Five Burning Questions with Heisenberg Star Denis Arndt
October 12th, 2016
by Josh Ferri
Denis Arndt makes his Broadway debut opposite Tony winer Mary-Louise Parker in Simon Stephens' two-hander Heisenberg. The former military pilot-turned-actor appeared on screen in Basic Instinct, The Practice, L.A. Law, and Picket Fences, and he performed Prospero, Lear, Titus Andronicus, Iago, Jamie Tyrone, and more at the prestigious Oregon Shakespeare Theatre Festival. BroadwayBox caught up with the very funny Mr. Arndt to talk about Heisenberg, getting out of Oregon, and the passage of the ephemeral "time".
1. Since Heisenberg is just the two of you, do you and Mary-Louise Parker have a pre-show ritual?
Yes, our stage manager keeps a stuffed baby elephant in the hallway at the Friedman and we are both required to touch the elephant at exactly the same time, just as our cue light goes off. (I wish that were true, seems like such a nice ritual)
2. What was the moment when you were reading this script that you thought, “Yes, I have to do this”?
I was trying to get a pine-pitch stain off of a pair of cargo shorts when I realized I had better say yes to this play or risk being stuck in Oregon forever.
3. What’s the first thing you do when you approach a role?
The first thing I do when approaching a role is to read the script at least once, reading everybody's lines, all of them, not just my own. I have found it makes for a better and deeper understanding of the play.
4. What do you love about flying? Is there anything miss about it?
What I love most about flying is actually getting off the ground; affirming my belief in the absolute reality of "Up". I miss all the switches and dials on the cockpit dash board. I love toggle switches. Flipping them On, flipping them Off Mostly, flipping them Off.
5. What’s something you’re passionate about outside of performing?
Time. I am passionate about Time and the true nature of "Now". So ephemeral! So elusive! Seems to go by so swiftly. Hard to get a handle on it.
See Denis Arndt and Mary-Louise Parker in 'Heisenberg' at Broadway's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre through December 11.