“There are certain things,” Annette Bening said, “that you don’t really want to talk about.”
It was a recent Tuesday — bright, glinting — and Ms. Bening, 60, was sitting, shadowed, at a rickety table in the back of a subterranean NoHo cafe, eating a plate of scrambled eggs. It was just after noon, hours before she would slip into the stage door of the American Airlines Theater and begin the process of becoming Kate Keller, the mother at the spiraling center of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons,” a role that has earned Ms. Bening her second Tony nomination — and first for best actress in a play.
Jesse Green, co-chief theater critic for The Times, wrote that in “All My Sons,” “Ms. Bening goes deepest of the four leads in exploring the muck at the bottom of her character’s personality.” How does she do it? That was one of those certain things.
She wished she could talk about it, she said in her barrel-aged voice. She likes to read actors’ interviews, scouring them for details of life and craft. “I’m dying for all that stuff,” she said. She wanted to be cooperative. She wanted to support the show. And there were a few things she could reveal, like a family story from years before her birth that helped bring Kate to life.
Yet discussing how she prepared the role, how she plays it would mean intellectualizing it, distancing herself from it, violating something veiled, even sacred, at the core of what she does. Jack O’Brien, who directs “All My Sons” for Roundabout Theater Company and said that he had rarely seen an actor “so willing to self-immolate in pursuit of honesty,” wouldn’t talk about it either. “I respect her instrument and her process too intensely,” he said a few hours before I sat down with Ms. Bening. “I’m not going to out her.”
As Ms. Bening will tell you, privacy is important. It’s healthy. And didn’t I think, that today, in the time that we’re in, we all overshare a little bit and maybe we shouldn’t? “So forgive me,” she said.
I did. You would have, too. Because when Ms. Bening turns the full force of her attention and empathy on you, it’s as though she has switched on a pocket sun and good luck resisting.
Besides, those definite boundaries are probably why she can seem so totally exposed onstage and so unruffled as she nipped at a piece of toast, pink eyeglasses perched at the bridge of her nose, her hair, dyed mouse brown for the role, winging every which way.
Before she became a movie star, before she and Warren Beatty married and had four children, before she made her way back to Broadway after a 32-year breather, Ms. Bening was a classical actress. And then, as now, she was cerebral, uninhibited, electric.
“She was pretty much always pretty exciting,” said the actor Dylan Baker, who played opposite her in “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in 1980.
After her season in Colorado, she began studying for a master’s at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and then working in repertory on the West Coast and in the Rockies. In the mid ’80s she felt ready to move to New York and she booked a role in an Off Broadway comedy, Tina Howe’s “Coastal Disturbances.” The show transferred to Broadway, netting Ms. Bening her first Tony nomination. She played Holly, a love-thumped photographer who escapes to the beach and falls for a lifeguard, Leo.
“She brought so much intelligence and heart and whimsy,” Ms. Howe said, speaking by telephone. “She was transparent, you could see right through her skin into her emotions.”
X-ray her in an online clip, probably filmed for the Tony Awards broadcast, in which Holly rhapsodizes about dolphins and tides as Leo (an extremely tan Tim Daly) buries her from toes to chin in the sand. She remembered having to shower constantly. “But I just felt so lucky,” she recalled. “Lucky, you know?”
Mr. Daly, who now stars in “Madam Secretary,” remembered how sometimes he would get sand in her mouth. “But she was buried, right? So she couldn’t get up and punch me,” he said speaking by telephone. “Listen,” he said. “We were young, we were beautiful, we were sweaty, we were sandy, we were naked. It was an adventure.” (I checked this with Ms. Howe: “No, no, they were definitely NOT naked!” she wrote.)
Not long after, Ms. Bening went to Hollywood. From her breakout role in “The Grifters” through “Bugsy,” where she met her husband, and “Being Julia” and “The Kids Are All Right” and “20th Century Women” and “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” she has specialized in assertive, complicated women. Either no one ever told her that female characters don’t get to be that smart and that sexy at the same time or people did tell her and she ignored them.
I asked Ms. Howe, who remains a close friend, if she’d ever regretted Ms. Bening’s defection to the movies. “Not for a minute,” she said. “I admire her for taking on Hollywood and for doing it on her own terms.”
In Los Angeles, where no one notices theater, she kept at it — Chekhov, Ibsen, Ruth Draper’s monologues. In 2014, she returned to New York, in a humdrum “King Lear” for Shakespeare in the Park. She entertained offers from Broadway, too. But when her children were at home she could never get the timing right — even limited runs didn’t coincide with school breaks. She always passed.
The children grew up. And last year the director Gregory Mosher offered her Kate in “All My Sons.” (After a dispute regarding color-conscious casting, Mr. Mosher left the production; Mr. O’Brien replaced him before rehearsals began.) She took it.
