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Alan Alda on Laura Linney in ‘Hyde Park on Hudson’

SAG Preview: Actors on Actors - Alda on Linney

It’s one of those mysteries of fine acting when you can plainly see what a character is thinking without any apparent effort on the actor’s part to telegraph it, tweet it or even leave a furtive BTW.

It seems to me that in Laura Linney’s performance in “Hyde Park on Hudson” there’s no telegraphy at all. It’s more like telepathy. Sometimes, she just stands there, seemingly doing nothing, and your heart aches for her. She takes that mysterious simplicity to surprising lengths, and goes seamlessly from utter vulnerability to rage to the strength and durability of an old tree in the damaged forest of this presidential Hyde Park.

I don’t know how she does it. I’ve acted with her, and frequently after a take, maybe the fifth take where her eyes still well up at a critical moment, I’ll ask her, “How do you do it?” Maybe she knows, but she’s not saying. And, whenever I can, I keep acting with her to find out.

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