May 31, 2013

Interview Outtake Files: Dizzia & Her Dad


I'm not sure the piece I wrote a few months ago about Belleville leads Greg Keller and Maria Dizzia, and their uniquely spiky chemistry playing couples onstage, captured just how much fun it was to spend time with them. The following excerpt, not used in the feature, is just one of many cut gems. I was asking about whether they found it weird or unsettling to enact intimacy with each other when their own loved ones were in the audience. Keller mentioned that his own girlfriend, Danielle Slavick, is an actress herself, so she understands what's involved in embodying a fictional relationship (in both good and band senses). But Dizzia's response is worth revisiting in full:
I feel supported. When the people who care about you come to see you work, that even feels like there’s more ballast. You don’t feel that the people you have close relationships with outside would be offended by seeing you have emotions; you feel like they are with you, and you feel like they see more in it.

My dad said my favorite thing ever. My parents have been watching me in plays since I was a kid. And after Eurydice, my father said, "I’ve seen you be strangled, guillotined, knifed to death. But the saddest thing I ever saw was seeing you not recognize your father onstage."

My parents had to watch me have an orgasm in In the Next Room, and my dad said, “It’s just nice to see you enjoying yourself.” But then I was in Hallway Trilogy, and that had a lot of explicit sexual stuff that happened. I told him, “Look, I get fucked in the ass, and then I give someone a blowjob,” and my dad said, “Well, you’re pretending, right?” I said, “Yeah,” and he said, “Well, I could watch you pretend to do anything.” I thought that was awesome.

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