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EDITIONS
Breakfast with Frost
BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST
HOSTED BY GAVIN ESLER
INTERVIEW:
KYLE McLACHLAN
AUGUST 25TH, 2002


Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used
GAVIN ESLER:
Now, the Hollywood actor Kyle McLachlan, known for his roles in Twin Peaks and Sex in the City, is making his West End debut in the play On an Average Day. Kyle, who stars in the play alongside Woody Harrelson, better known for his role in Cheers and other things, is the latest in a long list of top tinsel-town celebrities who are apparently keen to tread the boards in London's theatre-land. The audiences seem to love it, lots of packed houses. But how easy is it for Hollywood actors to transfer their talents to the British theatre and why on earth do they take the risk? I'm joined in the studio, I'm pleased to say, by Kyle McLachlan. Welcome.

KYLE McLACHLAN:
Thank you Gavin, nice to be here.

GAVIN ESLER:
Great, a great play, great performances from you and Woody, I really enjoyed it. Saw it a couple of nights ago.

KYLE McLACHLAN:
Thank you very much. Yeah, it is a good play.

GAVIN ESLER:
An hour and a half, just the two of you, a lot of - two brothers, we should say, who haven't seen each other for 20 odd years.

KYLE McLACHLAN:
Right. Exactly.

GAVIN ESLER:
Tough play?

KYLE McLACHLAN:
A difficult play. Woody and I both agree that this is probably the most difficult thing we've ever tackled, and that includes everything, so we have been really up against it. But I've got to say the rewards are so amazing. I mean the audiences every night have been really forthcoming with their admiration for what we do and for the play, we feel like we're putting on something really special right now, so.

GAVIN ESLER:
I watched your faces at the curtain call a couple of nights ago and - well it's instant gratification for you, isn't it? You know you've done a good job.

KYLE McLACHLAN:
Sure. It does, it has that - that's one of the things that you miss, of course, when you're working on film or television unless it's live, is that immediate feedback. But it's not just as the end of the show, we get that, it's consistent through the performance - you really do feed off the energy and the emotion of the audience and each one is different, which of course gives the play it's variety and texture every night.

GAVIN ESLER:
Packed houses so far?

KYLE McLACHLAN:
Yeah, pretty close. The particular theatre we're in is, has some restricted view seats and so those are a little bit harder to sell, but by and large we're pretty close to selling out.

GAVIN ESLER:
So, I mean you talked a bit about the personal satisfaction well why do you do it? I mean it's obviously not the money.

KYLE McLACHLAN:
It's not the money (LAUGHS).

GAVIN ESLER:
Hollywood pay is better.

KYLE McLACHLAN:
That rumour gets around - it does pay a little bit better. It's a number of reasons I think, starting with I think the play, which I read when it was offered and thought it was just an amazing piece of writing by John Kolvenbach - a new writer. And then you add to that our director John Crowley, who is a wonderful associate director at the Donmar, who is doing his first film now, and then Woody Harrelson who is - we've become like brothers - I mean he, I can't say enough good things about him, he's an amazing person.

GAVIN ESLER:
Did you know him beforehand?

KYLE McLACHLAN:
No, I didn't know him before.

GAVIN ESLER:
Because you do, I mean I don't know, do you do brothers training? How does that, how does that work - how to play somebody's brother on stage?

KYLE McLACHLAN:
Well it comes about with the rehearsal process, which was incredibly enjoyable, which is what I love and what I miss so much about doing a film, is the day to day, you know, exploration of this material. And then just it's one of the things as an actor that you just, you open yourself up to another person in a way that you maybe wouldn't and you just really start to work off of them closely and you sort of let it all hang and out and say this is who I am, you know, and hopefully they do the same to you and you have a net for each other.

GAVIN ESLER:
It's difficult to explain without giving too much away but essentially the relationship with the brother, it's dysfunctional family, it is funny but it's very moving - the gear changes are quite testing too, I would think, on an actor.

KYLE McLACHLAN:
Yeah, they're very severe and challenging. And, and again, to the credit of the writer, John Kolvenbach, he has made things - a friend of mine came the other night who is a writer and he said "I didn't know it was possible to sort of laugh and be sad at the same time," you know, I didn't know you could do that as a writer and he has accomplished that.

GAVIN ESLER:
Is there a cache in Hollywood about appearing on the stage anywhere, and particularly the London stage?

KYLE McLACHLAN:
Oh I don't know, it's hard to say. Hollywood is it's own island, you know, they don't respond to anything but really what happens there. More than anything it's, it's, I think at least in my experience and I think I can speak for Woody as well, it's been a return to something that is almost primal, as an actor, especially if you started in the theatre. Coming back to, certainly what we as Americans look to as the Mecca, I think, of stage, which is the West End and London theatre in general. To be able to come and work here and do a play, and a successful play, a well-received play, is something that just fills you with such a sense of accomplishment and, and just a great feeling about your craft and what you do and that you have something to offer beyond just sort of standing and being, you know, put on film.

GAVIN ESLER:
It's risky though isn't it? I mean for all sorts of reasons - the play might bomb or they might not like you and, you know, you've got a reputation.

KYLE McLACHLAN:
Certainly this one, I mean this is not, this play has not been seen before. Other plays that have come here have been proven in New York or done before, this is a new play and never seen before, a two-hander, so there's really no one to blame but Woody or myself. So it was a big risk but I think we both felt so comfortable with the idea of doing it, at least upon the reading, that we both sort of, you know, threw our hats in.

GAVIN ESLER:
What's next for you, where do you plan to move on from here?

KYLE McLACHLAN:
Well I'm waiting to hear on something actually, which is - I'm in the middle of - there's a project that Miramax has about George Reeves, who was the first television Superman, and so we're sort of in the middle of a battle for that. They're not so sure, the directors are sure, I'm just hoping it works out in my favour.

GAVIN ESLER:
Fingers crossed. Well great play, very enjoyable performance. Kyle, nice speaking to you.

INTERVIEW ENDS
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