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Choosing the Role
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Building the Character

Actor Linda Lavin
Actor Linda Lavin:  Choosing the Role

Donald Margulies understands about the loss of yourself as you get older, as you gain more wisdom.

Linda LavinThe play is one of the very few pieces of great dramatic and comic writing that I have read in a long, long time. I was drawn to it because of the power of the writing, which gives me the actor a chance to explore many facets of myself.

I had just finished playing Lillian Hellman in New York in a play called "Cake Walk," and "Collected Stories" was offered to me. I turned it down because I didn't want to play one older stateswoman writer after another. And I needed to get some distance from Lillian Hellman before I played Ruth Steiner.

      Linda Lavin and Samantha Mathis
© 1999 Craig Schwartz
I'm glad I did wait. I did the play two years ago at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles and I'm glad I had the opportunity to play her onstage. Making a film of a work you've played for six weeks [onstage] gives you intimate knowledge of the character. By the time you go in front of the camera you've worked out the behavior and life of a character. That was a great advantage. Making films you don't get too much opportunity to rehearse and develop a character.  [ Next Page ]


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