“NETWORK” ON BROADWAY

February 27, 2019 at 5:00 am

From the big screen to the great white way. The anchor desk takes the stage in the Broadway adaptation of the Oscar-winning film “Network.” One of the show’s stars Tatiana Maslany joins us tonight.

Aired on February 26, 2019. 

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>>> I'M E AS MAD AS HELL AND I'M
NOT GROG TO TAKE IT.
>> IN THE 1976 MOVIE, PETER
FINCH PLAYED HOWARD BEALE.
THE MOVIE WENT ON TO WIN ACADEMY
AWARDS FOR SEVERAL.
WHILE THE STORY WAS ESSENTIALLY
PLAYED AS SATIRE IN THE FILM, IN
THE NEW PRODUCTION ON BROADWAY,
IT ALL TOO CLOSELY RESEMBLES
REALITY.
STARRING BRYAN CRANSTON AS
HOWARD BEALE, THE CAST INCLUDES
TONY GOLDWIN AND ACTRESS TATJANA
AS THE DRIVEN TV EXECUTIVE DIANA
CHRISTIANSON.
HERE'S A LOOK.
>> ONE MINUTE TO GO.
>> IT'S TIME FOR TONIGHT WITH
HOWARD BEALE.
>> FIVE, FOUR, THREE --
>> CAMERA, AND HOWARD.
§ §
>> AND JOINING US NOW IS
TATJANA.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US
TODAY.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
>> AS I SAID IN THE
INTRODUCTION, THAT WORK WAS
CONSIDERED SATIRE WHEN IT FIRST
CAME OUT IN 1976.
IN FACT, THE ONE CRITICISM I HAD
WHEN I SAW IT IN 1976 IS THAT IT
WAS TOO UNBELIEVABLE.
SADLY IN THE AGE OF REALITY TV,
AND THE REALITY TV PRESIDENT,
THE REALITY IS ALL TOO REAL NOW.
>> YES.
>> TELL US, WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON
THE CONTENT OF THIS STORY?
>> THE ADAPTATION IS THAT SO
MUCH OF IT IS DIRECTLY FROM THE
FILM.
AND SO THERE'S VERY LITTLE THAT
HAS CHANGED IN TERMS OF THE
CONTEMPT, IN TERMS OF SOMEWHAT
HOWARD BEALE IS TALKING ABOUT,
ABOUT THE STATE OF THE WORLD,
WHICH IS KIND OF SCAREY THAT
WE'RE STUCK IN THIS LOOP, THIS
CYCLICAL THING WHERE HISTORY IS
REPEATING ITSELF.
IT'S VERY INTERESTING AS A CAST
TO FEEL THE AUDIENCE RESPOND SO
VISCERALLY TO THE MENTION OF THE
RUSSIANS, THE MENTION OF ALL
THESE SORT OF THINGS THAT HE
TALKS ABOUT, AND WE ARE STILL
LIVING IN THAT WORLD.
AND YOU SORT OF SEE IT, THIS
CREATION OF REALITY TV, THIS
BENDING OF THE TRUTH, THIS KIND
OF MELDING OF ENTERTAINMENT AND
NEWS THAT WE'RE VERY MUCH IN THE
MIDDLE OF RIGHT NOW.
>> WHEN I WAS TELLING OUR
PRODUCER TODAY, WHAT I FOUND --
WHAT I WOULD FIND OUTLANDISH
TODAY, IF IT'S ONE OF THE
NETWORKS OR CABLE NEWS CHANNELS,
HIRED A GUY LIKE WALTER
CRONKITE, THAT WOULD BE NOVEL.
SO I READ THAT THE STORY, THE
CONTENT OF THIS, TALK ABOUT HOW
YOU BECAME INVOLVED IN THIS
PRODUCTION.
DID THE PRODUCERS CALL YOU AND
SAY PLEASE, WE BEG YOU TO BE
THIS WAY.
>> I MET EVO AFTER I READ THE
SCRIPT AND I HADN'T SEEN THE
FILM BEFORE.
SO I JUST WAS BLOWN AWAY BY ITS
PRETIENCE AND HOW REAL IT FELT.
I JUST THOUGHT HIS VISION WAS SO
EXCITING, THE FACT THAT BRYAN
WAS REPRIZING THE ROLE AND HAD
DONE SUCH INCREDIBLE WORK AT THE
NATIONAL.
AND THE CHARACTER, DIANA WAS
SUCH A HUGE QUESTION MARK FOR
ME.
IT'S SOMEBODY WHO I HAD NEVER
BEEN APPROACHED TO PLAY AND HAD
NEVER GOTTEN THAT OPPORTUNITY.
SHE'S SO, IN SO MANY WAYS
