Gillian Anderson onscreen soon in 'Streetcar'
By Mark Kennedy
Associated Press: September 10,2014
NEW YORK (AP) - If you can't get to London in time to catch Gillian Anderson spinning onstage in "A Streetcar Named Desire," her orbit is about to get larger.
Starting Tuesday, Fathom Events, National Theatre Live and BY Experience will broadcast to movie theaters worldwide the fresh, critically cheered take on Tennessee Williams' classic tale from London's Young Vic Theatre.
The production, directed by Benedict Andrews, is set in present day New Orleans on a stage that revolves constantly, offering viewers both the shifting perspective of the characters and their slow turns into madness.
Anderson, who plays Williams' legendary desperate Southern belle Blanche DuBois, is joined by Ben Foster as Stanley, her lower-class nemesis, and Vanessa Kirby as his suffering wife. The spinning stage might sound like a recipe for motion sickness, but Anderson said most theatergoers get used to it.
"A good deal of people who see it say the revolve disappears for them and, if they notice it, it's to notice the benefits of it and the benefits of the perspective that it gives," said Anderson by phone from London.
"Every once in a while, somebody will see it and just not be able to see beyond the fact that it's revolving and it becomes an albatross around the neck of their experience. But that's the minority."
Anderson, the 46-year-old former co-star of "The X-Files," said that she has long wanted to tackle the doomed Blanche onstage and compares it to riding a stallion every night that she cannot ever tame.
"It's a behemoth," she said. "It sits on your shoulders like a bad dream, but if you can ride through the punctuation and the energy and the stamina and the beats, it is heaven, absolute heaven."
The production opened at the Young Vic on July 28 and the Sept. 16 show will be captured live and broadcast to about 1,500 venues in 40 different countries over the following hours and days, with some encore screenings expected.
Anderson, who hopes to take the production to Broadway one day, said there might be added pressure of having cameras capture her show, but there's not much she and her fellow actors can do about it.
"We're already live and exposed and the most that we can hope is that on that particular night that it's captured that we do one of our better performances," she said. "That's not necessarily in our hands. We'll show up and do the best that we can do."