James Earl Jones Talks CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF & Why He Loves Commericials with U.K.'s Guardian

James Earl Jones, one of the most internationally celebrated stars of all time, fancies himself a "journeyman actor."  In a recent interview with the U.K.'s Guardian, Jones, who is preparing to open Tennessee William's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in the West End, says that he is content to "muddle along" anonymously.  "Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford, Tom Cruise: those guys have well-planned careers. I'm just on a journey. Wherever I run across a job, I say, 'OK, I'll do that...I love doing commercials! Usually, they have enough money that they can take time and photograph it well. I'd like to film a British commercial; they're better than American ones." 

At least we know he isn't a diva.  Or close-mindeD. Jones, who opened Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre on 21 November, was not intimidated to take on the role of Big Daddy traditional played by a Caucasian actor.  Says the star, "I am a redneck, too. I am a Mississippi farm person. I can be foul-mouthed, I can be inarticulate. It's just that my neck doesn't get red. I've always felt that I understood Big Daddy more than the average northern-American Caucasian actor."

To read Jone's full interview with the Guardian, click here.

Following its sold-out run on Broadway, the explosive 2008 production of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning classic CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF will be opening in London's West End in December this year. Featuring a dynamic all-star cast led by Academy Award® nominee and two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones, Tony Award® winner Phylicia Rashad, Olivier Award winner Adrian Lester and Tony Award® nominee Sanaa Lathan.

Directed by renowned Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award winning actor, director and choreographer Debbie Allen, who is best known for playing Lydia Grant in the original film and television series of "Fame".

James Earl Jones made his West End debut in 1978 as the star of the Broadway transfer of Paul Robeson (one-man show). He won Tony Awards for ‘Best Actor' for his performances in August Wilson's "Fences" and "The Great White Hope"; he was also nominated for a Tony for his role in the revival of "On Golden Pond". His other Broadway credits include "Master Harold and the Boys", "Of Mice and Men" and "The Iceman Cometh". Phylicia Rashad starred in the Broadway production of "August: Osage County" and won a Tony Award as ‘Best Actress' for her role in "A Raisin in the Sun". A two-time Emmy Award nominee, she is most famous for her role as ‘Clair Huxtable' in "The Cosby Show". Adrian Lester is best known for playing con-artist ‘Mickey Bricks' in "Hustle". His stage work includes an Olivier Award-winning performance in "Company", "Hamlet", "Henry V" and "As You Like It". His films include "Primary Colors" and "Love's Labour's Lost". Sanaa Lathan played ‘Michelle Landau' in the television series "Nip/Tuck" and her many film roles include starring opposite Denzel Washington in "Out of Time" and Omar Epps in "Love & Basketball". She also starred in the Broadway production of "A Raisin in the Sun" for which she received a Tony Award nomination for ‘Best Performance by a Featured Actress'. Debbie Allen, two-time Tony Award nominee, made her Broadway debut in the 1970 production of "Purlie". The acclaimed actor of stage and screen moved behind the camera to direct and produce in the 1980s. While still a cast member of "Fame" she became the first African American woman hired by a television network as a director in prime time. Allen has directed television and film including "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" featuring Will Smith, "A Different World", "Girlfriends", "The Jamie Foxx Show", and "Family Ties". For over a decade, Allen has written, choreographed and directed commissioned theatre productions annually for The Kennedy Center. In her Broadway Directorial debut, Allen led the 2008 revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof".

In CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, a powerful Southern family gathers at a birthday celebration for patriarch Big Daddy (Jones), who does not know that he is dying of cancer. In a scramble to secure their part of his estate, family members hide the truth about his diagnosis from him and Big Mama (Rashad). Tensions mount between alcoholic former football hero Brick (Lester) and his beautiful but sexually frustrated wife Maggie "The cat" (Sanaa). As their troubled relationship comes to a stormy and steamy climax, a shockwave of secrets is finally revealed.

Brimming with trademark emotional intensity and insightful wit, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF is an American treasure. Don't miss this bold new staging of Tennessee Williams' rich and timeless family portrait.

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF will play a strictly limited season at the Novello Theatre from Tuesday 1 December, following previews from 21 November, only until Saturday 10 April 2010.

Performances will be Mon - Sat at 7.30pm, with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2.30pm.

Tickets, priced from £10.00 - £49.50, are available from the Novello Theatre Box Office on 0844 482 5170 or by visiting www.catwestend.com.


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