Tony Awards: Frank Langella Says He Couldn’t Stay Silent on Orlando Shootings

Frank Langella Tony Awards
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Frank Langella was so moved by the mass shootings in Orlando that he tore up the speech he planned to deliver at Sunday’s Tony Awards so he could pay tribute to the 50 people who had been gunned down in a Florida nightclub.

“I’m now a 78-year-old man and I react to things a lot more profoundly than I did when I was 60, when I was 50 or 40,” said Langella. “This constant violence and sense of madness that seems to be pervading this country is terrifying.”

After taking the stage to accept his best leading actor in a play statue for “The Father,” Langella urged the people of Orlando to “remain strong.”

Related

Jessica Lange Tony Award

Tony Awards: How Ryan Murphy Made Jessica Lange’s Big Win Possible

“When something bad happens we have three choices: we let it define us, we let it destroy us, or we let it strengthen us,” he said.

In the press room, Langella said he hoped the speech wasn’t “over the top,” but that he felt such “disgust, anger and tremendous pain” that he couldn’t stay silent.

“There’s no greater group of people in a room who will band together and do everything possible… theater people are really the most generous people in the world,” said Langella.

The Orlando killings are the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and appear to have targeted the LGBT community. The murders took place at Pulse, a Florida gay nightclub. Langella wasn’t the only big Broadway name to speak out about the murders.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, the “Phantom of the Opera” composer, told press that “no child was ever born to hate…the only way to take on these appalling acts is through believing in the arts and through music and theater.”

“The Father” deals with a man who is battling dementia. The subject matter inspires a deep response in audiences, Langella said.

“I’ve never played a role in which so many people come back stage and sit on the floor of my dressing room and weep,” he noted. “Not necessarily because of my performance, but because of how many of us are dealing with people who are losing reality.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 2

Leave a Reply

2 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Grey Lemyr says:

    Bob–
    This was a homophobic hate crime…and you’re right about one thing: only restoration of the ban on assault rifles would have stopped this from reaching historical numbers.

  2. Bob Bodi says:

    Muslim Supremacists won’t stop with your speech Frank.

More Legit News from Variety

Loading