salute: Jessica Lange

Ummm, I have probably sung her praises in several other posts… but how about another one?


As an early gift for my birthday I decided to buy myself tickets to go and see Jessica Lange in “Long Days Journey Into Night.” I had read the play before, and even while reading it all I could see were images of Lange tangled within the fragile world of Mary Tyrone… a woman whose delicate mental state and morphine addiction is one which gives Blanche Dubois a run for her money.

Now let’s talk about the set up. I was sitting wayyyy in the rafters, in the second to last row to the right of the stage. Pretty much for the entire performance I got Jessica Langes back. Now, while others would probably be fuming, I was quite amazed that while rarely seeing her face, her rawness her richness and her commitment to the character hit my heart like a brick. I found myself constantly swallowing down the lumps in my throat or watching the show through a tear filled gaze. The energy to portray a character whose emotional life is so full is not an easy one. It doesn’t just become your homework, with a character like Mary Tyrone you live with her. I’m pretty sure the moment Jessica Lange wakes up she is already in some way state of form Mary, and between shows I can guess the Tyrone household is running around in her mind. The character is never too far away. With a character that complex and emotionally demanding, a piece of them stays within you always.

Since I first saw Lange in Frances I was hooked. There is something about the  freedom that she gives to every single performance that just grabs me. Every single time I start to think I wanted to give up acting I would see Lange and would be reminded why I love it, why I need it… why I live in that freedom. Am I biased because shes my favorite? No, because she’s fucking brilliant. It’s Jessica Lange. She’s serious about her shit, and I respect the hell out of her. She is the kind of actor every actor should aspire to be unselfishly playing give and take with the character resulting in a truthful performance.



Seriously if you’re in New York or close by please make sure and try to catch this show. It is not to be missed!


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