11.01.18

DeWanda Wise Talks The Off-Broadway Play, "Fireflies"

Atlantic Theater Company's play, "Fireflies," takes place somewhere in the Jim Crow South where the sky is on fire. A pregnant Olivia’s fierce speech writing is the sole force behind her charismatic husband Charles and his successful Movement to galvanize people to march towards freedom. When four little girls are bombed in a church, Olivia (DeWanda Wise) and Charles’ marriage is threatened – as this tragedy and years of civil unrest leave Olivia believing that “this world ain’t no place to raise a colored child.”

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>>> HELLO, EVERYONE. WELCOME BACK TO "BUILD." I'M YOUR HOST, BRITTANY JONES-COOPER. ATLANTIC THEATER’S PLAY, “FIREFLIES” TAKES PLACE IN 1963 SOMEWHERE IN THE JIM CROW SOUTH WHERE THE SKY IS ON FIRE. THE STORY FOLLOWS REV. CHARLES GRAYSON AND OLIVIA AS A COUPLE EXPECTING THEIR FIRST CHILD. WHEN FOUR LITTLE GIRLS ARE BOMBED IN A CHURCH, OLIVIA STARTS QUESTIONING WHETHER SHE WANTS TO BRING A BLACK CHILD INTO THE WORLD AND RAISES OTHER ISSUES WITHIN THE MARRIAGE. PLEASE HELP ME WELCOME DEWANDA WISE, WHO PLAYS OLIVIA.

>> THANK YOU.

>> I GOT TO SEE THE PLAY THE OTHER NIGHT. IT WAS AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR ME. I CAN TELL IT WAS AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR YOU. IT'S SUCH A LOADED PLAY. IT’S SO CAPTIVATING. IT'S SO MOVING. WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION THE FIRST TIME YOU READ THE SCRIPT?

>> ENTIRELY VISCERAL. I READ IT. I WEPT. AND I FEEL LIKE THERE WERE A LOT OF EXACTLY THAT, THEMES THAT FELT REALLY FAMILIAR AND JUST KIND OF HIT ME IN MY SOLAR PLEXUS.

>> YEAH, AND THEMES THAT, ALTHOUGH THIS IS BASED IN THE '60s, UNFORTUNATELY, WE'RE STILL DEALING WITH A LOT OF THOSE.

>> RIGHT.

>> WE'LL GET INTO THOSE. FIRST I WANT TO TALK ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CO-STAR, CHRIS. BECAUSE YOUR CHEMISTRY IS AMAZING. AND IT'S JUST YOU TWO THE ENTIRE RIDE.

>> THAT'S IT.

>> WHAT KIND OF WORK DID YOU GUYS DO TO REALLY GET COMFORTABLE AND TRUST EACH OTHER? BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING THROUGH A LOT OF DIFFERENT STUFF.

>> AND IT REQUIRES A TON OF TRUST, YEAH. I'M INVASIVE SO IT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT FOR ME TO GET TO KNOW CHRIS. I'M FROM BALTIMORE. HE'S FROM CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY. YOU KNOW, THERE'S A LOT IN COMMON WITH THOSE CITIES AND SO, YOU KNOW, WE WOULD MEET UP FOR LUNCH AND THEN, OTHER THAN THAT, THE ACTUAL PROCESS. LIKE IN THE REHEARSAL ROOM, BUILDING A COLLECTIVE BACKSTORY, SHARED MEMORIES, YOU KNOW. THAT WAS A VERY LARGE PART OF IT AND THE MORE YOU JUST WORK THE MUSCLE OF THE PLAY, THE CLOSER YOU GET. THE MORE YOU REALIZE HOW MUCH YOU HAVE TO RELY ON EACH OTHER.

>> HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO REALLY PREPARE? I MEAN, YOU GUYS HAVE SO MUCH DIALOGUE AND THERE'S SO MUCH BLOCKING AND WORKING TOGETHER.

>> FOR SURE.

>> WHAT KIND OF PREP TIME DO YOU GET?

>> I LIKE TO MEMORIZE AS POSSIBLE AND THIS ONE I WAS TRYING TO MITIGATE IT BECAUSE IT'S A WORLD PREMIER. THERE'S DIALOGUE THAT CHANGES. I WAS HALFWAY MEMORIZED BY THE TIME WE REACHED THE FIRST DAY OF REHEARSAL. ALL MY PERSONAL RESEARCH WAS DONE. ALL THE BOOKS WERE READ. SO THEN I COULD DEVOTE THE TIME AND ENERGY IN REHEARSAL TO ACTUALLY LIKE, YEAH, THAT BLOCKING. THE LIKE ACTUAL COOKING ON STAGE. YEAH. YEAH. YOU KNOW, THAT'S A DANCE.

>> YOU GUYS ACTUALLY ATE. I WAS LIKE, OH, THAT WAS REAL GREEN BEANS. GOOD FOR YOU.

>> YEAH, FOR SURE.

>> EXPLAIN BACKGROUND FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE UNFAMILIAR. BECAUSE DONNIE R. LOVE WROTE THIS BUT THERE ARE TWO OTHER PLAYS IN THIS SERIES, EXPLAINING BLACK CHARACTERS THROUGHOUT HISTORY.

>> YEAH.

>> CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH HIM AND WHAT YOU KNOW?

>> I SAW "SUGAR IN OUR WOUNDS," WHICH IS THE FIRST PLAY OF THE SERIES AND IT EXPLORES BLACK QUEER LOVE. AND OLIVIA IS A DESCENDENT OF THAT PLAY. SO IT GOES ALONG FAMILIAL LINES. THE LOVE IN THIS STORY IS A LITTLE FURTHER REMOVED FROM THE LOVE -- I'M TRYING NOT TO SPOIL IT -- IN THE FIRST PLAY. "FIREFLIES," HIS WAY IN WAS THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT BECAUSE A LOT OF THE WOMEN BEHIND THAT MOVEMENT ARE BLACK CAREER WOMEN AND HE WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT HOW INVISIBLE COMMUNITIES HAVE INFORMED ACTIVISM IN THE COUNTRY AND IN THE WORLD. AND HOW MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE REMAIN RELATIVELY NAMELESS, YOU KNOW.

>> I THOUGHT IT WAS SUCH A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE BECAUSE, LIKE YOU SAID, QUEER CHARACTERS AND BLACK CHARACTERS ARE INVISIBLE IN OUR HISTORY. IT WAS SO POWERFUL TO SEE A PLAY THAT WAS TACKLING THESE ISSUES. HOW DID THAT INFORM HOW YOU PLAY OLIVIA? SHE'S DEALING WITH A LOT EXTERNALLY BUT STRUGGLING WITH A LOT INTERNALLY.

>> MAN. I REMEMBER READING -- I READ CORETTA'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN PREPARATION. YOU CAN READ BETWEEN THE LINES, WHAT SHE WAS ALLOWED TO DO BY SOCIETY AND WHAT HER HUSBAND ALLOWED HER TO DO AND WHEN SHE COULD BE SEEN AND NOT SEEN. AND WHEN YOU COME FROM A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ACCUSTOMED TO BEING RENDERED INVISIBLE, IT'S SOMETHING I DON'T HAVE TO ACT. I'M HERE NOW. IT'S BEAUTIFUL. I APPRECIATE IT. BUT THERE ARE MANY MOMENTS IN MY LIFE WHERE I WOULD BE WALKING DOWN THE STREET AND LITERALLY BE LIKE YOU JUST WALKED THROUGH MY BODY. THAT'S JUST THE REALITY OF IT. SO YOU KIND OF EXPLODE THAT. YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS THINK OF THIS PLAY AS A GREEK TRAGEDY, BECAUSE THIS IS A WOMAN WHO, YOU KNOW, WRITES FOR HER HUSBAND AND ESSENTIALLY -- I LOVE THE STAGING OF THE PLAY BECAUSE IT FEELS LIKE AN ISLAND. YOU KNOW, YOU'RE IN THEIR KITCHEN AND IT FEELS LIKE AN ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, AND THAT'S KIND OF HER PSYCHOLOGICAL STATE, HER PHYSICAL STATE, HER SOCIETAL STATE. IT'S JUST A PLAY THAT COMPRESSES AND WE SEE ITS IMPACT.

>> AND LITERALLY HER PLACE IS IN THE KITCHEN.

>> RIGHT.

>> WHICH IS SUCH A --

>> KITCHEN AND BEDROOM.

>> YEAH. WHICH IS SUCH A TOUGH THING AS A WOMAN GROWING UP IN THIS ERA. YOU'RE LIKE, OH, GOD, WOMEN WERE REALLY LIMITED. AND YOU CAN SEE THE ISSUES OF FEMINISM COMING UP WITH HER AND HER HUSBAND. BECAUSE HE'S OUT AS A REVEREND SPEAKING ELOQUENTLY IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, BUT SHE'S REALLY THE ONE PROVIDING THE WORDS.

