Laura Linney Speaks with James Naughton: LPTW’s Oral History Project
By Marcina Zaccaria
On Monday, March 6 at 6:00PM, Tony Award Nominee Laura Linney was interviewed by James Naughton.
James Naughton (Chicago, City of Angels) is an actor who graduated from Brown and the Yale School of Drama. As a Director, his credits include Our Town, starring Paul Newman. Speaking on stage at Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium, he addressed career and personal issues with Linney, acclaimed actress of the stage and screen.
An early scholar, Laura Linney, at 53, brings a radiance to her performances, and a refined sensibility. With the guts to tackle classical and contemporary work, Linney’s stage performances include Time Stands Still and Sight Unseen.
To a packed room of arts professionals and fans, Linney (The Truman Show, The Crucible) described her career trajectory, including her beginnings at Summer Stock and The Julliard School (where she is now a mentor). Says Linney – “I knew instinctively that I needed to train.”
Acting is an art form that requires intelligence, wit, and candor. Co-starring with successful leading men like Clint Eastwood and Jim Carrey, Laura Linney shares her screen time with some of the best. Able to discuss directors, producers, and the rigor of performance, she freely explains her acting process. She also spoke about the “wild prism” of Little Foxes, produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, set to open on Broadway this April. She will be starring on that same stage with Cynthia Nixon.
Laura Linney explains that at her age, she finds that she has to work a little differently. “Now, I’m a mother…I had my first child right before I turned 50…When you are an older parent, and you don’t think it’s going to happen for you, and then it does. The gratitude is so enormous.” In fact, Linney gives clever advice to younger women, like “freeze your eggs.”
With empathy as a mainstay and insight an asset, Linney speculated on truth and comedy. “Comedy, for me, is a survival technique,” she said. “I think, at its core, that’s what it is…It’s trying to get to truth, within chaos…It’s liberating, and that liberation lets you out. It’s healing, and it’s what gives comedy its power, I think.”
With a deal at Netflix with the series, Ozark, this Golden Globe winner keeps working and moving forward.
This discussion with Laura Linney was held at The Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, located at 111 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC. This program was produced by Betty Corwin, with Pat Addiss and Sophia Romma.