Ted Sod, Roundabout’s Education Dramaturg, sat down with actor Matthew Rhys to discuss Look Back in Anger and his role as the iconic Jimmy Porter.
Ted Sod: Why did you choose to play the role of Jimmy Porter?
Matthew Rhys: Look Back in Anger was instrumental in me choosing to be an actor. I’ve been slightly obsessed with this play since I was a very young boy when I saw Richard Burton in the film version. Consequently, it’s always been an enormous ambition of mine to play the part.
TS: Jimmy seems to be a character that wasn’t seen on British stages prior to 1956.
MR: Obviously, I wasn’t around when it premiered, but we are all privy to the play’s impact. There are people I’ve worked with who remember seeing Jimmy on stage for the first time and certainly felt the impact it had at that time. Sometimes, when the play is revived, the pressing question becomes how relevant is it? There are still great elements of the play that are incredibly relevant I think. And that’s why the play means so much to me; I can relate to Jimmy so easily.
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2011-2012 Season, Education @ Roundabout, Look Back in Anger, Upstage