OPPOSITE TO HOW I SEE THE WORLD
BUT DRIVEN BY THE SAME AMBITION
AND HUNGER AND CREATIVE KIND OF
JUICE, THAT I FEEL LIKE I CAN
RELATE TO.
OBVIOUSLY SHE DOES THINGS THAT I
DON'T RELATE TO, BUT THERE'S A
DRIVE THERE AND A HUNGER, AND A
VILIFY CASE OF THAT PART THAT
BECAUSE SHE'S A WOMAN WAS SO
EXCITING TO ME.
>> THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO TALK
ABOUT.
EVERYONE IN THE FILM IS A BAD
GUY, MORE OR LESS.
AND THEY'RE ALL GUYS, EXCEPT FOR
DIANA.
EVEN HOWARD BEALE NEAR THE END.
YET SHE WAS ALWAYS SEEN AS
THE
VILAIN OF THE FILM.
I'M JUST ASSUMING IT WAS BECAUSE
OF SEXISM.
>> YEAH, AND WE STILL FACE IT.
LIKE GOD, SHE'S SO HATEFUL.
BUT YEAH, SO IS EVERYBODY.
WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS, THE
THING THAT I ADMIRE ABOUT DIANA
IS SHE SEES A SYSTEM THAT IS
LIKE OLD, AND SHE SEES A SYSTEM
THAT IS DATED, AND THAT ISN'T
TOUCHING PEOPLE IN AN EMOTIONAL
WAY.
AND SHE'S LIKE, THERE'S MORE TO
IT.
THERE'S MORE -- SHE SEES THINGS
OUTSIDE THE NORM OF HOW THEY'VE
BEEN DONE.
AND I THINK HER KIND OF HITTING
UP AGAINST THE PATRIARCHY SAYING
WE'RE STICKING WITH THE OLD WAY,
IS VERY MUCH A RELATABLE IDEA,
CONCEPT.
>> IN EVERY REVIEW OF THIS PLAY,
IT GIVES YOU HIGH PRAISE FOR
YOUR PORTRAYAL.
AND IT ALSO ALWAYS SEEMS TO
MENTION THE FACT THAT THIS IS A
ROLE PLAYED BY FAYE DUNAWAY IN
THE MOVIE.
DID YOU EVER HAVE ANY HESITATION
TAKING THE ROLE KNOWING IT WAS
ATTACHED TO THIS ONE ACTOR AND
KNOWING THAT AUDIENCES AND
CRITICS WOULD COMPARE AND
CONTRAST.
>> YEAH, AND I THINK THAT'S ALSO
A GENDERED THING.
I THINK THE COMPARISON TO FAYE
DUNAWAY WILL ALWAYS BE THERE
BECAUSE IT'S AN ICONIC FEMALE
ROLE AND THERE WERE SO FEW OF
THOSE, AND SHE'S DONE SUCH AN
INCREDIBLE JOB WITH IT.
I DEFINITELY FELT NERVOUS ABOUT
APPROACHING IT FOR THAT REASON,
BUT THEY'RE HIRING THIS PERSON,
WHO IS SO MASSIVELY DIFFERENT
FROM FAYE DUNAWAY.
WE'RE DOING THE MAY NOWADAYS,
WHICH UNFORTUNATELY ISN'T VERY
DIFFERENT FROM WHAT IT WAS, BUT
IT TAKES ON A DIFFERENT LIFE.
AND YOU HAVE TO APPROACH IT
WITH, OKAY, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN
TO US NOW AND WHAT DOES THIS
MEAN TO ME AS A YOUNG WOMAN NOW
OPPOSED TO THEN?
HOW CAN I TAKE WHAT SHE DID AND
INTERPRET IT THROUGH MY OWN
SELF.
>> WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH
ONE OF THE GREATEST ACTORS,
BRYAN CRANSTON?
>> EVERY NIGHT IS A MASTER
CLASS.
EVERY NIGHT HE GIVES ME CHILLS.
WHEN HOWARD BEALE HAS HIS
BREAKDOWN LIVE ON CAMERA OR
EVERYONE TO SEE, BRYAN JUST DOES
SUCH BEAUTIFUL, HUMAN WORK.
IT ALWAYS FEELS LIKE HE DOES
THIS WITH THE AUDIENCE, NO
MATTER HOW BIG THE SPACE IS.
HE REALLY IS SO GENEROUS AND
JUST REACHES PEOPLE.
I FEEL THAT ON STAGE, TOO.
I DO GET CHILLS WHEN HE'S DOING
IT.
YEAH, HE'S JUST AMAZING AND SUCH
A KIND GUY AND SO FUNNY.
>> GOOD TO KNOW.
TATJANA, THANK YOU FOR COMING
IN.
IT'S AN AMAZING PLAY AND YOU'RE
AMAZING IN IT.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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