When Chris O’Donnell switched agencies, one of the first scripts David Kalodner at William Morris sent him was Arthur Miller’s nearly forgotten first play, “The Man Who Had All the Luck.”
O’Donnell’s first reaction? “I’ll read it, but no way I’m doing a play,” the “Batman & Robin” star recalled at the May 2 opening-night party for the Roundabout’s Broadway revival of Miller’s drama. Obviously, there were second, if not third, thoughts on the matter: “I finally decided I’d be a wimp not to do it, but I’m green to the process.” The actor’s only previous stage experience was last summer in the Williamstown production of the play.
Somewhat more seasoned is O’Donnell’s co-star, the 83-year-old Mason Adams, who just happened to catch “The Man Who Had All the Luck” when it first played Broadway in 1944, clocking in only four performances. (He made his Broadway debut in 1943.)
“My friend Karl Swenson had Chris O’Donnell’s part, so I went to see him,” Adams recalls. “I frankly don’t remember much about that first production, except I liked it. I don’t know why the critics didn’t.”