×

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.

More Legit

  • Signature Theatre Celebrates Millionth Subsidized Ticket

    Signature Theatre Offers $35 Subsidized Tickets, Celebrates Millionth Sold

    Just the other night, a Manhattan cab driver told Signature Theatre executive director Harold Wolpert that he couldn’t afford to take his girlfriend to a show. In response, Wolpert motioned to his theater, saying that they offer $35 subsidized tickets. The driver said he’d try it out. “It was a great moment,” Wolpert said. “We’re [...]

  • SOCRATES The Public Theater

    Tim Blake Nelson Waxes Philosophical on Writing a Play About Socrates

    Despite Tim Blake Nelson’s knack for playing folksy characters in films such as “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” in his soul lurks the heart of a classicist. Nelson, who stars in HBO’s “Watchmen” series this fall, has also penned the play “Socrates,” now running at New York’s Public Theater through June 2. Doug Hughes directs, [...]

  • TodayTix - Brian Fenty

    TodayTix Banks $73 Million to Boost Theater and Arts Ticketing App

    TodayTix, a Broadway-born mobile ticketing start-up, is looking to expand into a bigger global media and transaction enterprise with a capital infusion of $73 million led by private-equity firm Great Hill Partners. The investment brings TodayTix’s total capital raised to over $100 million, according to CEO and co-founder Brian Fenty. Part of the new funding [...]

  • Ethan Hawke, Bobby Cannavale and Griffin

    BAM Gala Marks Leadership Change, Celebrates Brooklyn as 'Cultural Center of New York'

    Wednesday’s annual gala celebrating the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) served as a poignant moment of transition for the New York stalwart of contemporary performance. As long-time artistic director Joe Melillo, who along with Harvey Lichtenstein transformed BAM into a vanguard of progressive art, prepares to pass the torch to new leadership, gathered patrons and [...]

  • Tootsie Santino Fontana

    Listen: Santino Fontana on How Broadway's 'Tootsie' Was Adapted for Our Times

    Broadway’s “Tootsie” has turned into one of this season’s Tony Awards frontrunners, winning raves for its deftly funny update of potentially problematic source material — and for a firecracker cast led by Tony nominee Santino Fontana (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Frozen”), who makes his character’s transformation, from difficult actor Michael Dorsey to female alter ego Dorothy Michaels, [...]

  • Death of a Salesman review

    London Theater Review: 'Death of a Salesman'

    August Wilson famously disavowed the idea of an all-black “Death of a Salesman.” In 1996, he declared any such staging “an assault on our presence and our difficult but honorable history in America.” Arthur Miller’s antihero is no everyman, Wilson implied; Willy Loman is very specifically white. Critic John Lahr was inclined to agree: “To [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content