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Autumn de Wilde
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Autumn de Wilde
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Autumn de Wilde
Six Tony Awards. Film and TV credits including "Annie," "Grey's Anatomy" and "The Sound of Music Live." Starring Broadway roles in "A Raisin in the Sun," "Ragtime" and "Carousel." And, most recently, one of Time Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential People in the World, alongside Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift and Malala Yousafzai. Audra McDonald is a rare and unique talent, and she shared some of what she's accomplished in the last year.
SH: TV featured roles, Broadway rehearsals, nationwide concerts...how do you manage it all?
AM: It really helps having a husband who does what I do and understand the industry. We partner very well in trying to make it all work and realize that sleep is a thing we kinda get.
SH: What was your reaction to being cast in the next Disney live-action film, "Beauty and the Beast," as Garderobe?
AM: Beyond excited! I can't wait to bring the role of the Garderobe to life. The live-action film will share more of her backstory than what was featured in the animated film.
SH: Next April, you'll be starring in a new Broadway production of "Shuffle Along." Are you excited to return to the stage?
AM: I like keeping things varied. I've been on tour for much of this year, so I am looking forward to returning to the Broadway stage next year. It will be nice working with other people and to have some time off stage. With a concert, it's just me on stage for an hour and forty-five minutes and there is no one to hand off the work to. Rehearsals don't start until early next year.
SH: Congratulations on being named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Your "Sound of Music Live" co-star, Carrie Underwood, had this to say about you: "Beautiful. Intelligent. Extraordinarily talented. These are just a few words that describe the incomparable Audra McDonald...She's won more Tony awards than any other Broadway performer...But I feel her greatest legacy she will leave behind lies in the works she does for others." What inspires you to give back to the community, and what causes are closest to your heart?
AM: Thank you! Marriage equality is a civil rights issue. It's all about everybody having the same equal rights. I'm able to stand before you because so many people who came before me dedicated their lives to civil rights and made it possible for me to be here today. I, in turn, want to support the civil rights of others. I also recently got involved with the Covenant House. It's an amazing organization that gives homeless youth what all children deserve which is love, trust, safety, good food, and a place to sleep, and people who care about them. I have met many young people at Covenant House, and have been inspired by their courage, resiliency, and goodness. I'm grateful I have the opportunity to make a difference in their lives in whatever way I can.
SH: This week, you'll perform "Broadway Old and New" at Virginia Tech. What can the audience expect from the show?
AM: We'll be doing some wonderful songs from the Great American Musical Theater Songbook. We'll be performing songs written as long ago as 1922 and some songs written as recently as 2013. We'll also be doing some very new material. There should definitely be something for everyone.
SH: Finally, and probably the most difficult question, what is your favorite Broadway show--to perform or to watch--and why?
AM: That is a tough question. This might sound cliche, but whatever role I happen to be playing at the moment tends to be my favorite.