Tony Nominees From ‘Into the Woods,’ ‘Sweeney Todd’ and More Share How Co-Stars Improved Their Performances |

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As they opportunity successful “Into nan Woods”: It takes two. 

And not conscionable successful “Into nan Woods.” The 2023 Tony nominations punctual america respective times complete that sometimes an actor’s domiciled is truthful intimately tied to different that it’s difficult to ideate a capacity without nan integrated give-and-take shared pinch a co-star. 

  From “Into nan Woods,” there’s Sara Bareilles and Brian D’Arcy James, some contenders for Tony Awards arsenic lead performers for their activity successful nan tightly linked roles of nan Baker and nan Baker’s Wife. Among their chap nominees, there’s Ben Platt and Micaela Diamond arsenic an accused murderer and nan patient woman who strives to exculpate him successful “Parade,” positive Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford arsenic nan murderous barber and nan baker who loves him successful “Sweeney Todd.” And nan 2 lead roles successful “Topdog/Underdog” and “Some Like It Hot” are truthful intertwined that these co-stars find themselves competing successful nan aforesaid class against a castmate.  

 “Finding your characteristic is simply a collaboration betwixt you, nan director, nan portion and nan different character you’re moving with,” says Ashford, who stars arsenic Mrs. Lovett other Groban’s Sweeney successful nan nominated revival of nan Stephen Sondheim musical. “In my case, I find myself crawling for 3 hours each complete nan stone and nan character that is Josh’s character, trying to get him to emotion me!” 

Her co-star Groban notes, “On nan 1 hand, arsenic characters Annaleigh and I are connected very different journeys successful nan show. But arsenic actors we’re still very overmuch successful it together. We’re capable to bounce disconnected and thin into nan ray and acheronian with
each other.” 

  For galore of this year’s nominated actors, a co-star proved integral successful processing an individual performance. “A batch of what I learned astir my ain characteristic was from Yahya and from moving pinch immoderate he threw me,” says Corey Hawkins, nominated for starring character successful a play alongside co-star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The duo played brothers successful Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Topdog/Underdog.” “We had to spot each different implicitly, because there’s nary different lifeline connected that stage.” 

  “We bring successful our ideas of who we deliberation these characters are, but each of a abrupt you find yourself other different really talented character who’s presenting a characteristic pinch needs of their own,” explains Abdul-Mateen II. “You person to beryllium capable to alteration pinch that.” 

Actors besides in installments their co-stars pinch helping them support a show caller from nighttime to night. “Sometimes Ben, successful character, is harsh to maine onstage, and that will trigger an wholly different acquisition of nan proceedings scenes for my characteristic than erstwhile he’s knowing and truthful grateful that I’m location for him,” says Diamond of her activity pinch Platt successful “Parade.” “I consciousness truthful safe astir Ben that I cognize that we tin perceive to each different onstage and respond successful different ways, but still wrong successful nan boundaries of our characters’ circumstances.” 

  The brace opportunity that’s portion of nan joyousness of moving together 8 shows a week. “We clasp each different successful a measurement that makes each of america consciousness for illustration we tin do nary wrong,” Platt says. 

  Developing characters are besides informed by nan individual relationships actors shape during rehearsals. “There’s benignant of a dual capacity and dual relationship onstage,” says James from “Into nan Woods.” “You person nan characters that you’ve crafted that are responding to each different successful nan play, but past you person this chartless amount of really you arsenic group connect.” 

For J. Harrison Ghee, nan “Some Like It Hot” performer nominated for lead domiciled successful a philharmonic alongside co-star Christian Borle, their shared capacity reflects a rapport some onstage and off. “I met Christian connected this project, and I emotion gathering a moment,” they say. “I conscionable trusted him successful building this narration that allows each of america to radiance successful what we do.” 

  “It was purely a move point for us,” Borle chimes in. “We fed disconnected of each other’s energy, and we did instantly click. J. is very easy to beryllium successful emotion pinch and to attraction about, truthful I conscionable did that. And pat danced astir it!” 

  When a caller character steps into a role, caller elements of a shared capacity are discovered arsenic well. In “Into nan Woods,” Bareilles acted other James aft 2 weeks of sharing nan shape pinch Neil Patrick Harris successful nan aforesaid role. “As happens erstwhile caller group travel into a role, it filters done a caller lens,” Bareilles says. “The rhythms of nan show lived very differently.” 

  Castmates tin beryllium truthful integral that sometimes erstwhile 1 character gets a information and nan different doesn’t, it feels for illustration an oversight. That’s nan lawsuit for Jessica Hecht, nominated for lead character successful a play successful “Summer, 1976.” Her co-star successful nan two-hander, Laura Linney, was near retired of nan category.

  “The full truth to nan process is there’s perfectly nary measurement thing could person been done without nan narration I was forming pinch Laura nan full time,” she says.