As part of its Acting Class video series, the New York Times has published a how-to guide in smiling for your enemies—courtesy of Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon, the Tony-nominated stars of The Little Foxes. The two alternate in the roles of Regina and Birdie in the acclaimed revival.
“To me, the smile that Regina does in that moment is almost a perversion of a smile,” says Nixon, after offering a haunting beam. “It’s a smile of hate.”
“Particularly with a smile, it comes from whatever is happening underneath. If you’re too conscious about exactly what you’re doing at every moment, then it just becomes a mechanism and is not an extension of the self,” says Linney.
Watch the New York Times video below:
Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes is nominated for six Tony Awards: Best Revival of a Play, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Linney), Best Performance by an Actor in Featured Role (Richard Thomas), Best Performance by an Actress in Featured Role (Nixon), Best Costume Design of a Play (Jane Greenwood), and Best Direction (Daniel Sullivan).
Set in Alabama in 1900, The Little Foxes follows Southern belle Regina Giddens and her scheme to outwit her husband, the man standing in the way of her profit-making dreams.
Hellman’s play of greed and ambition began performances March 29 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, and has been extended through July 2.
Watch the trailer, featuring Nixon and Linney in both roles, below.