The 78-year-old American actor Frank Langella recently went on the radio show Studio 360 to discuss his latest role on Broadway, playing a character suffering from dementia in The Father.
“When you play a man who is, in fact, your own age, and is in normal everyday clothes, and is approaching slightly less than a year of compos mentis-ness—if that’s a term—if you’re a thinking person, and I am, you must imagine yourself in that position,” Langella told host Kurt Andersen. “I had to face my feeling of what it’s going to be like when I can’t come up here and talk to you.”
They went on to discuss the effects of aging on Langella’s career (“I’m a very fortunate man. I’m basically a theater actor. I’ve always been able to return to the stage. . . . You can do it as long as you have breath”); his time playing Shakespeare’s King Lear recently at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (“Lear is the great mountain to climb, until you’ve climbed it, and then you sit down with every other actor who’s ever played it, and you go, ‘What the was I thinking.’ Because it’s the most illogical play in the world”); and why Lear took less out of him than The Father has (“when you do King Lear, you’ve got a crown on your head and you’ve got long robes and you’re in another era. So whatever the character is going through, you can sort of look upon it as a great old classic”). Read more at Vogue