March 4, 2017
Finn Wittrock featured on Backstage Magazine
La La Land The Glass Menagerie Theatre

Broadway celebrates the return of The Glass Menagerie and Finn Wittrock is the cover of ‘Backstage’. Read bellow his interview and pictures from the april issue.

“The Glass Menagerie” is back on Broadway—just three years after the last revival of the Tennessee Williams classic. The announcement of its quick return, now directed by Sam Gold, was met with incredulity and skepticism among theater fans, but a lot can change in three years. Just look at this year’s gentleman caller: Finn Wittrock.

The actor’s Broadway debut was as Happy in the 2012 revival of “Death of a Salesman.” A year later, Ryan Murphy cast him in the heartbreaking role of Albert in his HBO film adaptation of “The Normal Heart.” From there, Murphy made Wittrock a part of his de facto repertory company, leading to an Emmy-nominated turn on “American Horror Story: Freak Show” and stints in the anthology series’ subsequent two seasons; add to that his big-screen appearances in such films as “Unbroken,” “The Big Short,” and “La La Land,” and the actor has arguably achieved acting vet status.

“My eyes were a lot wider then,” Wittrock tells Backstage as he contemplates how his outlook has changed since his last time on Broadway. Over coffee before heading to the Belasco Theatre a few doors down for a tech rehearsal, he adds, “That was my first real break; I was taking it all in. I’m more experienced now, for better and for worse. But walking into a Broadway house, there’s still a feeling of giddiness and feeling like a young actor again. It’s magical.”

Wittrock admits that his initial reaction to hearing about the new revival—led by Sally Field and Joe Mantello—was not unlike several theater commentators’: “Didn’t Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto just do that?” But the actor asserts Gold’s production is suited for a 2017 audience. In his opening monologue, Tom sets the scene of America in the late 1930s: “In Spain, there was revolution. Here, there was only shouting and confusion.” Wittrock mulls over this line while fiddling with some sugar packets, saying, “There was all this chaos outside our borders, but our biggest dramas were domestic. I don’t know, maybe we’re starting to feel that now.”

This production is primed for Wittrock, too. The actor grew up in Lenox, Massachusetts, surrounded by the classics; his father worked at Shakespeare & Company. “My youth,” he explains, “was running around the woods of the Berkshires hearing actors speaking Shakespeare.” He concedes there’s some force out there drawing him to the classics, from the Bard to Williams (including “Sweet Bird of Youth” at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 2012).

But don’t mistake an affinity for the standards for a lack of adventure. (Turn to Murphy’s “AHS” to catch Wittrock idolizing a serial killer clown or guzzling the blood of a prospective hookup.) Gold does his part to keep the actor on his toes, too. Just before starting “The Glass Menagerie,” Wittrock played Cassio in the director’s militaristic “Othello” at New York Theatre Workshop, which kept the audience in proximity to the barracks where the drama unfolded. Gold’s minimalist staging of the Williams drama is, as it becomes a running joke

during Wittrock’s interview, “not your grandfather’s ‘Glass Menagerie.’ ”

“You’re always going to be doing something outside the box when you’re working with Sam,” Wittrock explains. “If that means pulling the play a little this way or pulling the audience that way, he’s going to push the boundaries in that respect.”

Wittrock and Gold’s connection predates “Othello.” The two were at Juilliard together, and Gold—the final student in the school’s since-closed directing program—helmed Wittrock’s senior showcase.

“Finn made a very memorable impression when he arrived at Juilliard,” Gold tells Backstage. “He was just a kid, but already filled with poise and charm; [he] spoke Shakespeare effortlessly and had a smile that knocked everyone over. And it didn’t stop him from having a great work ethic and a selfless attitude toward the ensemble.” It was Wittrock’s performance in “Death of a Salesman” that inspired Gold to cast him in his two latest productions.

Wittrock emphasizes that trust is integral to frequent collaboration. “I’m willing and able to try any wild experience,” he says as he speculates on what Gold sees in him. “I wouldn’t do that for someone I didn’t believe in. Daniel Craig puts me in a headlock and throws me across the stage [as seen in “Othello”], and I’m like, ‘Yeah, sure. Bring it on.’ When you don’t trust the director, you unconsciously hold yourself back. You don’t feel like you have a safety net, so you don’t stretch

The security of solid creative leadership informs his relationship with Murphy as well—and the feeling is clearly mutual. Wittrock recalls Murphy approaching him on the set of “The Normal Heart” during the penultimate day of shooting to offer him a role on “American Horror Story.” “It’s brilliant of him,” Wittrock says with a laugh. “He just asks you on the spot. What are you going to say, ‘Let me talk to my agent’? The ease with which he was just like, ‘I can change your whole life’ was just so cool and classy.