>> YEAH.

>> AND SO IT'S -- SHE SILENCED.

>> SHE'S SILENCED.

>> AND HOW DO YOU -- YEAH. LIKE THAT'S ALL PART OF OLIVIA. SHE'S SO LOADED AS A CHARACTER.

>> ABSOLUTELY. YEAH. AND, YOU KNOW, IT MANIFESTS BECAUSE I THINK OF HER AS AN INTROVERT. I DON'T THINK SHE WOULD NECESSARILY WANT TO BE OUT THERE CEREMON-IZING. I ALWAYS THINK SHE WOULD MOVE TO NEW YORK AND BECOME LORRAINE HANSBERRY, WRITING POETRY, PLAYS AND A LOT OF HER SPEECHES HAVE THAT KIND OF LANGUAGE. AND I FEEL LIKE THAT'S THE LIFE, IF SHE COULD, YOU KNOW, GO BACK AND DO IT ALL AGAIN, SHE WOULD CHOOSE.

>> THERE'S ALSO THE THEMES OF WOMEN'S HEALTH AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS.

>> UH-HUH.

>> AND IT'S SO INTERESTING TO WATCH SOMETHING THAT'S BASED IN THE 60s BUT AS WE'RE STILL DEALING WITH --

>> STOP TRYING TO MAKE ME CRY BEFORE I CAN GO DO MY JOB.

>> KAVANAUGH AND ABORTION RIGHTS AND ALL THESE THINGS. DOES THAT MAKE YOU EVEN MORE ATTRACTED TO THIS CHARACTER? BECAUSE HER PAIN IS SOMETHING WE THOUGHT MAYBE WAS IN THE PAST BUT FEELS REALLY TOPICAL?

>> IT FEELS REALLY PRESENT. EVERY NIGHT, UNFORTUNATELY -- FORTUNATELY FOR ME, UNFORTUNATELY, SOMETHING ELSE MOVES ME. SOMETHING ELSE STRIKES ME. SOMETHING ELSE BREAKS MY HEART, YOU KNOW. AND ANOTHER THEME OR THREAD REALLY LIKE -- I SPEND MORE TIME IN THE PLAY TRYING TO KEEP IT TOGETHER THAN I DO TRYING TO LET IT OUT, IF I CAN BE HONEST WITH YOU. AND, YES, A SIGN OF THE TIMES.

>> WATCHING YOUR EYES RIGHT NOW IS MAKING MY EYES STING. AND I HAVE TO EXPRESS TO YOU GUYS THAT WATCHING THIS PLAY WAS SUCH AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE. I MEAN, YOU SEE THE HEAVY THINGS THAT OBVIOUSLY THE PLAY TACKLES. BUT YOU, AS AN ACTOR, ARE IN THIS HEIGHTENED STATE OF EMOTION FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE PLAY.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> SHE'S IN AND OUT OF EMOTIONAL FITS, TEARS OR ANGER.

>> RIGHT.

>> TO YOUR CREDIT AT THE END OF THE PLAY DURING THE APPLAUSE, YOU LOOKED EXHAUSTED. YOU CAME OUT AND WERE KIND OF LIKE OH, THANK YOU. THAT WAS A LOT. I'M GLAD YOU GUYS ENJOYED IT.

>> I'LL TRY TO DO BETTER. I SAW ONE IMAGE FROM OPENING NIGHT AND I WAS LIKE, DEWANDA, YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT, THOUGH.

>> NO. YOU DO UNDERSTAND AS AN AUDIENCE MEMBER, THOUGH, THAT IS SO GRATIFYING, BECAUSE I KNOW YOU LEFT IT ALL OUT THERE. I DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU LEFT ANYTHING LEFT IN. HOW DO YOU PREPARE TO DO THAT EVERY NIGHT, OR SOMETIMES TWICE A DAY?

>> I'LL TELL YOU WHAT I TELL EVERYONE. I'M IN A CONSTANT STATE OF READINESS AND I JUST SLIP INTO IT. IT'S ONE OF THOSE ROLES WHERE IT JUST TAKES OVER YOUR LIFE. I STARTED AUGUST 29th AND I WILL BE IN OLIVIA'S SKIN UNTIL NOVEMBER 11th, OUR LAST SHOW, FOR SURE, YOU KNOW.

>> DO YOU HAVE A RITUAL BEFORE? OR YOU CAN JUST SNAP IN AND OUT?

