Updated June 12
Sure enough. I found something compelling to share with you on this, the day of the Tony Awards. wink
Here you will find information about live-streaming for the Red Carpet and Behind-the-Scenes, how international viewers can watch the Awards, and more!
And finally (I think!), a personal wish for Our Man of the Hour:
I’ll say farewell for now. See ya’ll after the Tony Awards! heart
Updated June 11
This is likely to be the last update before the Tony Awards Ceremony tomorrow, Sunday, at 8:00pm ET, in New York City. Unless, of course, something compelling comes my way and I must share it with you!
I thought a reminder of what drives an actor to take on such a demanding role as this is would be in order.
From the Tony Actors Roundtable:
GABRIEL BYRNE Yeah, and there’s a ruthless kind of honesty to it, even to O’Neill’s titles — for example, it’s not called Long Night’s Journey Into Day, because the ruthless honesty of his writing is that we are all headed for night, and there’s no cozy resolution, no “closure” at the end of it. His wife described him coming out of the room where he wrote this play bloodless, shaking, in tears, and he refused to have the play performed during his lifetime because I think he must’ve felt enormous shame and guilt about having subjected his family to this kind of microscopic, emotional and psychological observation. Not to be too pretentious about it, but I’ve always felt that like — especially in O’Neill — the role of the actor is to say, “Okay, he wrote this and it cost him an enormous amount to do it. My job is to take what he’s written, and as best as I can, good, bad or indifferently, present it to those people who’ve come in.” It feels to me that as an actor, you get to feel very powerfully your sense in the chain of handing it on.
Updated June 10
The Boston Globe has published its Tony Award predictions. [This article is behind a paywall as of August 30, 2020]
Their analysis is in line with most of the articles predicting the winners and losers of this year’s race and there are no surprises here really: Long Day’s Journey Into Night will NOT win for Best Revival of a Play and Jessica Lange “Should Win/Will Win” for Best Leading Actress in a Play.
But wait! What’s this?
Best Leading Actor in a Play
Will Win: Frank Langella, “The Father”
Should Win: Gabriel Byrne, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”
Also nominated: Mark Strong, “A View From the Bridge”; Jeff Daniels, “Blackbird”; Tim Pigott-Smith, “King Charles III”
Strong’s titanic portrayal of a Brooklyn longshoreman with eyes “like tunnels” and a roiling stew of repressed emotions has long been the favorite. But this race has heated up. As the whiskey-soused James Tyrone, Byrne captured the character’s mix of maudlin bluster, prideful self-delusion, and bitter regret. Meanwhile, Langella recently pocketed Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for his harrowing portrait of a man whose mind is unraveling from the ravages of dementia. Could those laurels be a harbinger of Tony night, or can Strong hold him off? Bet on three-time Tony winner Langella, 78, to nab his fourth trophy.
We agree. Gabriel Byrne SHOULD win. They do not even mention Jeff Daniels, who has received a lot of backing for his work in Blackbird. But all the odds-makers are standing behind Frank Langella, who is predicted to take home his fourth Tony Award on Sunday.
What will happen? Who knows? I will be there, self-styled, thank you very much.
Don’t worry. I have a Gabriel Byrne Inspirational Wallpaper all set to go on Sunday night, win or lose. wink
Speaking of images, here are a few behind-the-scenes/outtakes from the David Needleman photoshoot for The Hollywood Reporter.
These should make us happy. For now.
Updated June 7
Ladies and Gentlemen, nominated for the 2016 TONY award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, Mr. Gabriel Byrne for Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
Photo by David Needleman for The Hollywood Reporter.
Updated June 6
Here is Gabriel Byrne on Theater Talk:
The press keeps pressing on towards the Tony Awards Ceremony on June 12. Check out our favorite nominee in the roundtable and interviews below.
The Hollywood Reporter Tony Actor Roundtable Rapid Fire Questions
They had a lot of fun with this segment!
Gabriel Byrne: confessions of a contender
The Tony Awards Best Actor nominee talks to Max McGuinness at the Financial Times about success, prizes and Catholic guilt
On the whole, Byrne conveys a genial presence, but his faint curmudgeonly streak suggests that he shares some sense of the “simmering violence” that he attributes to Tyrone. During a performance a few days before our interview, he sought to demonstrate this aspect of the character by lashing out at the top of an antique chair, which promptly split in two. I happened to be in the audience and assumed this was a carefully planned piece of stagecraft. But those working backstage were less impressed. “You can’t be kicking antique chairs,” they told him.
“It’s been fixed,” he sighs, “but I’m not allowed to kick it any more.”
The broken chair demonstrates how Byrne works hard to vary his performance every night. This is necessary, he says, to maintain the production’s surprising comic energy. For instance, late in the play, he transforms an argument about the cost of attending a sanatorium with Tyrone’s consumptive younger son (played with doom-laden exasperation by John Gallagher, Jr.) into a piece of darkly humorous badinage hinging on Byrne’s mordant delivery of the qualifier “within reason”.
It’s a moment, in Byrne’s hands, that seems more typical of Beckett or Pinter than O’Neill. He tries not to overdo it however: “Give them a laugh, but don’t pander.” And he sums up with a final piece of succinct actorly advice: “Control the play, don’t let it control you.”
Be sure to read this article. Mr. Byrne offers a bit of fashion advice, in addition to his always cogent remarks about the play and what it means to him.
Mr. Byrne’s well-appointed dressing room smile
Gabriel Byrne, Jessica Lange, and Michael Shannon on the Leonard Lopate Radio Show
Listen to Leonard Lopate’s interview with these three actors as they talk about their experiences working on Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
Jessica Lange in Long Day’s Journey into Night: “I Like Dark Places”
This Huffington Post article is quite short, but offers a very intriguing last paragraph with Gabriel Byrne:
Family is at the play’s center: for O’Neill, love itself will not save you from its terrors. Michael Shannon quoted his friend the playwright and actor Tracy Letts: there is so much love in family, but also the desperate need to get away. Gabriel Byrne noted of the drunken characters, “Alcohol is a way to be ruthlessly honest, an excuse to remove the mask.” Brutal and bare as he rues James Tyrone’s missed chances, Byrne said he looks into the black hole of the audience and imagines he sees O’Neill in the fifth row.
Finally, Aidan Connolly, Executive Director of the Irish Arts Center in New York City, posted this “campaign” button on Twitter. I like it! heart
Stay tuned here for more Tony Awards updates as they happen!