Lily Rabe on Swamp Creatures, Choosing Shakespeare Over "The Hunger Games" and Avoiding Spoilers

By Carey Purcell
15 Jun 2014

Lily Rabe
Lily Rabe
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Playbill.com catches up with Tony nominee Lily Rabe, as she returns to Shakespeare in the Park to star as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

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It's impossible to be bored while talking with Lily Rabe. The ubiquitous actress, who has starred in productions on and Off-Broadway, as well as numerous roles on the small and big screen, has a unique and varied resume that ranges from modern-day horror to some of the most classic theatre.

Rabe, who is currently starring as Beatrice in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing, is no stranger to the Bard's works, having also starred in The Merchant of Venice (and earning a Tony nomination when the play moved to Broadway) and as Rosalind in As You Like It. Her Broadway credits also include Seminar, The American Plan, Heartbreak House and Steel Magnolias.



On the small screen, Rabe has three different roles on Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Story" under her belt — Nora Montgomery in "Murder House," Sister Mary Eunice in "Asylum" and Misty Day in "Coven" — as well as "The Good Wife" and the films "Mona Lisa Smile" and "All Good Things." She will also appear on the new TV show "The Whispers," which will air on ABC.

Rabe took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with Playbill.com about Shakespeare, modern-day romance and why Stevie Nicks is like a fairy. 

You're returning to Shakespeare in the Park — and this time as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. She's such a wonderful character; tell me about playing her.
Lily Rabe: The play is so incredible. Working on these plays, I've found as I'm working on each one, you think, "Oh, this is really my favorite one." I'm still having that experience with Much Ado, and I'm sure I'll feel that way about many more of his plays, if I'm lucky enough to get to do them. It really is a great one. Everything is in it. 

It's such a privilege to get to play a woman like that — to get to say the words that she says. I felt that way about Portia and Rosalind. You think, "How did he dream her up?" She's so amazingly contemporary in so many ways. It's staggering. And their relationship is so contemporary. There's just nothing about that relationship that doesn't feel absolutely relevant and accessible and so truthful on every level. Nothing about it really feels old-fashioned. The way people sleep with each other or don't sleep with each other is different, but other than that it's kind of staggering.

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