Honored to have been interviewed by Theater Times for their retrospective of the work (and life) of one of my favorite actors, Arye Gross. Having worked with Arye several times now, I have such respect for his process and his work.
Read the article here.
Here’s a tiny bit of it:
Gross has a solid reputation for giving clarity and empathy to such characters as Chekhov’s conflicted, century-old Uncle Vanya, as he did in a highly acclaimed 2015 Antaeus Theatre Company production directed by Robin Larsen.
“I’ve been challenged on this before but I stand by it,” said Larsen, who also directed Gross two years earlier in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. “The best actors are very smart, and Arye is incredibly smart. He’s wise, but he’s also incredibly well read. Both times we worked together he showed up having read as much as I had – or more. He comes in, full of insight from his wisdom and all the reading he’s done, and uses that as fuel.”
Director William Sachs recalled his 1984 audition for The Exterminator 2, a forgettable movie with the tiny part that became his film debut.
“He came in and read for me,” Sachs told a reporter. “He was talking like Marlon Brando, through his nose. It was fantastic, so I gave him the part. And when we did the scene, I said, ‘You’re not talking like you did in your reading!’ He said, ‘I had a cold.'”
Larsen shared a more recent instance.
“I don’t even know if he’d remember this,” she said, “but it really struck me and I feel like I’ll always remember this. During rehearsals for Mrs. Warren’s Profession he would show up with a new choice each day because he had been doing his homework and delving into the material. One day he was doing this scene and fussing with his shoe. He seemed preoccupied with his shoe and when the scene was over I said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s great. Let’s keep that. How did you come up with that?!’ And he looked at me kind of strangely and said, ‘Actually my shoe was just untied.’
“He always comes in with these choices,” she continued, “but he’s in the moment. He’s not stuck. There are actors out there who would come in and have to stop while they tied their shoe. Or else they make a choice and that becomes the choice, for ever and ever. He’s just not like that. He’s just at the top of his game.”