Backstage on Broadway: Carey Mulligan, Bill Nighy open up about roles in Skylight revival

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From hotels to hot pants, to fancy parties and forbidden love.

Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan have impressive on-screen résumés.

Now they're taking that huge talent to the Broadway stage, in the play, Skylight, written by David Hare and directed by Stephen Daldry.

“It’s about romance and grief and loss and life, real life," Carey Mulligan said. "It’s written so authentically."

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“There are not many plays I want to do and when the idea was to revive this one, it seemed like the perfect situation,” Bill Nighy said.

The story centers around one night when two former lovers try to rekindle their Winter-Spring romance.

“She has this real fervor and passionate belief in what she’s doing,” Mulligan described. "Then she’s got this past that’s the antithesis of everything that she’s doing now.”

"It’s a great role, It’s my favorite play," Nighy said. "It’s one of the greatest plays in the English language."

Nighy's connection to the play started 30 years again, when he saw it for the first time.

“I came out like a kid, it was everything I loved,” Nighy remembered. “I wrote to Sir Michael Gambon and said I now consider you as the leader of my profession and he wrote back and said something like pull yourself together.”

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The clever writing and quick-witted humor is just the right mix.

“There are great jokes in it, I do like delivering jokes," Nighy smirked. "I think it’s bad manners to invite people to sit in the dark for a couple of hours and not tell them a joke.”

Helping with the laughs, Matthew Beard, who also recently started in the Oscar-winning movie The Imitation Game.

“There is this huge political debate within the text which is fascinating and thrilling," Beard said. "You’re never quite sure which side you’re on.”

But one thing everyone can agree on, a tasty plate of spaghetti bolognese, which is cooked up right on stage.

“All I did in rehearsals was learn how to cook," Mulligan smiled. "Literally until about a week before we were on I was still trying to figure out how to chop a carrot without chopping my fingers off.”

"I think there are a couple things that she puts in it that are slightly controversial,” Nighy added.

“I ate it every night in the interval in London," Beard said. "What was really bad was I’d eat it then she’d come off stage and be like I cut my fingers and there’s so much blood in the bolognese today and I’d be like oh. But it was delicious!”

Skylight opens April 2 and runs through June 21.

Broadway opening night: PIX11 talks with stars of Skylight after opening night

 

Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi