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She was not necessarily unlike other people, but she knew her purpose and served it.
I want people to be moved by it, to be inspired by it, to feel a connection to Joan — because Joan had a connection to the source, if you want to put it that way. I think the beauty of having a diverse cast is that it proves we’re storytellers; no matter what the color of our skin is, no matter what religion we may belong to or what our backgrounds are, it’s our job to tell stories in such a way that you follow us.Are you pleased with the progress Broadway has made in terms of casting actors of color? I think that every year we move a little bit further ahead, but we still have a ways to go.If I stay true to the text, when people come and see it, it will resonate with them, especially because of what’s happening now. There is no perfect time — or every time is perfect — to tell the story of a woman who didn’t need permission from any man or any institution to serve her purpose. You’re a black actress playing a famously persecuted figure, and the company in this production is pretty diverse.I don’t think we’re actively trying to prove any point.And that’s a great lesson for the world we’re living in right now: that there isn’t clear-cut bad and good. Does playing Joan right now — in the #Me Too era, and given our political climate generally — present special opportunities, or challenges?
That is something that, as an actor, I’m aware of, but I don’t think it would be helpful to try to overplay anything because of the time we’re in.
There were certain songs we wrote together, but for the most part I had built an outline for an album with this team in Sweden, and then when I came back, I wanted to put a band together to record it. Oh, yeah — I’ve just been waiting for the right one.
Now I’m back in my music incubator, creating again, which is exciting. I saw The play is physically and emotionally — I wouldn’t say taxing, but a lot of work.
A white actor wouldn’t play Joan of Arc as a white character; she would play Joan of Arc.
It just so happens that my culture is my culture, so naturally I bring that to everything, but it’s not something I feel I need to layer on.
I’ll be wearing armor, for one thing, so there’s quite a lot of physical strength involved.