“All My Sons,” is a play about responsibility, corruption and the nexus, as Ms. Bening put it, “between a booming economy and bloodshed.” Joe Keller, Kate’s husband, owns a factory that manufactured faulty cylinder heads during World War II. Those cylinder heads were shipped to Australia and welded to bombers. Twenty-one pilots died. Three years later, in 1947, with one son returned from the war, and another designated missing in action, Joe has been exonerated, but the question of his guilt remains. “The play is asking, are we just responsible to ourselves or are we responsible to the greater good?” Ms. Bening said. “That’s a deep political question.”
But her relationship to the play, which she first saw as a graduate student, is more personal. And here at least, she wanted to talk. During World War II, she said, Russell Ashley, one of her mother’s older brothers, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (he was too old for the American one) and deployed to India. “And he was killed because his plane had a mechanical failure,” she said. His body was never found. She has a photograph of her family shortly after. Her grandmother is 60 or 61 in the photo, the same age Ms. Bening is now. “There’s just this look on her face and there’s this —.” She let the rest of the sentence fall.
I asked what that meant for Kate and Ms. Bening evaded elegantly, describing unrelated sections of Miller’s autobiography, segueing somehow into “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Several colleagues mentioned what Mr. O’Brien called “this unmistakable quality of intelligence.” Yes.) She acknowledged that her own experiences as a mother had informed the role, but only in the most general terms. “It would be psychologically, physiologically impossible to be an actor and not use anything about your own experience,” she said. (Using “you” and “your” rather than “I” and “mine” is big with her.)
I would have liked to have heard about the particulars, about what in her life — not her mother’s life, not her grandmother’s — had helped her take a character like Kate, who on the page can seem frail, fragmentary, a midcentury desperate housewife, and make her into someone vivid, capacious. But she stopped talking about her own children years ago and very rarely discusses her marriage, though when she mentioned briefly how a shared vulnerability can create intense bonds between actors, it was hard not to think of Mr. Beatty.
She would speak a little about what she does before she steps onstage, like an exercise routine — swimming, the elliptical, yoga — that helps quiet what she calls “the mental chatter.” Even then, just before curtain, she can feel frightened, scared, exposed. But she has learned to say to herself: “Well, naturally you do. You’re standing in front of all of these people.”
Then she enters, giving a performance that seems on the one hand exactly calibrated and on the other as though she’s making it up as she goes along. Her co-star Benjamin Walker, who plays her son and has a 2-year-old of his own at home, said: “Being onstage with her is like being onstage with a toddler with a loaded handgun. You just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“She’s constantly surprising you because she’s working to surprise herself,” he added.
