Tony Nominees of 2013 React: Including Tom Hanks, Nathan Lane, Diane Paulus, Rob McClure, Bertie Carvel, Judith Light, Keala Settle, Carolee Carmello, Andrea Martin, Pasek & Paul, Annaleigh Ashford and More

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30 Apr 2013

Lauren Ward in <i>Matilda</i>.
Lauren Ward in Matilda.
Photo by Manuel Harlan reached out to the 2013 Tony Award nominees on April 30, shortly after they learned that they were nominated for Broadway's biggest award. Here's what they had to say.

Read's full list of the 2013 Tony Award nominees here. Make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Tom Sturridge, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, (playing "Phillip") Orphans: "I feel an inexplicable mingling of disbelief and delight. It is an honor beyond words to be named alongside four such exceptional actors. Most of all I am so proud that the immense hard work and talent of every single person involved with Orphans has been recognized with the production being nominated for Best Revival. A very beautiful day."

Dennis Kelly, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, Matilda The Musical: I was in a local café having a coffee and a very sort of fatty sandwich, and Jackie from the press office called up and told us. I was pleased. I mean, I was quietly pleased because it was a very small café, and it doesn't do to go around shouting, "Oh my God, I've been nominated for a Tony." [Laughs.] But it was nice. It was not something I ever really expected. It's… To be honest with you, even having a production on Broadway is a bizarre and far-off thing for me. I never really expected something like that. It's not somewhere I thought I'd be, so it's an amazing sort of thing, and to be nominated for a Tony, it's crazy really.

Lauren Ward, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (playing "Miss Honey"), Matilda The Musical: I do kind of live in a box, which I always tell people because I'm so busy with my kids all the time, that I was actually doing my school run, then I went into a school meeting because my daughter is transitioning to fourth grade and had my phone on vibrate... I saw all these texts saying, "Congratulations," and I was like, "Oh, yes… The Tony nominations must have come out," and I thought we must have done well, so I would quietly text back saying, "Oh great, we must have done pretty well." And, they were like, "Yeah, you did really well, and you got a nomination," and I was like, "Really?" [Laughs.] Sort of quietly surprised, but I couldn't quite deal with it until about 10:30 AM because I had to finish being in this meeting at the school. It's just lovely for me. It's been great just coming back to New York after being away so much for such a long time, and it means a great deal to even come back with this show. I love playing this part, so the fact that it was recognized in this fashion is just icing on the cake for me. It's really a lovely homecoming. I feel very flattered and very blessed.

Shalita Grant, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, (playing Cassandra) Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: So my publicist went to the Actors' Fund Gala last night. We briefly talked about it, but from how she talked about it, I just kind of figured she knew something that I didn't, and she didn't want to let me down, so I was like, "Alright, this isn't going to happen!" So I went out last night and partied to 3-something in the morning, and right after we left, she texted me and was like, "I'll call you in the morning if it's a personal nomination. I'll email you if it's for the show." Cool. So 8-something this morning—my alarm was set for 10:30 AM —I got a phone call, and it's Lisa, and I'm like, "Why is this girl calling me? She told me she was going to email me." I answer the phone, and she's losing her mind. She was like, "Are you asleep?" I was like, "Yeah." She was like, "Wake up! You've got stuff to do. Get up. You've got five minutes. You've got to call all these people." I think it took me a while to wake up, you know, like I did a bunch of sleepy interviews. [Laughs.] I think I've been on the same spot on my couch since 8:45. [Laughs.] I don't know, man. I'm just like, "Dude." I looked at the full list. I didn't even know who was nominated from my show. I had no idea—like being shot out of a cannon. I'm just so honored to be a part of such a great, talented group of people. To be included in that is such out-of-this-world validation, man. It's just incredible. I'm still dealing, like part of me… My blinds aren't even open yet. I don't even know if this is actually happening, but man, if it is, this is the best life ever. [Laughs.]

Rob McClure as Chaplin.
photo by Joan Marcus

Nicholas Martin, Best Direction of a Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: I couldn't be more surprised… I slept til noon on purpose. I drugged myself, so that I didn't have to worry about phones ringing or not ringing, and then I woke up, and there were 62 calls between my messages and emails, so I knew something good had happened. When you're my age—I'm going to be 75—I gave up waiting a long, long time ago, and I didn't want to get swept up in the sleepless nights and so forth, and who deserved what and so forth. It's just a great thing to happen, and particularly at this age, where, you know, you're sort of ending things and trying to do it in a good way.

Rob McClure, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (playing "Charlie Chaplin"), Chaplin: My wife and I were watching the live streaming in our house in Philadelphia, and the honest version of the story—I was sitting there, and they said my name, and my wife gasped, and I said, "Holy sh*t!" And, my phone—I got a text message, and my phone went, "Bling!"—and I looked and it was a text from my mother that said, "Holy sh*t!" I was sort of very ecstatic, but the message that actually sent me over the edge... I go back to my old high school a lot to help with their theatre program whenever I can—it's the New Milford High School in New Jersey—and I had just gone back to do the lighting for their production of Spelling Bee in March. I just went and did the lights for them, and I got a text from a group of those kids, who said that they had just heard the entire school erupt because they were all in their Period 1 classes watching the nominations come out live. And, that's what sent me over. I was in a happy place, and then I was a big puddle mess! [Laughs.] I've been overwhelmed all morning from the love and support from my family and my friends. It just keeps coming, and I can't even keep up with it. It's trying to send the love back as much as I'm getting it. It's overwhelming! [Laughs.] When I look back at the time playing Chaplin, there are so many people and so much work—starting with Chris Curtis and then to La Jolla Playhouse, and the among of nurturing they gave to that piece, and then giving to the Broadway team and the creative team and the casts along the way… To be the representative of that work and those people is a real honor for me. I not only love those people, but I admire them, and I admire their work, so to be the one representing us is such a treat—to be an advocate for the work that was done and the love in that building, it's overwhelming. It really is.

Andy Blankenbuehler, Best Choreography, Bring It On: The Musical: I was so thrilled. I mean, Bring It On has been really important to me, and it's been a really heartfelt investment, so it was great to have my work recognized, but really, importantly, to have the show recognized as Best Musial. I just felt so thrilled for the whole company and whole creative team. It feels really good. It's not that I'm going out there to break ground or anything, but I like to say things in original ways, and the fact that we brought a cheerleading world—a whole new world of young people—to the stage, and people have remembered its impact, and also that the very language of the show became about movement was really important to me, and it means a lot to me that people are having faith, not only in the work, but in the belief that dance can continue to generate emotion, so it means a lot to me.


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