Introduce Yourself(ie): 10 Questions with 39 Steps' Leading Lady Brittany Vicars
April 15th, 2015
by Brittany Vicars
Brittany Vicars makes her New York stage debut as the leading lady in the new off-Broadway mounting of the Tony nominated Best Play 39 Steps. This super-clever staging of the famous Hitchcock film is reborn downtown and Vicars is a wonder as she navigates three different characters and tons of physical comedy. Below, the published poet and recent Juilliard grad chats with BroadwayBox about famous Hitchcock leading ladies, how Shakespeare will follow her forever and the language she created from scratch.
1. The thing I like most about the love story in 39 Steps is:
The love story is classic, my favorite part about it is that Pamela and Richard fall in love by going through a great adventure of dire circumstance. It's very romantic and the best part is it makes me smile.
2. My favorite Hitchcock leading lady performance:
Princess Grace Kelly in Rear Window. She's beautiful, poised, elegant. She's a classic star, I love to watch her eyes.
3. My inspiration for the fabulous Annabella Schmidt is:
I love spy movies—I love Russia—my inspiration was simple—I think there's a beautiful Russian spy in all of us, I just had to use my imagination to meet her.
4. The best part and the hardest part about being the only woman in the cast of four:
I wish I could say that the best part is that I'm the only one who gets to wear the pretty dresses alas—the Clowns have more outfits than I do! Really the best part of being in a cast of 4 is that it’s an intimate experience with a small amount of people; I get to watch seasoned actors every night and learn from them—and arguably there are three women in this play—Annabella, Margaret and Pamela. There’s really no bad parts, its a joy to play every night, they make me laugh.
5. Coolest thing about growing up in Colorado:
The air, the mountains and the people. In Colorado, we live a mile above sea level, so the air allows one to truly breathe—everything feels better at that altitude. I grew up in Denver, which is a short drive to the mountains, in less than an hour I could escape into the magic of the wilderness—and importantly there’s some pretty spectacular human beings who live in Colorado. If you haven't been GO.
6. Poem that completely rocked my world the first time I read it:
Howl by Ginsburg—an obvious choice. My favorite poet is Plath, so anything by her—especially Love Is A Paralla. But here's a poem by W.B Yates that I love for its simplicity. It’s said he wrote it about an unrequited love whom left an impression on his heart that could never be erased.
ONE had a lovely face,
And two or three had charm,
But charm and face were in vain
Because the mountain grass
Cannot but keep the form
Where the mountain hare has lain.
7. The Juilliard memory I’ll cherish forever:
I once performed the Nunnery scene from Hamlet with Kevin Kline by a chance encounter in the hallway. It was definitely one of the top 5 moments I'll remember.
8. I find the richest thing about the classic female roles in Shakespeare:
I told my parents I wanted to be an actress when I was 4...They put me into a Shakespeare class and I've been doing it ever since. The richest thing about Shakespeare and all of his characters is that they are eternal. I will be speaking his words for the rest of my life—an actor can play Juliet at 14, Ophelia at 20, Lady M at 30, Elizabeth at 40, Gertrude at 50, Paulina at 60 and Margaret at 70 and still have a lifetime of work to dig into. Shakespeare is God.
9. Favorite TV show theme song ever:
Catdog, I know the whole thing by heart—I can sing it in under a minute.
10. My most random special skill:
Other than knowing the CatDog theme song? I am fluent in a language called Ohnimnnaun. It’s a language I created with my dear friend, it includes words such as Eatenby, which means Love; Fallaway, which means Hope; and bakedturki, which means Peace. It's one of my biggest accomplishments in life.
See Brittany Vicars show off her comic chops in ’39 Steps’ at off-Broadway’s Union Square Theatre.