HELLO AMERICA!—She’s a woman who will easily get in your face and tell you what’s on her mind, after all she is Patti LuPone! Even after befriending stars like Bette Davis and Agnes Moorehead who were known to be two of the toughest gals in the business, I still was slightly intimidated by LuPone who is definitely a star!
MSJ: Patti who were your favorite stars as young budding actress?
PL: Oh, that’s easy. I loved Kate Hepburn, Shirley Booth, Bette Davis, and Helen Hayes, to name a few. They all had something very special. They had grit, power and the ability to make you believe anything they did before the camera or in the theatre.
MSJ: I suppose playing the lead in “Evita” was a dream come true?
PL: Gee! It was a dream come true! I did a helluva lot of research and loved every minute. There were so many levels of that extraordinary woman and I was hungry to get as close as possible to whatever she was during various times of her life. She in some ways represented every young woman who dreams of power and recognition. She wouldn’t allow her beginning of survival affect what she needed to achieve in the future.
MSJ: Is this why you signed on to do Gypsy?
PL: You got that right! The mother in that show is determined to make her dreams come true for her kids. And nothing was going to stop her. She inspired you even in the last scene when she cried out “What about me!” I loved that moment.
MSJ: Which do you prefer as an actor, films or the stage?
PL: Well, each of them present different techniques and challenges for the actor. I guess I’m more comfortable on stage having an audience watching every move I make or every sound of music I produce and when I’m finished, hopefully there is a positive response or reaction. However, when working in front of the camera, one never really knows until the final cut and is shown in a theater or on TV. Then too, there is always the next live performance where as in films, the final cut represents your performance which is final.
MSJ: What leading men or actors, past or future, you would have wanted to work with as a developing performer?
PL: Oh, that’s easy! Spencer Tracy, Richard Burton, Joe Cotton, John Garfield, Orson Welles, there were so many wonderful actors a youngster could learn from. And I have great respect for Dustin Hoffman, Martin Sheen, James Franco; all very fascinating actors I predict will be around a long time.
MSJ: What about you, what do you see in the future for Patti LuPone?
PL: Well, I hope a little bit of everything. I don’t ever want to leave the theatre; it’s so much a part of me. But I won’t turn down a good film role either. I guess I’ll always be a gypsy, call me for a good role and I’ll come running.