Nina Arianda: A Star Is Born

PlayBlog   Nina Arianda: A Star Is Born
People who are inclined to call Nina Arianda an overnight star because of her breakthrough performance in David Ives' Venus in Fur should know that she has no problem admitting she has been taking acting lessons for 20 of her 25 years.

A May 2009 graduate from NYU, she says this is her first show out of grad school, and she got it by simply walking into director Walter Bobbie's office and auditioning for the part. Of course, that's the situation she is pretty much playing in Venus in Fur for Classic Stage Company — a novice actress auditioning for an adapter-director (Wes Bentley of "American Beauty").

"She's just like the character in the play," Bobbie admits. "She has no resume." But the talent was there, and it took a self-effacing co-star to underline her performance.

"You can't direct her alone," Bobbie says. "Wes is so good in that role because, in many ways, she's the goddess and he's the mortal. His making her feel safe, allowing her to go where they both go emotionally and sexually, is a great act of trust. I think they adored working together. He's incredibly generous in letting her just tear up the stage."

"She's going to be a great big star," predicts a beaming Ives. "She's Young Streep."

— Harry Haun

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