John Lithgow: “Acting on stage is a batting average game, if you bat 300, you’re doing extremely well”
There isn’t many sentences you can say in New York’s Theatre District that will elicit more smiles than, “John Lithgow is in a new show.” The popular Third Rock from the Sun TV star has been appearing regularly on the New York stage after he returned for Sweet Smell of Success in 2002 after a 14-year absence from Broadway.
Lithgow stars in The Columnist, based on the life of journalist Joe Alsop, a staunch conservative who nevertheless was a closeted homosexual. Lithgow spoke to the New York Times about taking on such a conflicting role.
Lithgow admits that despite his experience he still is nervous about appearing in a bad production. He says, “You work this hard on something and number one, you want so badly for people to love it. Number two, you gradually persuade yourself that it’s absolutely brilliant. Going to see a play, you think, ‘How could anybody think this was any good?’ You see that 50 people worked on it. Or a movie. Nobody sets out to do something bad, they all set out to do something good, by the time it opens they think it is good, which is why bad reviews stung them so deeply. I’ve had that experience many times. Acting on stage is a batting average game, if you bat 300, you’re doing extremely well.” Read more