“It’s like waving a treat in front of a dog,” Wittrock says. “We salivate to play these parts. You only get a little taste at first, and then you want more.”

Finding his Jim O’Connor, the crucial gentleman caller in “The Glass Menagerie,” is Wittrock’s chance to get the full taste of the treat he was presented with 10 years ago, during his first year at Juilliard. “It was one of my first scenes,” he explains. “There was this feeling of just starting to sink your teeth into something and wanting to bite all the way, but not having the opportunity to.”

His process this time around is of course more in-depth, from studying Dale Carnegie’s 1936 self-help book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (“It’s exactly the way Jim talks”) to balancing his own feelings of pity for Laura with Jim’s lack thereof (“[The audience] didn’t come to see me cry”). Still, Wittrock finds himself revisiting the fundamentals he learned at Juilliard before even getting to scene work.

“You change, but the theater stays the same,” Wittrock observes. “When you come back to the stage, you need to remember the muscles that you maybe didn’t use doing film and TV. I’m literally channeling first year of acting and third year of voice. When alumni would come back and say, ‘Remember the first year of acting,’ I’d be like, ‘Shut up; tell me the real shit.’ Now I’m totally that person.”

Once “The Glass Menagerie” concludes its run, Wittrock plans to return to the screen. “I’ve bitten off a good piece of the theater stick at this point,” he quips. If and when he decides to return, Gold has some ideas: “If we just stick to Shakespeare and Williams, we’ve got a bunch of parts he’s perfect for,” the director says.

Even in his upcoming film projects, Wittrock is tackling the classics. He stars as Demetrius in a screen adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” alongside husband-and-wife Shakespeare interpreters Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe. But it’s not—well—“your grandfather’s ‘Midsummer.’ ” Here, the woods of Athens are transported to Malibu, California.

“In the meantime,” he says, “I’ll just be down the street.”

Source

FWBR001.jpg FWBR001.jpg FWBR001.jpg FWBR001.jpg

FWBR002.jpg FWBR003.jpg FWBR004.jpg FWBR003.jpg

GALLERY LINKS
MAGAZINE SCANS > 016. BACKSTAGE (APRIL 2017)
PHOTOSHOOTS & PORTRAIT SESSIONS > 2017 > 002. CHAD GRIFFITH (BACKSTAGE)

January 27, 2017
The Dare Fund: Finn Wittrock and The Ocean Cleanup
Video

Finn is participating in the charity campaign “The Dare Fund“, created by theater group Lesser America. The Dare Fund is a fun, interactive way to raise money for nonprofit organizations. The celebrity participating (Finn) has to perform a dare, and it’s up to you on what that dare will be. Watch the video below to learn more about the charity Finn is supporting, how to choose which dare he will do, and how to donate to the charity of Finn’s choice!

Links mentioned in video:
The Dare Fund
Lesser America
The Ocean Cleanup

January 24, 2017
Amazon Studios Acquires Jenny Slate Sundance Hit ‘Landline’
Landline Movies

*This article was first published by TheWrap on 01/24/17. Written by Matt Pressberg*

Sundance 2017: Streaming giant has been an active buyer as expected

Amazon Studios has acquired the U.S. rights to “Landline,” a comedy starring Jenny Slate set in the 1990s, TheWrap has learned. The deal was in the mid-seven figure range, and the film will get a traditional theatrical release.

The film follows two sisters, magazine layout artist Dana (Slate) and high school club kid Ali (Abby Quinn, in a breakout performance), who act out in various — and hilarious — ways in pre-cell phone New York. Edie Falco, John Turturro, Finn Wittrock and Jay Duplass also feature in the movie.

“Landline” is helmed by Gillian Robespierre, who also directed Slate in “Obvious Child.” Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm wrote the screenplay, which is based on a story by Tom Bean.

Slate and Robespierre served as executive producers, along with Rachel Shane, Natalya Petrosova, Lee Jea Woo, Chris Lytton and Charlotte Ubben. The film was produced by Elisabeth Holm, Gigi Pritzker and Russell Levine. Route One Entertainment and OddLot Entertianment, a division of Madison Wells Media who received 4 Oscar nominations today for “Hell or High Water,” were the production companies. The film was shot on location in New York City.

UTA Independent Film Group brokered the deal, while Nick Meyer at Sierra/Affinity is selling foreign rights.

“Landline” had its world premiere on Jan. 20, screening in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section of the Sundance Film Festival, where it opened to mostly positive reviews.

The film is Amazon’s second big deal of the festival, after the streaming giant acquired U.S. rights to “The Big Sick,” based on the real-life courtship between star and writer Kumail Nanjiani and co-writer Emily V. Gordon, for $12 million.

