By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
17 May 2011
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
Bedford, who has received seven Tony nominations throughout his career, winning in 1971 for his performance in The School for Wives, explained, "It's happened to me a few times, you know, but it never stops being absolutely thrilling, and, of course, it is particularly thrilling, this one, because this is my baby. I directed it, and gave myself a very good part in it," he said with a laugh. "We started out, as you know, quite modestly in Canada, at Stratford, Ontario, and here we are at the top of the hill, which is what the Tonys really amounts to, don't you think?"
Like some famous male performers before him, Bedford plays the imperious British matron Lady Augusta Bracknell, who is one of several mouthpieces conveying Oscar Wilde's satiric ideas about romance, social standing and manners.
Bedford said the biggest challenge of his latest theatrical endeavor is "this crazy thing of directing the play that you are also acting in, and that is always a challenge. The challenge was increased here because of playing a woman, which I have never done before, and actually that was part of how interesting it was for me because I really did, right from the get-go, I thought quite seriously, 'This is a very interesting challenge to play a woman.' I didn't think, 'Oh, this will be fabulous to get into a frock and camp around,' or anything like that. I just thought this is a very, very interesting and different thing for me to try and do, so that was my approach all along.
|photo by Joan Marcus|
When told he is walking that tightrope in the 1895 comedy of manners extremely well, the award-winning actor said, "Well, seemingly, and that's the gratifying thing. And this Tony nomination seems to say, 'We think you were doing it right.'"
The Importance of Being Earnest continues through July 3 at Broadway's American Airlines Theatre.
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