Stage and Screen Actor Tom Hardy Will Star in Goodman's Long Red Road

News   Stage and Screen Actor Tom Hardy Will Star in Goodman's Long Red Road Director Philip Seymour Hoffman begins rehearsals on Jan. 11 for Goodman Theatre's world-premiere production of The Long Red Road by Brett C. Leonard. The staging features acclaimed London stage and screen star Tom Hardy, making his U.S. stage debut.
Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy

Performances will play Feb. 13-March 14 in the Goodman's Owen Theatre in Chicago. The troupe also includes Marcos Akiaten, Greta Honold, Chris McGarry, Fiona Robert and Katy Sullivan. Opening night is Feb. 22.

Hardy ("Blackhawk Down," "Band of Brothers," "Star Trek: Nemesis") will play "the complex central role of Sam — a character the playwright penned specifically with Hardy in mind — whose hard-drinking does little to quell the devastating memories of a past that haunts him," according to Goodman notes.

"Philip and I are extremely excited about premiering this play at the Goodman, about the terrific cast and design team and especially thrilled and thankful that Equity has enabled Tom to make his Chicago and U.S. stage debut," said playwright Leonard. "He's a brilliant actor, one of the best there is. I sat down to write this play with him in mind. I'm happy it all worked out."

Hoffman, who makes his Chicago directorial debut with The Long Red Road, said, "To be in Chicago directing Brett Leonard's heartbreaking play under the guidance of Bob Falls is beyond exciting and daunting and wonderful. I'm grateful everyone at the Goodman made it possible for Tom to jump the pond and be with us. Chris, and Greta and Fiona and Marcos and Katy — all incredibly gifted actors — round out a cast that this play deserves and demands."

The Long Red Road "is a raw and provocative new play about how one person's anguish can tear a family apart," according to Goodman notes. "Sam attempts to drink away his past and exorcise his demons on an Indian reservation in South Dakota, where he has been trying to forget his role in a tragic accident with his family. When a visitor from his past arrives on the reservation, Sam is forced to face his guilt — and take a harrowing look at the man he has become." Hardy's London stage credits include Blood and In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings at the Royal Court Theatre and New Hampstead Theatre, for which he received the London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer and a nomination for The Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Other stage credits include The Man of Mode (National Theatre), Festen (Almeida) and Roger and Vanessa (Latchmere).

His film and television credits include the roles of Heathcliff and Bill Sykes in the Masterpiece Classic retellings of "Wuthering Heights" and "Oliver Twist," Guy Ritchie's "RocknRolla," "The Take," "The Virgin Queen," "Layer Cake," "Thick as Thieves," "Blackhawk Down," "Band of Brothers," "Scenes of a Sexual Nature," "Colditz," "Gideon's Daughter," "Sucker Punch," "Minotaur," "Star Trek: Nemesis," "Cape Wrath" and his BAFTA Best Actor-nominated titular performance in "Stuart: A Life Backwards." His highly acclaimed performance as Charlie Bronson in Nicolas Winding Refn's "Bronson" won him Best Actor honors at this year's British Independent Film Awards, as well as a London Critics' Circle nomination for British Actor of the Year. Hardy is co-artistic director (with Brett C. Leonard and Kelly Marcel) of the newly formed Bad Dog Theatre Company in London.

Hardy's upcoming films include starring roles in "Warrior" with Nick Nolte, Christopher Nolan's "Inception" and George Miller's latest addition to the "Mad Max" franchise, "Fury Road."

Leonard first encountered Hardy in 2004 at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Almost immediately, the two began to forge a number of artistic partnerships — including staged readings, full productions, a theatre company, as well as an upcoming film for Lionsgate, The Other. Leonard's collaboration with Hoffman stemmed from their association with New York's famed LAByrinth Theater Company. The Long Red Road was initially developed through LAByrinth's "Summer Intensive," which brings artists together in a rural setting to develop new plays.

Hoffman's theatre directing credits include the world premieres of The Little Flower of East Orange, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Our Lady of 121st Street, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train and In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings, all written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and produced by LAByrinth. As an actor, Hoffman's theatre credits include Jack Goes Boating (The Public Theater), Long Day's Journey Into Night (Broadway), The Seagull (The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival), True West (Broadway) and more. Hoffman will next be seen in the film version of Jack Goes Boating, which he also directed. Recent film credits include "Pirate Radio," "Synecdoche, NY," "Doubt," "The Savages," "Charlie Wilson's War," "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" and "Capote."

Tickets to The Long Red Road are currently on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org, at the box office (170 North Dearborn) or by phone at (312) 443-3800.

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