NEW YORK (AP) – Greg Kinnear was just a month away from his Broadway debut in To Kill a Mockingbird. when the pandemic closed the theater in March 2020. He does not give up: at the beginning of next year he will try again.
The two-time Emmy winner and Oscar nominee from January 5, 2022, is set to take on the role of Atticus Finch from Jeff Daniels.
“There is nothing in Greg Kinnear’s credits on IMDb to suggest that I am the obvious choice to take on this role anyway,” he told The Associated Press. “All this will be new for me. I welcome it and I am delighted with it. “
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was widely praised as a sensitive portrait of racial tensions in 1930s Alabama. At its core is Atticus Finch, a lawyer dedicated to defending a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman.
Lee’s famous book was adapted for the stage by Aaron Sorkin, who won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for his screenplay for The Social Network. The play was directed by Bartlett Sher.
Sorkin’s script cutting back the undergrowth of minor characters and empowering others, especially the maid Calpurnia and Tom Robinson, the man falsely accused of rape, was what really captured Kinnear.
“It just got me so excited. It’s such a beautiful, little redesign of the material to make it relevant now, ”he said.
“I feel like he is humanizing Atticus the way it was meant to be. And at the same time, all the texture and strength of the book that I don’t feel is lost anyway. “
Kinnear traveled to New York to discuss the role with the creative team, and while he hadn’t seen the show yet, he took to the empty 1435-seat Schubert Theater. “I really took my breath away,” he says.
He is due to start rehearsals in December and has yet to decide if he will see Daniels in the role during the four weeks of preparation.
“I’m sure I’ll be surprised if I go and see him. But there is a part of me that also feels like I might be keeping some distance from it, which frees up a bit of creativity without looking back, ”he says.
Kinnear won an Academy Award for How Good, and his additional work includes Letter to You, Little Miss Sunshine, Sabrina and Baby Mom. He also has two Daytime Emmy Awards, both for Talk Soup.
He admits that his theatrical experience is limited, but he performed in a 2012 production at the New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater. He says he trusts the cast and crew of To Kill a Mockingbird. “I’m just happy to join the trip,” he said.
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