In a fantastic new interview with, well, Interview Magazine, Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory” spoke to Lee Pace for a very easy-going conversation. They talked about Lee’s latest foray into Middle-earth with The Hobbit trilogy and tech-savvy Joe Macmillan in AMC’s “Halt And Catch Fire” — and even dabbled into Lee’s youth, including early runs at Houston’s Alley Theatre. Lee and Jim have known each other for years – they starred together in the Tony Award-winning play, The Normal Heart – and it creates for an easy rapport. Check out an excerpt of the interview below before heading to the source:
PARSONS: For a TV show – maybe for any project, but certainly for a continuing TV show – it is the people, the characters, that people want to see.
PACE: [“Halt and Catch Fire” is] about this American identity of the hunger for success and ambition and failure. We live in this culture where everyone’s just trying to get it right all the time: You’re trying to get right with God, you’re trying to be the right person, you’re trying to do this right, that right. And no one ever will. I really applaud the writers for writing these characters who are in the thick of trying to weed through the competition of their ambition versus their heart and their fallibility and their inadequacies and mediocrity and their desire to be more than they are. It’s the greys on this show that I find most interesting. You find yourself trying to categorize things – it’s this; it’s that – but it’s not that. It’s a grey thing that we all live through with the passage of time and our faulty record of memory.
PARSONS: And like you say, anything that I can think of that any human is trying to do, is aim for some sort of “perfection,” and that’s not going to happen.
PACE: The show is about innovation, the march into the future. It’s impossible to think about that without really weighing the lasting impact of the past and the complicated conditions of the present.
The author of this new interview with Lee Pace seems to be a big fan, complimenting him on his work in The Fall as well as calling him a “charming and approachable […] heartthrob.” What does Lee think of that status? He shares his feelings about that romanticized title in this BlackBook interview, of which an excerpt can be read bellow. He also touches upon Golden Age and what it entails during the holiday season, where he finds his home now, and whether he prefers working on stage or behind a camera.
So, you’ve had a super busy year…
It has been a busy year. I’m really feeling it now that the year’s coming to an end. These movies came out this past month and now we[‘re] doing eight shows a week [for Golden Age]. It’s been a lot of work, so I’ll to be looking forward to a quiet new year. But, it’s been great. It’s good to be busy. There’s nothing I like more than being busy. Good characters to play and good people to work with. There’s been a lot of that this year, so I couldn’t be more grateful.
Is there any reprieve during the holiday?
Theater schedules through the holidays are relentless. I guess I figured we’d still be doing eight shows a week, but it’s tough. There’s so many shows. But, it’s good. It’s a privilege to be able to do the show for people. That people want to come is awesome.
Given your recent roster, are there any standout moments of 2012?
Shooting scenes with Steven Spielberg in the Congress (sic) [for Lincoln], that was pretty incredible. Big scenes, lots of extras, a couple cameras moving. You really feel like, “Wow, I’ll remember this. It kinda doesn’t get better than this.” Then, I went to New Zealand to work on The Hobbit for a couple months. To be on those sets, which [were] equally incredible, and to collaborate on and play a character that is the product of so many people’s imaginations – Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh and the costume designers – [was] very, very special.
FOR MORE, GO HERE.
My deepest apologies for the delay on this update: I was out of town when the interview was first released, and then I completely forgot about it. Anyway, there is a new-ish article from Theater Mania in which Lee Pace talks Golden Age – including approaching opera and his character’s sexuality – and the three big movies he was in that were all released within a month. As some of his fans know, Lee is a very big fan of Daniel Day-Lewis, and he talks a bit about him as an actor. Check out an excerpt below before heading to the source for more.
Where would you put your knowledge of opera on a 1-10 scale before you started Golden Age?
Well, I went to Juilliard, so you can’t help but get a little dose of opera when you go to that school. I’d seen a couple of things at the Met. And I had heard Bellini’s Norma. So it’s hard to say — but I guess 2, maybe 3.
Did that lack of expertise make this job harder for you?
