Brian Dennehy was asked about Phillip Seymour Hoffman tackling the part of Willy Loman in the upcoming Death of a Salesman revival on Broadway in this morning’s New York Post.
Dennehy, who won a Tony for the role 10 years ago, said “I’m not going to give advice to Phil Hoffman. He’s a tremendous actor. He’s a little young for it, but what the hell? He has a deep understanding of pain, which the part calls for.”
Then he goes on to give some great advice for taking on an iconic role: “Everybody starts off doing a great part the same way. They wrestle with it. They wrestle, and they wrestle, and they wrestle. Sometimes the part wins, sometimes you win. But at some point you have to stop and relax and let the role unfold. That’s easy to say, but very hard to do. It took me six months before I got that way in ‘Salesman.’