The veteran star of stage, film and TV opens up about the iconic Texan-American she was born to play — and about the politics you won't hear expressed in "Ann," her one-woman Broadway show.
Oh, my goodness, I’ve had people come back who were still teary, and they didn’t get back to see me for 10, 15 minutes. Case in point: Really one of the most surprising and almost indescribable moments of my life is when President Clinton and former Secretary of State Clinton came back one night with Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, and for me, the ultimate gasp—Meryl Streep—all on the same night. I was just, I’m done! I can’t even tell you.
President Clinton, who knew Ann well—and, of course, their relationship is depicted in the play—said to the assembled room that this was completely accurate, and this is exactly how their relationship was. Hillary, I think, had arranged the evening because she had seen the play at the Kennedy Center, and she came back afterward to tell me how right I got it. That was a very joyous night in Washington. I think she concocted this idea of this night with Meryl and Gabby Giffords and her husband after Ann in New York, and she was just this proud mama because she made a great evening happen. President Clinton just held my hand for a long time and kept saying little things about Ann and how such-and-such was exactly right and how did I know that she’s such-and-such. He was very pink-faced, and he held my hand to his lips for a kiss, and on his cheek, his cheeks were still wet. It’s really something when the former president of the United States holds your hand and you can feel a wet tear on your hand. And it’s about something you brought to him, like a present. I will never forget it. And all the while, seeing Hillary—I’ve never seen her look so affectionate and joyful. It was a great night. I’m sorry, but Meryl took the cake. Talking with Meryl about the acting of this role like we were colleagues and sisters! It was just the night of a lifetime.
Ann runs through Sun., Sept. 1, at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York City. The 2013 Tony Awards will be telecast live on Sun., June 9, at 8pm on CBS.
PW's Fall Guide 2013