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Nathan Lane on ‘Angels in America,’ His Dream Role, and Advice

March 28, 2018 by William Ivey Long
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(Illustrated by William Ivey Long)

The Tony winner is back on Broadway in Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America,” which starts performances on Feb. 23. “Even if you’ve seen it before, it will still surprise you in light of what’s going on right now and how prescient Tony Kushner was,” Lane says.

Lane and costume designer Long have collaborated several times, including on “Guys and Dolls” in 1992 and then “The Producers” in 2001. Here, the actor discusses “Angels,” his career, and more.

What are you most excited about bringing “Angels in America” to Broadway?
That a whole new generation of people will be discovering the play for the first time.

What’s your favorite line from the play?
“Hire a lawyer. Sue somebody. It’s good for the soul.”

What’s something you’ve never gotten to do onstage that you want to do?
Flying, horseback riding. How about a flying horse? And then there’d also be hazard pay! Excellent.

What’s a dream role that you still have yet to play?
Willy Loman

What was the best piece of advice you received when you were starting your career?
Take the work seriously, not yourself.

What’s the best piece of advice you received recently?
Avoid the fish from catering.

Who and what makes you laugh the hardest?
My husband doing something silly to make me laugh. And Dave Chappelle’s recent Netflix specials.

What is your greatest height of creative satisfaction?
I’m never satisfied.

If you’re in trouble, who’s the person driving the getaway car?
My husband, Devlin Elliott.

Who are three women who inspire you?
Eleanor Roosevelt, Ann Roth, Meryl Streep

What is the last frivolous thing you bought yourself?
I tend not to buy frivolous things. Unless you count that island in Fiji.

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
My dog, Mabel, from Terrence McNally.

What was the last play or musical you saw that you loved?
“Dear Evan Hansen” on Broadway. “The Ferryman” in London.

What are you watching on television right now?
Just watched all three seasons of “Peaky Blinders.” Loved it. Cillian Murphy is brilliant.

Who would you most like to have dinner with — anyone living or dead?
Roy Cohn, of course. But he did like to eat food from other people’s plates, so that could get ugly.

What’s one thing you want audience members to take away from “Angels in America”?
Other than the merchandise? Buy those Roy Cohn apple head dolls — they’re adorable. Seriously, this is a play that provokes a lot of talk. And that’s good. Just remember to listen, that’s what people seem to be having a big problem with these days. Listening. And be kind.

Get tickets from $50 to “Angels in America: Millenium Approaches”!

Get tickets from $50 to “Angels in America: Perestroika”!