Vulture's Alex Morris brings us this supremely entertaining interview featuring Nathan Lane, John Slattery, and John Goodman, the star's of this year's revival of The Front Page.
Two stars of The Front Page, Nathan Lane and John Slattery, are in the back room of a Chelsea Italian joint waiting for a third, John Goodman. “He was in a car right behind us,” Lane says before shrugging, ordering a Chardonnay, and settling in to reminisce with Slattery about a play, The Lisbon Traviata, that they did together back in 1989. “Nathan was the toast of the town — I mean, it was a hilarious part,” says Slattery. “And I was naked. I made my New York theater debut naked. It was horrifying.” Soon, the pair — now joined at dinner by Goodman, who’s had a preprandial smoke — will again team up and begin rehearsals for their revival of The Front Page, a 1928 play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur about a band of salty newspapermen waiting for a hanging, reveling in gallows humor, and making up headlines as they go.
Nathan Lane: I’m the one who sort of got this going. [Producer] Scott Rudin said, “Is there a play you’d like to do?” and I suggested The Front Page. It’s a classic American comedy of the 20th century — some people say the American comedy. As Tennessee Williams famously said, “It was the play that uncorseted the American theater,” because it was rather profane and outrageous for 1928. It’s also the Rosetta stone of plays about newspapers. And the media today still feels like, “Oh yeah, if I don’t have a story, I’ll make one up.”
John Slattery: Part of the issue with trusting the media now is that it’s as partisan as politics. You know, you watch Fox News or you watch CNN —
John Goodman: You read the Post or the Times.
Slattery: You get the news you want to hear. Look at this election... READ MORE
Photograph by Brigitte Lacombe