I had a good month ahead of rehearsals to just listen to music and work on the research about Bellini. There’s so much fascinating research about this man, and I love doing research. My favorite thing about being an actor is to learn new things. But it wasn’t just about listening to the rest of Bellini’s stuff ; it was also listening to Donizetti’s stuff, Rossini’s stuff, Wagner’s stuff just to kind of get a real sense of what it was that Bellini was trying to do artistically, what musical information he had, and what influence he had on others.
Was exploring the music the most interesting part of the process for you?
One of the most fascinating things about the play to me was Terrence’s point of view on what it takes to make not just art, but to make an event out of an evening of opera. And that’s what Bellini does– the opera is not just the music, it is an event. It is all of the people in the boxes waiting to see the show and it’s the stars who step up on the stage and perform this incredible athletic feat of singing these notes. And it’s about arranging that kind of night and figuring out a way to make that night emotionally poignant and meaningful.
FOR MORE, GO HERE.
We haven’t seen a Lee Pace interview in print in a very, very long time, but Backstage.com recently chatted with him about Golden Age — finally! He talks about channeling his inner Vincenzo Bellini, feeling a little nervous and unsure of his performances (like any genius artist) while maintaining a high-adrenaline buzz (like Bellini experienced after succumbing to his masterpiece). It’s a great, articulate interview that taps into Lee’s training and approach as an actor. Check out an excerpt below before heading to the source for more; it’s also been added to the press archive.
Vincenzo Bellini is a complicated character. How did you prepare for the role?
Lee Pace: The character is very much about throwing it all out there and throwing aside structure and form and just letting his art be an emotional, wild thing. I just tried to get into what the thoughts were. He knows that he’s very ill and that he may never be able to organize an evening like this again. That’s a big part of the insecurity. When you’re ill, you don’t think very clearly. When I get nervous about something, it’s because there are things that are making me anxious. So I spend the performance reminding myself, “Is it going to be good? Am I able to fulfill my potential?”
FOR MORE, GO HERE.
Last night, December 4th, Golden Age – Terrence McNally’s new play – officially opened at New York City Center – Stage I. Numerous photos from the after-party have been added to the gallery, with Lee Pace pictured alongside co-star F. Murray Abraham. I’ll be adding more as they come in, so be sure to check back. In the meantime, you might want to head over to the career portion of LPO to read reviews on Lee’s performance in Golden Age. Check out a few highlights below:
“Lee Pace is an ideal Bellini, charismatic even in self-absorption and gifted with the requisite Byronic handsomeness. Pace excels at communicating Bellini’s often internal emotions and uses an effortless period physicality to good effect.”
“Even in Bellini’s poutiest, most self-absorbed moments, Pace is never less than charming. He’s the quintessential tortured artist — unabashedly romantic, hair askew, throwing himself about the stage with abandon, and voraciously devouring Sicilian blood oranges (Bellini’s preferred snack). When he gets ahold of McNally’s monologues, Pace can elevate them into arias: ‘People don’t go mad because of a broken heart. They take to their rooms and weep in utter solitude,’ he says, reflecting on mad scenes in operas. ‘There is no cause for high notes when your heart is broken. The very lowest reaches of the voice are what are called for.'”
– ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
“Pace has the debonair good looks of a golden-age Hollywood heartthrob. He elegantly underplays Bellini’s exhilarated highs and his depressed lows, and his rapport with Neuwirth is tainted with lovely wistfulness.”
– NEW YORK POST
There are also three new production photographs, which you can view right here.
Check out a new video featuring select moments from Golden Age! Lee Pace (as Vincenzo Bellini) is, naturally, shown a lot throughout; there’s an especially great scene between him and Bebe Neuwirth shown in this highlights reel. Remember: Golden Age opens off-Broadway tonight, so hopefully we’ll be hearing some positive remarks on the production – and Lee – by the end of the evening.
Golden Age is currently having its first preview – right now! – but for those who can’t make it to New York, here’s a nice little video. A behind the scenes look shows Lee Pace, Bebe Neuwirth, and Will Rogers during a photo shoot for the new Terrence McNally play. There’s also clips from interviews with the actors and playwright throughout, giving a better insight into the production about Vincenzo Bellini. The video has been added to the gallery, but you can also watch it here.