PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Tony Nominee Carrie Coon

By Matthew Blank
28 May 2013

What are some of your most memorable roles as a kid or teenager and how old were you? My first role was Emily in Our Town my senior year in high school.
First stage kiss: A peck on the lips during that aforementioned production of Our Town, at the end of the wedding scene.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: When I saw kids my age performing in Babes in Toyland at the Akron Civic Theater when I was ten years old.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Chicken Pad Thai (medium spicy) at Olieng Thai on 10th Ave. between 45th and 46th. It's perfect.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Completely depends on the demands of the show. I did not drink alcohol before Virginia Woolf.
Most challenging role you have ever played: Una in Blackbird by David Harrower
Did any particular research or preparation go into your unforgettable performance? I spent a lot of time alone in my apartment in a slip and heels doing my hair, putting on make-up, nipping a little brandy, listening to music from the 50's and 60's, making a grocery list.
What was the biggest challenge about Woolf? Finding the balance of humor and pathos while trying not to act drunk badly.
What was the most fun or fulfilling aspect? Working with Amy Morton, Tracy Letts, Madison Dirks and Pam MacKinnon
Did you have a favorite moment in the show for Honey? When I danced like the wind. Try it once a day for a week. It might change your life.
Who were the first people you called/texted/emailed after learning of your Tony nomination? They all called/texted/emailed ME! My manager, and then my mom.
Any ideas/hints about your Tony night wardrobe? I will be clothed.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Face-plant off of a library ladder on opening night of Misalliance at the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI. The audience applauded my rising curtsy because they were pretty sure I was dead.
Worst job you ever had: I cold-called automobile scrapyards for my uncle and tried to sell them a new software system. I didn't know anything about the software, cars or scrapyards. Or sales. The company was dissolved, but I can't take full responsibility for that.
Craziest audition story: When I was auditioning to do motion capture work at a video game company, they asked me to pretend I was "a creature with like, no spine, and club this body to death. And sniff at it. Stuff like that."

I did end up doing some creature work in my tenure there, but I was mostly just kidnapped and shot.

Any upcoming or current projects you can talk about? Does possibly cleaning your house count as a project? Just kidding. I've got some irons in the fire. Things are going pretty well so far, and I'm excited to see what happens next.
Leading man role you'd like a shot at: I think Richard III is really tricky. I did a workshop at Steppenwolf with Rob Clare, formerly of the RSC and the National, and watching him work with an actor on the opening speech fascinated me. Or maybe a new play about Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Something about you that surprises people: That I'm a big jock
Career you would want if not a performer: A linguist or an archeologist
Three things you can't live without: Reading material, tennis shoes, the woods
"I'll never understand why…" … an audience would applaud an actor's entrance. An entrance is really important to the rhythm of a scene. The person isn't entering but a character is, and applause arrests the story. Maybe I will feel differently if I ever actually get entrance applause. And now that I've answered this question, I most certainly will not.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Save your money. You don't want your economic situation to limit your artistic choices.