PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Tony Nominee Billy Magnussen

By Matthew Blank
21 May 2013



Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: When I took an acting class in high school and realized a lot of attractive girls did also.
How you got your Equity card: The Ritz at Studio 54
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: (note where) Off-Broadway Deli. Usually a grilled chicken wrap and fruit.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Water? Or are we talking alcohol?
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Usually just bother everyone else in the cast until places.
Most challenging role you have ever played: I try to find a challenge in all my characters. Boy-scout answer, yes.
What has been the biggest challenge about this project? Holding onto the time I share with everyone here. We're nine months in on the whole project and the days just slip away faster and faster.
What has been the most fun or fulfilling aspect of this project? Getting to walk into the theatre everyday.
Was there much improv during the rehearsal process? Christopher Durang wrote such beautiful dialogue, why would I change his words? Moments, on the other hand were improv'd.
Do you have a favorite moment in the show for your character? During the reverse strip-tease the only reaction I can see is Kristine Nielsen's. Utter repulsion.
Who were the first people you called or texted after hearing of your nomination? My mom and dad. Then I talked to my agent Charles Bodner.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: I forgot my own character's name once.
Worst costume ever: The worse it is, the more I love it.
If you could trade roles with anyone in the cast for a week, who would it be? Kristine Nielsen
Who have you played on "Law & Order?" Which edition? A gay male prostitute in the regular "Law & Order" and a theatre star in SVU
Some favorite screen or commercial gigs: "Boardwalk Empire" was fun. And a Hallmark film, "The Lost Valentine." Never booked a commercial.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: Always, Stanley from Streetcar. And the Emcee from Cabaret, and Hamlet.
Leading lady role you'd like a shot at: Mother Courage, Juliet
Something about you that surprises people: Free spirit and a willingness to try anything once
Something you are incredibly proud of: See answer above
Something you're embarrassed to admit: I'm 28 and I still can't grow facial hair.
Career you would want if not a performer: Culinary Artist
Three things you can't live without: My family, my friends, Q-Tips
"I'll never understand why…" … there can't be more love and caring in the world.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Patience... and don't ever stop dreaming