Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster Discuss Their 'Suggestive' Production of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster sat down with The Telegraph to discuss their upcoming roles in the Young Vic's A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. Anderson will be playing Southern belle Blanche DuBois and Foster will be playing her brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski. Set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Streetcar follows the tension between the two. The production opens July 23 and runs through September 19.
Foster is excited about the Young Vic's interpretation of the American classic and stated, "It's really a thrill. It's very scary in the best way. There's nowhere to hide."
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Anderson has always wanted to play the role of Blanche. She commented, "I wanted to come at this completely fresh. I've never studied the play, but I have always known I wanted to do it. I didn't really know why and now I do. I have completely fallen in love with Blanche and I was unprepared for that."
The Young Vic hopes to really expose the brutality of the Stanley and show the decent into madness which Blanche suffers. In order to do this, the production will take place in the round. The scene in which Stanley rapes Blanche will not be out in the open for the audience to witness. Foster stated, "We're not doing a full-on sex show. But it is suggestive and we're not hiding the violence"
Foster said that the play is a challenge because it was the template for a new kind of drama, a "power keg shift of culture" as he called it. He continued, "We've turned film into such an industry that we pursue naturalism just by shaking the camera, and cutting the film to ribbons to provoke a bogus sense of documentary. But we haven't done the homework. To push the depth that the Actor's Studio did or the Russian theatres did with their actors, is to rehearse, to spend time, to dig, to excavate. And that is what we are doing."
Williams' 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948. It opened on Broadway in 1947, helmed by Elia Kazanand starring Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy, who won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. A London production opened in 1949 with Bonar Colleano and Vivien Leigh, directed by Laurence Olivier. The 1951 film adaptation, also directed by kazan, won four Academy Awards.