>> CHRIS AND I ARE BOTH NERDS SO WE GO SUPER EARLY. WE GO LIKE TWO HOURS BEFORE THE SHOW AND JUST KIND OF LIKE ENJOY EACH OTHER'S NICE COMPANY BEFORE WE RIP EACH OTHER APART. BUT, NO, WE DO. WE SPEND TWO HOURS BEFORE AND JUST -- LIKE LISTEN TO SOUL MUSIC, TRASH TALK AND KICK IT, YOU KNOW, AND LIKE ENJOY THE FRIENDSHIP BEFORE THE STORM.

>> BEFORE THE STORM, LITERALLY.

>> YEAH.

>> LOTS OF EXPLOSIONS. AND WHAT ABOUT AFTER? HOW DO YOU LEAVE THAT ON THE STAGE?

>> I SIT IN STILLNESS, YOU KNOW, WHICH I ALWAYS FEEL BAD BECAUSE THERE'S ALWAYS PEOPLE WHO WANT TO SAY HI. AND SOME, YOU KNOW, THEY'LL COME BACKSTAGE AND SAY HELLO. FOR THE MOST PART I SIT AND WALK HOME. IT'S A 40-MINUTE WALK. I JUST TAKE IT. FACETIME MY HUSBAND SO I CAN REMEMBER WHAT MY LIFE REALLY IS.

>> DO YOU JOURNAL OR ANYTHING?

>> HEAVILY.

>> THIS IS SUCH AN HONOR, I'M SURE, TO TAKE ON THIS CHARACTER AND GO INTO HER LIFE EVERY NIGHT.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> FOR YOU, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GET TO DO THAT?

>> I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT I FEEL LIKE ROLES EXIST FOR ME TO FILL. I'M REALLY, REALLY THANKFUL FOR IT AND, YOU KNOW, OUTSIDE OF LIKE MAKING SURE, OBVIOUSLY, PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY SEE THE SHOW, NOTHING MEANS MORE TO ME THAN TALKING TO WOMEN AFTERWARDS OR READING DIRECT MESSAGES, BECAUSE I DO READ THEM, YOU KNOW, FROM PEOPLE WHO REALLY HAVE RESPONDED. AND I THINK THAT'S RARE, AND I RECOGNIZE THAT'S RARE. I RECOGNIZE IT IS STILL RARE TO GO TO THE THEATER OR HAVE AN EXPERIENCE THAT IS REALLY AN EXPERIENCE, YOU KNOW, ONE THAT THE AUDIENCE, TOO, HAVE TO SIT FOR A MOMENT, YOU KNOW. AND I -- IT IS. IT'S AN HONOR.

>> DO YOU THINK THAT'S HEIGHTENED BECAUSE OF THE POLITICAL TIMES WE'RE LIVING IN NOW, EVEN THE FOUR GIRLS DYING IN THAT BIRMINGHAM CHURCH AND LAST WEEK SEE SAW THE SYNAGOGUE BEING ATTACKED, DO YOU THINK THAT TIES PEOPLE EVEN MORE TO WHAT THEY'RE WATCHING?

>> A TRILLION PERCENT. AND I THINK IT'S A REMINDER WE'RE ALL IN THIS, YOU KNOW. THIS IS ALL OF OUR STUFF FOR ALL OF US TO ADDRESS.

>> WHAT IS IT THAT YOU LOVE ABOUT THEATER?

>> YOU CAN'T HIDE. YOU CANNOT HIDE AND IT'S UNDENIABLE. YOU WORK IN FILM AND TV. EDITORS CAN MAKE YOU LOOK GOOD, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. THERE'S PLENTY OF SMOKE AND MIRRORS AND THEY'RE LIKE WE'LL CUT AWAY TO THIS PRETTY SHOT OF SOMETHING ELSE. AND WITH THEATER IT'S 95 MINUTES. I'M ON STAGE THE WHOLE TIME, YOU KNOW. IT'S UNDENIABLE. AND IT'S REALLY FUNNY. I READ WRITE-UPS. I'M NOT THAT SENSITIVE. IT'S INTERESTING TO SEE PEOPLE BE SURPRISED, YOU KNOW. BUT, YOU KNOW, I TRAIN IN THEATER AND I TRY TO VACILLATE BETWEEN ALL MEDIUMS AND I LOVE IT. YEAH.

>> I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THOSE OTHER MEDIUMS REALLY QUICK. IS THE AUDIENCE ENCOURAGED AT THE END TO YELL OUT IN SUPPORT? YOUR CHARACTER HAS THIS AMAZING PERFORMANCE AT THE END AND I WAS IN MY SEAT LIKE UH-HUH, UH-HUH.

