Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Welcome to Building Character, TDF’s ongoing series about actors and how they create their roles.
When we first meet Elling, the title character in the Broadway play now at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, he’s hiding in a wardrobe. From his roommate. In a mental hospital.
His behavior is just as quirky in the outside world: Somewhere between his disastrous attempt to order pizza and his decision to hide original poems in boxes of sauerkraut, it becomes clear that Elling is not like other guys.
Yet there is something familiar about him. Elling charms because Elling, his roommate Kjell, and their pregnant neighbor Reidun are strange people facing everyday problems. When they’re ordering in a restaurant and there’s no more soup, they don’t just get disappointed: They have a conniption fit. We can laugh at them because we recognize our own tendency to turn small nuisances into global news.
Of course, getting us to laugh is delicate work. “This play is a tightrope,” says Denis O’Hare, who plays Elling. “It has a very narrow shelf you can exist on. If we are too casual about these guys, then we don’t pay homage to their unique circumstance. You kind of go, ‘Well, why is he in an asylum? He looks like a normal Joe.’ But if we go in the direction of making them too mentally ill, the audience won’t laugh because you’re not going to make fun of someone you feel is ill.”
Wondering what to get me for the holidays this year? Here’s the perfect gift: Queen Sophie-Anne’s mansion from “True Blood.” The gorgeously ornate house with ocean views is easily my favorite set on the show because of its old-world decadence. And now the actual house is for sale. Sadly, the abode isn’t in Louisiana—it’s in Malibu—and it costs a pretty penny. Seventy-five million dollars to be exact. But hey, I’m worth it, right? Plus, the 20,000 square foot house comes complete with an indoor pool where I could swim laps and a lion sculpture found at the base of Mount Vesuvius. Now just get me Queen Sophie-Anne’s wardrobe and her ability to never age, and we’ll be good to go. [NY Post]
The Skinny: How much does a Hollywood set cost? Well, if it's located on almost eight prime acres in Malibu and features 13 beds and 14 baths, quite a bit. Tack on the fact that it appeared in such modern cinema classics as Funny People, I Love You Man, and HBO's blood-sucking extravaganza, True Blood, and we're talking seriously expensive. At $75M, the listing was almost guaranteed to make that familiar sideways claim: "Considered by many to be one of the great estates in the world." On stats alone, this place has got the goods: 20,000 square feet, panoramic views of the Pacific, "saline and ozone" infinity pool, a massive greenhouse, and a 2,500-year-old lion found at the base of Mount Vesuvius. Er, yeah, in case the price tag wasn't a tip-off, this place is yet another temple to maximalism. Is it possible to spend $75M on a home and not get a bit too much?
· 26848 Pacific Highway [Chris Cortazzo - ColdwellBanker]
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