saying that it’s all about, “Having fun. I think that’s it.