>> LIKE AT CHURCH.

>> IT WAS LIKE AN AUDIENCE THAT WAS BEING VERY POLITE. I WANT TO KNOW, CAN PEOPLE LIKEN COURAGE THAT OR --

>> I LOVE IT. I WORKED WITH A PLAYWRIGHT WHO GIVES LITERAL INSTRUCTIONS TO THE AUDIENCE. SHE'LL GIVE A PAMPHLET THAT SAYS YOU HAVE PERMISSION HERE. YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO BE LOUD OR LAUGH. YOU HAVE PROGRAMS.

>> IT FELT LIKE EXCHANGE AND COMMUNAL EXPERIENCE BUT I FELT LIKE I WAS IN CHURCH.

>> YOU DO BECAUSE OF THE BUILDING.

>> I BECAME AWARE OF YOUR WORK WITH "SHE'S GOT TO HAVE IT."

>> RIGHT.

>> WHICH IS DOING SEASON TWO.

>> UH-HUH.

>> WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM SEASON TWO? IS IT COMING OUT? HAVE YOU FILMED IT?

>> YOU CAN EXPECT A LOT OF LOCATIONS. WE SHOT IN PUERTO RICO. SHOT IN MARTHA'S VINEYARD. OF COURSE, IN BROOKLYN. GOT TO HOLD IT DOWN. AND IT COMES OUT IN 2019.

>> AND ARE ALL THE GUYS COMING BACK?

>> ALL THE GUYS ARE COMING BACK. THERE MAY BE A NEW GUY.

>> ANOTHER ONE?

>> LISTEN. SHE'S GOT TO HAVE IT.

>> NOLA, DARLING. ALL RIGHT. HOW FUN IS IT TO PLAY NOLA? SHE'S MESSY.

>> SHE'S VERY, VERY MESSY. WHAT'S REALLY DISTURBING IS WHEN I READ HER, I JUST -- I WAS LIKE OH, SHE'S TRYING TO GET IT TOGETHER, BUT I DIDN'T REALLY THINK SHE WAS THAT MESSY.

>> OH, WOW.

>> ISN'T THAT TERRIBLE?

>> YEAH.

>> I GUESS SHE'S PRETTY MESSY. SHE'S TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT, GUYS. YOU KNOW, IT'S A LOT. IT'S A LOT TO BALANCE.

>> RIGHT.

>> IT'S ACTOR BOOT CAMP. HE'S VERY, VERY DIFFERENT TO EVERY ACTOR HE WORKS WITH. SOME DAYS YOU'LL GO AND BE LIKE, COOL, THIS IS A PLAN AND SOME DAYS YOU'LL GO AND HE'S LET YOU LOOSE IN A PARK SOMEWHERE AND YOU'RE IMPROVISING A SCENE IN CHARACTER AND YOU'RE LIKE I HOPE THIS MAKES SENSOR CUTS TOGETHER. THERE'S THIS UNPREDICTABILITY TO HIS WORK. YOU DO. YOU GET THE SENSE OF LIKE OH, YOU'RE GOING TO BE A REAL ARTIST FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, INSURMOUNTABLE, AMOUNT OF ENERGY. THE MAN IS JUST UNSTOPPABLE.

>> IS THAT IMPROV SOMETHING YOU'RE COMFORTABLE DOING OR SOMETHING YOU HAD TO GET INTO?

>> THEATER NERD. WE HAD TWO GUEST STARS, BOTH OF THEM THEATER GUYS, BRANDON DIXON AND MICHAEL, WHO PLAYS HAMILTON RIGHT NOW. I TRIED TO WARN THEM ABOUT THE IMPROVISATION. LAST SEASON THERE WAS LESS. THIS SEASON THERE WAS JUST MORE AND BRANDON, OH, MY GOODNESS -- SO WE SHOT IN MARTHA'S VINEYARD. I WARNED HIM. I KID YOU NOT, HE IMPROVISED MORE THAN LIKE ANYONE ELSE HAS. AND I'M TALKING LIKE SPIKE WOULD BE WO JUST BE LIKE, OKAY SO MAKE UP A MONOLOGUE ABOUT X, Y, Z, 1, 2, 3 AND HE WOULD AND IT WAS BRILLIANT. IT WAS BRILLIANT. SO IF YOU HAVE IT -- BUT AGAIN, LIKE I SAID, HE'S VERY SPECIFIC WITH EACH ACTOR. SO IF HE KNOWS YOU CAN IMPROVISE, THEN HE'LL USE THAT MUSCLE. DON'T LET HIM FIND OUT YOU CAN SING, BECAUSE MR. RAMOS MAY OR MAY NOT BE SINGING IN SEASON TWO.

