PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Annie Potts

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Annie Potts
 
Actress Annie Potts, now starring in God of Carnage, trained in the stage arts, but she never got much chance to use it. A little thing called episodic television got in the way.
Annie Potts
Annie Potts

Following film successes in "Ghostbusters" and "Pretty in Pink," she took a job as one of the original stars of the long-running "Designing Women." When that ended in 1995, she jumped to "Love & War," then "Dangerous Minds," then "Any Day Now." It's only now, after three decades in the business, that she's finally getting to make her Broadway debut, as part of the new cast in the hit play God of Carnage. Potts talked to Playbill.com about the play, her career and her newly independent kids.

Playbill.com: This is your Broadway debut, right?
Annie Potts: It is.

Playbill.com: It took a while. Were you waiting around for the right project?
AP: Well, I was really ready to do it. I have been tangled up working on the West Coast. And I have three children. They finally got to an age where I felt I could leave them. Actually, an old friend of mine saw this play in the spring and wrote me and said, "Annie, you really should do that play." When I saw in the New York Times that they were turning the cast over, I just picked up the phone and called my agent and said, "Hey, I think I'd like to get in on that." I auditioned for Matthew Warchus and got it.

Playbill.com: Did you audition specifically for the role of Annette?
AP: I auditioned for both roles.

Playbill.com: Of the four characters in the play, it seems to me that Annette is the most difficult to get a bead on. Did you find her a challenge?
AP: Matthew is quite an extraordinary director. Any questions I had, he had lots of answers ready for. He had very specific ideas about her and I thought, "It's my job to flesh this out." Playbill.com: Is playing in front of a Broadway audience what you expected it would be?
AP: Yes. I think they're smart theatregoers and it's an awful lot of fun to play with the seasoned audience that knows what they like.

Playbill.com: Did you do a lot of theatre when you were starting out as an actress?
AP: I did. I trained in theatre. I got my BFA and all of that. I really didn't mean to do anything but theatre, but then I ended up to going to graduate school in California. The first three or four years in California, I didn't do anything else but theatre. Just by proximity, I started getting work in the Industry — a lot of it — and I've been very busy there. I did 17 straight seasons of episodic television, going from one series to the other. And I have three children. And you know children don't like you doing theatre much.

Playbill.com: No, they don't.
AP: You're gone on the weekends and you're gone at night, which is really the only time you have children. They're in school otherwise. Even with working long hours on hour dramas, I would at least be able to tuck them in. Now, the youngest is 14 and he was quite happy to get me out of the house.

Playbill.com: "Go ahead, Mom. Go to New York!"
AP: Please, go! I have another child who's a senior this year. I thought, "Oh my God, this is your last year at home and I'm going to leave?" And then I looked at the role and I said, "*$% it! I'm going." (Laughs) Thanks for the job, kid. You had me for 17 years. Mommy's got to go!"

Playbill.com: It's been rumored you're going to reprise your original role in the new "Ghostbusters 3" movie. Are you?
AP: You know, I think that rumors are flying around all over about that. I don't know what the boys [co-stars Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd and Harold Ramis] are up to. I would certainly love to participate, if that's going to happen. I hear there's sort of a script. I don't know if it's completed or not. It's all rumor.

Playbill.com: So, if you're part of it, you haven't heard it yet.

AP: If they shot it, I'm pretty sure I would've remembered it.

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