Backstage on Broadway: Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon talk ‘The Real Thing’

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It's a story of love, infidelity, pain and a playwright's search for the real thing.

'The Real Thing' is written by the legendary Tom Stoppard and directed by Sam Gold.

“It’s such a thought-provoking play," Ewan McGregor said. "I felt that when I read it for the first time“

Ewan McGregor takes on the role of that playwright named Henry.

“He’s a snob, takes pleasure in putting people down intellectually," McGregor explained. "[But] he’s also a romantic and has a romantic heart.”

A complex character perfect for his Broadway debut.

“It’s terrifying for an actor who’s used to doing things like that in front of a camera [then] when you’re standing up for the first time in the rehearsal room and nothing works, it all just feels awful and you’re like oh my god, I really thought I was good at this," McGregor smirked.

Joining him on stage is Broadway veteran Cynthia Nixon. She plays Henry's wife, Charlotte.

“She’s so fun!” Nixon said.

Nixon is no stranger to this show. In its 1984 Broadway debut, as a teenager, She played Henry's daughter, Debbie.

“It’s more than just coming back to an old friend, it’s like coming back to a first love," Nixon said. "The play lives with me in a very vital way.”

Something she brings to every performance.

“I know how much I love going to the theater, and so I love bringing theater to people," Nixon explained.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the other woman, Henry's love affair, Annie.

“She’s built in the play to be alive, to have a life to her,” Gyllenhaal said.

The longtime actress is also making her Broadway debut in this production and she's learning every step of the way.

“[Just] challenging yourself to wear your heart on your sleeve," Gyllenhaal explained. "I learned a lot about that from Jeff Bridges, we had five weeks to make Crazy Heart together, we walked in the first day and he just gave me his heart.”

But this play's got something special.

"It’s hot, it’s got like a pop quality to it, and it’s about sex and love, and the real thing is referring to that," Gyllenhaal said. "It’s like is this the real thing? And that’s something everybody’s thinking about.”

'The Real Thing' is running on a very limited engagement at the American Airlines Theatre- shows on sale through January 4th.



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