By James Inverne
31 Jan 2005
Spacey himself has kept his options open, suggesting that he might just as happily go for an unknown as for a famous actress. Variety, however, says that Debra Messing “is reportedly in talks” to land the role played by Katherine Hepburn in the movie.
Messing is neither hugely famous in Britain nor an unknown. Her leading role as Grace Adler in the TV comedy “Will & Grace” has not made her a household name in the U.K. The series is not as popular as, say, “Friends” or “Frasier” in England, but Messing’s face will be familiar to many Brits.
Previous reports had pegged Laura Linney as the actress most likely to land the role, but Variety says that she is out of the race due to a scheduling conflict. If it is Messing who gets the part, she will be directed by Jerry Zaks, who, as previously reported, has already signed up to mount the May 3–July 23 run.
It’s the second show in which Spacey will act for his Old Vic company, and it rounds off a first season that has seen him as director (Cloaca), actor (National Anthems, which goes before the press on Feb. 8) and impresario (for Aladdin, starring Ian McKellen).