I spoke with Ryan O’Neal & Ali MacGraw about their turn in “Love Letters”, which comes to Baltimore June 7th – 12th!
Q: What do you think contributed to the success of “Love Story?” The script or the chemistry?
Ryan: The chemistry, but Ali might argue with me about it!
Ali: Totally agree!
Ryan: What…no arguing?! ::laughs::
Q: What were your first impressions of each other?
Ali: Well when we came off the Mayflower eons ago..
Ryan: …during the silent film era..
Ali: A lot of terrific actors tried out for the part of Oliver, and then Ryan walked in..and that was it as far as I was concerned. I wasn’t the deciding vote, but he still was IT. He was terrific.
Ryan: I had to be careful around Ali. She was married to the head of the studio at the time.. ::laughs:: She was innocent and warm.
Ali : I had no real acting experience at the time.
Ryan: I didn’t know that at the time. She blew me away. She kissed wonderfully. She only knew me for forty minutes! ::laughs::
Q: What is the story about, and who do you play?
Ali: Nick, you’ve never seen the play?
I’ve heard of it, but I haven’t seen it performed.
Ali : Wonderful! It’s an award winning script, told between two people covering a good part of their lives. From second grade on. It’s VERY clear they should be with each other. It’s funny, touching, and ultimately heartbreaking.
Ryan: It sucks I can’t kiss you in this, Ali…
Ali: We have to sit next to each other, but instructed very clearly to never look at each other.
Ryan: Well yeah, both characters are in two different places. ::both laugh::
Q: Are you guys like your characters at all?
Ryan: Nah, she’s a horse woman now!
Ali: I’m a gypsy, get it right!
(This is where I laughed hysterically)
Ryan: Nick, get her horse!
Q: What is the most challenging part of the show for you?
Ali: I find it’s not challenging at all. I feel so safe and connected working with Ryan.
Ryan: The challenge for me is to make the audience respond to what we’re doing. We’ve had a lot of luck so far with that thankfully. There’s humor and sorrow..it’s a hard combination for a ninety minute show.
Q: Most of your acting has been on film. Is theater scary for you as actors?
Ryan: Don’t be scared, Ali, PLEASE!
Ali: Not at all. About eight years ago, I was a part of a theater ensemble, and I was petrified every night. I was going to bed crying it was so hard. This is a totally different experience. There are many comforting factors. We’re reading beat by beat perfect writing.
Ryan: ..and we’re lucky to have that writing.
Ali: We can’t wait to see Baltimore. It’s our last stop, and we want to give it our all!
“Love Letters” runs from June 7th – 12th at the Hippodrome!
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