Interview with Amy Bodnar
NR: Tell me about your version of Marguerite. How do you describe her?
AB: As I said, it's a wonderful character. It's so well written. I can't say enough about Nan Knighton. So many characters, (I can't even just say female characters,) but characters in musicals are not thoroughly explored. You don't see a journey from beginning to end with those characters, but I think with Marguerite you really do. You see every element of her. You see her when she's at her most joyous and happiest at her wedding, and a very emotional sad moment in the beginning when she's actually leaving La Comedie Francaise and leaving her home, leaving France. That's emotional. Then, when she's completely distraught at the end when she truly believes that her husband's dead and that she was the cause of it. We see her very frightened and nervous by everything that Chauvelin has done to her and is doing to her with the blackmail, but then we also see her very strong and grounded. It's incredible. I have such an incredible role to play. I guess if I were to describe what I'm trying to do with Marguerite (and I'm sure it will take me awhile to do it all), it is to bring out all of those aspects of her. She's a very, very complex character.
NR: Yes, she is. What have rehearsals been like?
AB: Fantastic. Absolutely amazing. Bobby (Longbottom) is amazing to work with. I really relate to his sensibility because he also comes from a dance background. The way that he discusses things is so particular and he knows exactly what he wants for everything. I relate to that and I love that. I love the detail. So many directors are very lax about detail. They leave it to you to fill in all the blanks. He allows us room. I'm not saying he's not open for suggestions, but he knows exactly what he wants to see and I enjoy that. I like working with somebody like that.
NR: I hear that Douglas is allowed to ad lib again. Does that make you nervous?
AB: Oh, it's fantastic! Are you kidding? The show is different eight times a week. What could be duller than...a question you get in interviews all the time is "How can you do this eight times a week without getting bored?" Well, I'll tell you how - right next door. (indicating Douglas' dressing room.) It's never the same twice.
NR: Well, you probably won't be the target, so I guess you'll be all right. Do you break up?
AB: There are certain things that he does that I have told him, "If you do that, I will laugh."
NR: (laughing) Oh, that was a mistake! I'm sure you've now given him ideas.
AB: (laughing) There is no question about it. There are certain things that he does that will tear me apart and he knows that they make me laugh. But he's just so fantastic to work with. And William too. The fact that William and I started out in the same place and that we're discovering this together is also amazing. I think it's a big step for both of us to be playing these roles.
NR: That's wonderful. Let's see, we've talked about the League, and we've also talked about what you want to do next, which is this.
AB: I know it sounds so silly, but I'm so involved in this right now that there's absolutely no way I can think about what is next. We just started. This is our first venue. I'll tell you, what I'm looking forward to most is getting out to Los Angeles. It is such an important city in the entertainment business and it's never seen this production before, so it's sort of like a re-opening for The Scarlet Pimpernel and it could give it a whole new energy and bring a whole new life to it.
NR: It's a wonderful thing, and I'm very happy about that, especially since it closed in New York. At least this way a lot of people are going to see what we took for granted in New York.
AB: You know, it's so amazing that the show just continued on through three versions. I think it's a complete testimony to the fans who love the show so much. Even though I know everybody was so upset that it closed, they should think about how much they had to do with it staying open.
NR: Absolutely. In reality, it should have closed in late '97 or early '98.
AB: So, it was really you guys that made it...
NR: ...and the producers. And Nan.
AB: And Douglas, who was such a blessing to this production.
NR: Well...welcome to the show!
AB: Thank you.
NR: I hope you have a wonderful stay. It's a great group - on stage and off.
AB: Oh, great. I hope you enjoy it tonight.
NR: Yes, I'm looking forward to it. It seems that I bought these tickets so long ago. Thank you.
AB: You're welcome.
As you can tell, Amy is very excited to be a part of this first national tour of The Scarlet Pimpernel and her enthusiasm is very contagious. I loved the way she described the complexities of Marguerite to me and it will be fascinating to see how her character develops over the next several months. SP4 is once again very different from the former versions, which will give Amy an opportunity to create something all her own, without feeling as if former Marguerites are looking over her shoulder. I wish her the very best during this exciting chapter in her life.
Questions suggested by:
Leona Hoegsberg, Kathleen Smith, Carolyn Peters, JoeyKo, Jan Kolb, Jamster, Shari Perkins, Stephanie Henkin, karen k, Mary Helfrick, Jan Combopiano, Jody Uyanik
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