×

Listen: Tyne Daly and Tim Daly on Family, Acting and Living With Demons

The Emmy- and Tony-winning actress Tyne Daly doesn’t enjoy acting. When her younger brother, Tim Daly, was a kid, he thought actors were just “drunken grownups who wouldn’t feed me.” And the Off Broadway play Tyne and Tim are both starring in, “Downstairs,” has recently taken on some surprising echoes of life in the Trump era.

Those are just a few of the tidbits dropped by the Daly siblings in the latest episode of “Stagecraft,” Variety‘s theater podcast. Theresa Rebeck’s play “Downstairs” marks the first time that the duo, both familiar faces from years of consistent TV work, have acted opposite each other in any significant capacity. The pair made time to appear in the stage production while juggling busy smallscreen schedules for their gigs on the “Murphy Brown” reboot (for Tyne) and “Madame Secretary” (for Tim).

Tyne (“Cagney and Lacey”) is one of the most regularly employed actresses out there, with her current stage and TV gigs accompanied by roles in recently released films “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and “A Bread Factory.” But for her, it’s not fun: “I don’t enjoy acting,” she said. “I’m sorry. I’m too old to lie about it anymore. … I experience it as work. The longer I do it, and the more I know about it and the more I’ve done it, the worse I get at it, so the harder it is to get to some kind of standard of accomplishment.”

Tyne and Tim (“Wings”), two of four Daly children, grew up in a family of actors; their father was James Daly (“Medical Center,” “Planet of the Apes”). “I just thought that the actors who were walking around my house all the time were just drunken grownups who wouldn’t feed me,” Tim cracked on the podcast. But both Dalys were raised to treat acting — and particularly acting onstage — with the highest reverence and respect.

They’ve returned to the theater for “Downstairs,” which Rebeck wrote specifically for the duo. Tim said the play has taken on new political resonance since it was first performed a year and a half ago. “One of the themes in the play is identifying and living with and dealing with demons,” he said. “And for a lot of us in American society right now, we feel like we’re living with a demon — I won’t name any names! [But] having lived with a demon for a couple of years, we understand it better and we feel the stress and the fear and the terror of that more.”

New episodes of “Stagecraft” are available every Tuesday. Download and subscribe to “Stagecraft” on iTunesStitcher, or anywhere finer podcasts are dispensed. Find past episodes here and on Apple Podcasts.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Sue Wagner John Johnson

    Tony-Winning Producers Sue Wagner and John Johnson Announce New Venture, Wagner Johnson Productions

    Sue Wagner and John Johnson, seven-time Tony award-winning producers, announced Wednesday that they have embarked on a new theatrical business venture, Wagner Johnson Productions. Under the name, they will produce and general manage a wide scope of theater productions. One of Wagner Johnson Productions’ current projects is a musical rendition of “Almost Famous,” which will [...]

  • Sam Rockwell and Laurence Fishburne

    Sam Rockwell, Laurence Fishburne Starring in Broadway Revival of 'American Buffalo'

    Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell will star in an upcoming Broadway revival of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo.” The show marks Rockwell’s first appearance on the Great White Way since his 2014 performance in the revival of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love.” The five-year absence saw him pick up an Oscar for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, [...]

  • Secret Derren Brown review

    Broadway Review: 'Derren Brown: Secret'

    Audiences love to be fooled, whether it’s with clever plotting with a twist, the arrival of an unexpected character or even a charming flimflam man with a British accent. The latter is Derren Brown, and he’s entertaining audiences for a limited run at the Cort Theatre, where he is playing head-scratching mind games and other [...]

  • Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica ParkerNew York

    Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker to Reunite on Broadway for 'Plaza Suite'

    Real-life couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are hitting the Broadway stage again for a reboot of the late Neil Simon’s 1968 play “Plaza Suite.” The staging will mark the Broadway directorial debut of Tony award-winner John Benjamin Hickey. Set in New York City’s Plaza Hotel in Suite 719, “Plaza Suite” is comprised of [...]

  • Derren Brown

    Listen: Derren Brown Spills His Broadway 'Secret'

    Derren Brown has spent a lot of his career performing magic shows on theater stages — but he’ll be the first to tell you that magic usually doesn’t make for great theater. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “If you’re a magician of any sort, you can make stuff happen with a click of your [...]

  • A Very Expensive Poison review

    London Theater Review: 'A Very Expensive Poison'

    Vladimir Putin owes his power to the stage. The president’s closest advisor trained as a theatre director before applying his art to politics, and ran Russia like a staged reality, spinning so many fictions that truth itself began to blur. By scrambling the story and sowing confusion, Putin could exert absolute control. The long-awaited latest [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content