It has been a surprise, after so many years, to have again stepped away from the cameras, the microphones, the people always fiddling with her hair and makeup and clothes. “It’s just me standing on the stage with my feet on the ground, and with my fellow actors, listening, watching, responding,” she said. “That’s really freeing. Exhilarating.”
Does that mean she might find herself back on Broadway soon, that she might not wait 32 years this time? She wouldn’t really talk about that either. “It will depend,” she said.B:
2019黄大仙正规计划【浩】【土】【废】【墟】【之】【上】，【帝】【太】【一】【听】【闻】【着】【那】【青】【衣】【男】【子】【的】【姓】【名】，【顿】【时】【一】【愣】。 【而】【后】【目】【光】【一】【刺】。 【另】【外】【三】【大】【古】【族】【的】【首】【领】，【也】【是】【皱】【起】【了】【眉】【头】。 【萧】【义】【山】【与】【秦】【长】【生】【挑】【起】【了】【眉】【头】，【扭】【头】【细】【细】【打】【量】【起】【了】【那】【个】【青】【衣】【儒】【衫】【男】【子】。 “【有】【趣】！” 【薛】【天】【君】【抚】【摸】【着】【怀】【中】【的】【乳】【虎】，【嘴】【角】【裂】【开】【一】【丝】【笑】【容】。 “【竟】【然】【是】【你】！” 【虚】【空】【中】，【随】【之】【响】【起】
【就】【连】【杜】【幽】【自】【己】【都】【没】【想】【到】，【建】【立】【一】【个】【帝】【国】【的】【事】【情】【居】【然】【会】【那】【么】【多】。 【以】【前】【建】【立】【王】【国】【的】【时】【候】【明】【明】【没】【有】【那】【么】【多】【的】，【杜】【幽】【心】【中】【想】【到】。 【只】【是】【后】【来】【杜】【幽】【也】【明】【白】【了】，【建】【立】【王】【国】【的】【时】【候】，【毕】【竟】【都】【是】【在】【自】【己】【的】【领】【地】【之】【内】，【是】【自】【己】【的】【基】【本】【盘】。【不】【用】【做】【太】【大】【的】【改】【变】，【只】【要】【让】【自】【己】【的】【领】【民】【们】【同】【化】【就】【够】【了】。 【因】【此】，【当】【初】【的】【事】【情】，【只】【要】【沙】【莉】【雅】【一】
【安】【红】【咬】【了】【杜】【霖】，【听】【到】【一】【声】【心】【满】【意】【足】【的】【惨】【叫】【后】，【松】【开】【牙】【齿】，【却】【又】【趴】【在】【杜】【霖】【背】【上】【哭】【了】【一】【会】，【反】【倒】【是】【弄】【得】【杜】【霖】【气】【不】【得】、【笑】【不】【得】，【被】【对】【方】【软】【玉】【压】【身】，【一】【时】【有】【有】【些】【舍】【不】【得】【把】【对】【方】【顶】【下】【去】，【直】【到】【对】【方】【情】【绪】【渐】【渐】【平】【静】【下】【来】，【他】【才】【捂】【着】【满】【鼻】【子】【的】【血】，【瓮】【声】【瓮】【气】【地】【问】【对】【方】【自】【己】【能】【不】【能】【去】【洗】【个】【澡】。 【安】【红】【痛】【哭】【一】【场】，【压】【抑】【数】【月】【的】【情】【绪】【终】【于】【得】【到】2019黄大仙正规计划“【微】【臣】【生】【是】【南】【朝】【人】，【死】【亦】【为】【南】【朝】【人】！”【侯】【元】【白】【在】【萧】【誉】【面】【前】【咳】【得】【青】【筋】【暴】【起】，【倒】【显】【得】【萧】【誉】【咄】【咄】【逼】【人】，【不】【体】【贴】【病】【弱】【的】【臣】【子】。 【而】【这】【一】【幕】，【恰】【恰】【被】【端】【着】【药】【碗】【准】【备】【进】【屋】【的】【宋】【凉】【看】【到】。【只】【见】【她】【匆】【匆】【跑】【到】【侯】【元】【白】【床】【边】，【先】【放】【下】【药】【碗】【去】【为】【侯】【元】【白】【舒】【背】，【全】【然】【不】【顾】【萧】【誉】【在】【侧】，【一】【脸】【对】【侯】【元】【白】【的】【担】【忧】：“【元】【白】，【若】【是】【不】【舒】【服】【就】【先】【歇】【着】【吧】！【这】【家】
. “【懒】【猪】，【起】【床】【了】。” “【哦】……【知】【道】【啦】……” 【言】【墨】【森】【自】【从】【两】【家】【大】【人】【都】【知】【道】【他】【和】【苏】【层】【的】【关】【系】【后】，【就】【越】【发】【的】【明】【目】【张】【胆】【了】。 【每】【天】【早】【上】【六】【点】，【他】【都】【会】【准】【时】【给】【苏】【层】【打】【电】【话】，【让】【她】【起】【床】【和】【自】【己】【下】【去】【散】【步】【去】。 【起】【初】【苏】【层】【还】【是】【和】【以】【前】【一】【样】【每】【晚】【睡】【觉】【之】【前】【都】【静】【音】【的】，【可】【是】【言】【墨】【森】【偷】【偷】【地】【给】【她】【定】【了】【一】【个】【手】【机】【闹】【钟】，【并】【且】【还】
【宗】【政】【无】【情】，【我】【还】【真】【是】【小】【看】【了】【你】，【即】【便】【中】【了】【我】【的】【毒】，【你】【还】【是】【能】【用】【内】【力】【化】【开】【它】。 …… 【沈】【玉】【棠】【发】【现】【庄】【园】【里】【一】【时】【间】【突】【然】【多】【了】【好】【多】【人】，【心】【里】【疑】【惑】，【却】【没】【想】【到】。 【想】【问】【抓】【一】【个】【人】【问】【一】【下】，【但】【却】【又】【怕】【被】【人】【怀】【疑】。 【不】【过】【她】【陡】【然】【想】【到】【一】【个】【问】【题】。【就】【是】【所】【有】【人】【都】【在】【各】【自】【聚】【精】【会】【神】【找】【着】【什】【么】。【她】【为】【什】【么】【不】【趁】【这】【个】【机】【会】【的】【再】【次】【溜】【出】【去】
【这】【本】【书】【实】【在】【是】【扑】【的】【不】【行】【了】，【大】【家】【也】【知】【道】。【没】【办】【法】，【作】【者】【只】【能】【开】【新】【书】【了】。 【新】【书】【书】【名】：《【从】【超】【神】【学】【院】【开】【始】【的】【假】【面】【骑】【士】》 【简】【介】：【穿】【越】【到】【超】【神】【学】【院】【的】【世】【界】，【一】【个】【普】【通】【人】【在】【这】【危】【机】【四】【伏】【世】【界】【该】【如】【何】【生】【存】？ 【天】【使】、【恶】【魔】、【死】【神】、【兽】【族】【纷】【纷】【降】【临】【到】【这】【个】【世】【界】【上】，【将】【这】【和】【平】【安】【宁】【的】【世】【界】【化】【作】【诸】【神】【的】【战】【场】。 【幸】【好】，【得】【到】【了】【假】