It’s been ten years since Jeff Daniels played a father on Broadway—in God of Carnage—and even then, it was to a child who never entered the stage. As Atticus Finch in the new Broadway play To Kill a Mockingbird, currently running at the Shubert Theatre, Daniels takes on one of America’s most beloved patriarchs.
While audiences may not be used to seeing Daniels play the dad, the two-time Tony-nominated actor (and real-life dad) says he's comfortable slipping that hat on. But moreso than his own experiences as a father, Daniels feels there is one thing that truly makes Mockingbird work: Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher.
“As a director he paints and then you see him move people around,” says Daniels. “The good directors like Bart think of things you never would have, choices or things to try,” he says, “and for me that's the mark of a great director.”
Hear more of Daniels’ insights in the video above, plus more from the full cast, including Celia Keenan-Bolger, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and more in the video below.
And, if you’re wondering whether or not you should reread Harper Lee’s novel—on which the play is based—Playbill asked the Broadway cast to weigh in on that, here.