Nathan Lane is an excellent example of an actor who faces his fears, gets out of his comfort zone, and takes risks. If he wanted to, he could spend the rest of his career playing lovably hilarious characters in the world of musical theater. After all, who is better at playing the lead roles in The Producers of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum? (If you said "Zero Mostel," he's not alive any more - but I appreciate your input.)
In the last five years, Mr. Lane has been testing his limits as an actor, starring in such Broadway fare as David Mamet's November and Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Although both plays have humor, they also have great depth. Now, Lane is taking on one of the most difficult roles in American theater: Theodore "Hickey" Hickman from Eugene O'Neill's dark drama, The Iceman Cometh. This Chicago-based revival has been selling out its entire run, a clear sign that audiences are captivated by Lane's performance. But it wasn't easy for him to take on the role. During an interview with Playbill, Lane described the role to an actor's version of climbing Mt. Everest. It was something he had to do.
Considering the recent buzz that The Iceman Cometh might be Broadway bound, it seems taking a risk has paid off for Nathan Lane, at least this time around. What about you? Do you take risks as an actor or a director? Did things go well? Leave a comment and share your tale about taking an artistic risk.