"Now is not the time to faint," Audra McDonald says she thought to herself when she won her first Tony Award. "I'm a fainter. I faint a lot."
Five additional Tonys later, on her recent appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, the performer recounts the antics of that first awards ceremony, at which she took home the trophy for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Carrie Pipperidge in the 1994 revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel.
McDonald is a current Tony nominee for the 2019 revival of Terrence McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. The two-hander, which co-starred Michael Shannon, is also nominated for Best Revival of a Play.
McDonald goes on to share (to our relief) that she didn't faint when she saw Carol Channing smiling in the first row: "Carol Channing is my Xanax." As well as the upcoming Tony Awards, McDonald and Meyers discuss CBS' The Good Fight, her work with the non-profit Covenant House, and the time she met Aretha Franklin. (She'll soon be seen as Franklin's mother in the Jennifer Hudson-led biopic Respect. Watch the trailer here.)