Brian Dennehy Talks About Acting Nightly with "An Electrical Storm"

Tony Awards   Brian Dennehy Talks About Acting Nightly with "An Electrical Storm" "She's like a force of nature, she's like an electric storm," said 2003 Tony Award nominee Brian Dennehy, talking about his Long Day's Journey Into Night co-star Vanessa Redgrave, who is also nominated for a Tony this year.

"Vanessa has found some of the violence and passion in the play," said Dennehy, who won a Tony Award in 1999 for his performance as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. "You have to be ready to protect yourself at all times. She's strong! She whacks the hell out of me and she whacks the hell out of Bobby Leonard. There're a couple of sequences you have to watch out for." Dennehy was referring, in part, to an Act One moment when Redgrave's Mary Tyrone, who has been waiting patiently for Dennehy's James Tyrone to come in for lunch, flies through the kitchen door and begins suddenly beating James about the chest and face in a fury.

"She's so alive and so in the moment, you never know what she's going to do," Dennehy said. "It changes a lot. She's amazing. I've done this play before, and I remember saying when it was over, you've got to have a Mary Tyrone that picks up the theatre, shakes it and puts it back down. And that's what she does. And everybody's better because of her."

Robert Falls, another Tony nominee, directed the work. The show's other two major players, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert Sean Leonard, have been nominated in the Featured Actor in a Play category.