January 8, 2017
Finn Wittrock featured on Esquire Magazine
Photoshoots Scans

Finn Wittrock is featuring the new issue of Esquire Magazine (February 2017) and there’s a new photoshoot and interview. He talks about his projects in the past years and what’s coming next. Read it bellow:

IT’S 11:00 A.M. and Finn Wittrock has good reason to be hungry. He’s fresh off his first performance of Othello, in which he wrestles and bench-presses and does one very convincing keg stand onstage. So when we meet at a bustling Ukrainian diner on New York’s Second Avenue—where he’s enough of a regular that a waiter gives a small salute as we pass by who am I to tell him it’s a little early for kielbasa and pierogi?

It took me a moment to recognize the 32-yearold actor, who’s traded his usual swoop of hair for a high-and-tight cut in order to play Cassio opposite Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo in the modern, Marines-themed production. Wittrock has been chipping away at mainstream fame for years, with supporting roles in The Big Short, Noah, and Unbroken, but has so far resisted any efforts to pigeonhole him. He earned a sizable fan base (and an Emmy nomination), for example, for his role as American Horror Story: Freak Show’s Dandy Mott, a bloodthirsty
man-child who drinks cognac from a baby bottle and makes puppets from the corpses of his victims. “I enjoy the athleticism of jumping from one very different thing to another,” he says of his knack for shape-shifting
between psychopath and golden boy.

He hopes to screen a few films on the festival circuit in 2017—most notably Landline, alongside John Turturro and Jenny Slate—but the immediacy of live performance keeps luring him back to the theater. That’s why he decided to do back-toback productions of Othello and The Glass Menagerie. It all reminds him of something “Phil Hoffman”—as he calls him, dropping the “Seymour”—told him during their acclaimed 2012 run of Death of a Salesman: “Once the play’s done, it becomes myth.” The deaths of Hoffman and, shortly thereafter, the show’s director, Mike Nichols, provided a haunting affirmation of those words. “That’s the beautiful tragedy of theater,” says Wittrock. “It’s the most amazing experience, but then it’s freed and gone.”

But that doesn’t mean that the actor believes the power of art is fleeting. More than ever, he feels that it has an important role to play in today’s culture, as voices like Shakespeare’s “can be instructive” and theater can help you “heal and elucidate what you’re feeling.”

He was disappointed with Donald Trump’s decision to chastise the cast of Hamilton for reading a political statement to audience member Mike Pence. “It was such an opportunity to say, ‘How great that we live in a country where you can express yourself.’ [But] he just made it another fight. He can’t help getting in the ring.”

When I find Wittrock by the stage door after Othello’s Sunday matinee, his eyes widen with guilt. “I thought you were coming tonight!” he says, apologizing for his tight schedule. But his performance has already given me plenty to think about, so I send him off to go restock on calories before the evening show two hours from now, when he’ll begin to rebuild the myth from the ground up.

You can also check our gallery to find the photoshoot and scans:

FWBR001.jpg FWBR002.jpg FWBR004.jpg FWBR005.jpg

PHOTOSHOOTS & PORTRAIT SESSIONS > 2017 > 001. ALEXIE HAY (ESQUIRE)

0001.jpg 0003.jpg 0007.jpg 0009.jpg

MAGAZINE SCANS > 015. ESQUIRE MAGAZINE (FEBRUARY 2017)

 

January 3, 2017
“Othello” Production Stills
Othello Theatre

Added some old production stills of Finn Wittrock as Cassio in his recent play Othello, which ends on January 18.

FWBR002.jpg FWBR001.jpg FWBR002.jpg FWBR001.jpg

GALLERY LINKS:
OTHERS PROJECTS > THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS > OTHELLO > PRODUCTION STILLS

December 13, 2016
Finn Wittrock on Tackling Othello, Not Singing in La La Land, His ‘Magical’ Glass Menagerie Cast & More
American Horror Story Freak Show Interviews La La Land Movies Othello Theatre

• This interview is featured on broadway.com

86713-17
Since holding his own as a newcomer opposite powerhouses like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Linda Emond and Andrew Garfield in Mike Nichols’ Death of a Salesman on Broadway in 2012, Finn Wittrock has enjoyed many well-deserved big moments in Hollywood: an Emmy-nominated turn on American Horror Story: Freak Show (and showy roles on each subsequent season of the FX hit), a part in the SAG Award-nominated ensemble of the indie hit The Big Short and high-profile turns in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, the acclaimed HBO film version of The Normal Heart and more. Now, he’s back on the theater scene doing back to back productions of Othello at New York Theater Workshop, which opens December 12 with David Oyelowo as Othello and Daniel Craig as Iago, and the hotly-anticipated The Glass Menagerie with Sally Field and Joe Mantello on Broadway in February. Broadway.com recently caught up with the stage and screen talent to talk about his golden year.