This summer, the Public Theatre, in New York, is putting on Shakespeare’s history play “Richard II.” Because most theatre was cancelled, even outdoors, due to the pandemic, the Public partnered with WNYC to bring the show to the radio. The production stars André Holland as the weak, indecisive king who faces a rebellion by his cousin, Bolingbroke. Richard is not a “bad dude,” Holland says, but a man doing the best he can in a situation he cannot manage. The theatre critic Vinson Cunningham spoke with Holland about performing Shakespeare as a Black actor and his concerns about taking on the role of King Richard: What would a Black man playing the failed leader convey to an audience? Holland also explains why he thinks that Black actors are particularly suited to inhabiting the language of Shakespeare.
Growing up in Alabama, André Holland's parents were voting rights activists and his father was a preacher. Holland is best known for his roles in 'Moonlight' and 'Castle Rock.' Next week he'll star in a radio version of Shakespeare's 'Richard II,' a co-production of WNYC and The Public Theater. Holland spoke with Terry Gross in 2018. John Powers reviews the action movie 'The Old Guard' starring Charlize Theron.
The Eddy's André Holland bought an historic theater in his hometown of Bessemer, Alabama in 2017. Holland joins the Reckon Interview to discuss parallels to his character in the new Netflix drama, how the steel community shaped him, the importance of James Baldwin, and shares some news about upcoming projects.
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A previous version of this podcast had the incorrect audio. This has been fixed.The 'Moonlight' actor now stars as a death row lawyer on the Hulu series 'Castle Rock.' He's also played a surgeon facing racial discrimination in 'The Knick,' and civil rights leader Andrew Young in 'Selma.' He says many of the characters he plays are wrestling with "that question of identity and where they fit." Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Andy Biskin's 'Songs From The Alan Lomax Collection.'Kevin Kwan thought the screen adaptation of his bestselling novel 'Crazy Rich Asians' might be a small independent film — instead it's been hailed as a groundbreaking moment for Hollywood casting. He tells Terry Gross about his upbringing in Singapore and how it inspired the book.