>> I LOVE ANTHONY RAMOS. I'M EXCITED TO SEE ALL THE AMAZING STUFF HE HAS BEEN DOING IN FILM AND WHATNOT. IN FILM YOU ALSO HAVE A MOVIE YOU'VE BEEN WORKING ON THAT WILL COME OUT NEXT YEAR.

>> SOMEONE GREAT.

>> WHAT'S THAT ABOUT?

>> A DOPE SHOW ON MTV CALLED "SWEET VICIOUS" WHICH YOU ALL SHOULD BUY ON iTUNES, BECAUSE IT'S PHENOMENAL, TOTALLY CULT CLASSIC AND AHEAD OF ITS TIME. IT'S A GIRL GANG COMEDY WITH GINA RODRIGUEZ AND BRITTANY SNOW. I LOVE BOTH OF THEM SO MUCH. I DON'T KNOW IF I'VE HAD MORE FUN. THERE'S NOTHING BETTER THAN WORKING ON SOMETHING AND BEING LIKE WELL, I HAD A LOT OF FUN SO I HOPE THE MOVIE IS GOOD, AND I DID SOME ADR ON IT AND I WAS CRACKING UP. SO I'M VERY PROUD. BEAUTIFULLY SHOT. HILARIOUS SCRIPT. AND GINA IS THE HOMEY. SO IT'S KIND OF THE BEST OF EVERYTHING.

>> I LOVE THAT YOU'RE DOING A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING.

>> YEAH.

>> YOU'VE GOT THE DRAMATIC SIDE, COMEDIC SIDE. YOU PROBABLY HAVE TO BALANCE OUT THE DRAMA.

>> YOU DO. FOR SURE.

>> YOU DON'T WANT TO BE CRYING SO MUCH.

>> ONLY HAVE SO MANY TEA BAGS TO FIX THE SWELLING.

>> DOES THAT HELP?

>> IT DOES.

>> WHAT KIND OF TEA?

>> GREEN.

>> OKAY.

>> YES, YOU'RE WELCOME.

>> I'LL GET SOME. RIGHT HERE. LET'S GO TO THE AUDIENCE BEFORE WE GET OUT OF HERE. WHO DO WE HAVE FIRST?

>> HI.

>> HI.

>> FIRST OF ALL, CONGRATULATIONS ON THE ROLE IN THE PLAY. I HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET BUT I'M EXCITED TO. I'M JUST WONDERING, WITH SUCH AN EMOTIONAL ROLE, HOW DO YOU RELAX LIKE WHEN YOU'RE OUT OF THE ROLE AND YOU'VE GONE HOME?

>> THAT'S A REALLY GREAT QUESTION. WHEN I WAS REHEARSING, I WAS DEFINITELY IN YOGA EVERY DAY. STOPPED DOING THAT BECAUSE I LOSE A LOT OF WEIGHT IN NEW YORK. I WAS LIKE, OKAY, LESS YOGA. I GET FACIALS AND I MAKE SURE I CONNECT WITH MY FRIENDS VORACIOUSLY, YOU KNOW. LIKE EPIC HANGOUTS. LIKE MY TWO BESTIES LIVE IN BROOKLYN. SO PROBABLY THAT, YOU KNOW. AFTER I CALLED MY HUSBAND, YEAH.

>> I LOVE THE RECONNECTING WITH FRIENDS. IT JUST ROOTS YOU BACK INTO REALITY SO FAST.

>> LIKE REALLY FAST.

>> REALLY FAST. LIKE YOU'RE NOT A STAR HERE.

>> YOU'RE NOT A STAR HERE. WE DON'T CARE. THESE ARE THE SWEAT PANTS YOU WEAR EVERY DAY.

>> NEXT QUESTION?

>> HI. SO HOW DO YOU FEEL WITH THIS ROLE YOU'VE GROWN AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND AS AN ACTRESS?

>> GREAT QUESTION. I FEEL LIKE, YOU KNOW, AS AN ACTRESS -- FOR LIKE TV, IT'S A DIFFERENT MUSCLE, RIGHT? SO YOU HAVE NO TIME. SO GIVE TV ACTORS GRACE. BUT MY SHOW, I GET TWO OR THREE TAKES. SO CHOICES HAVE TO BE MADE AND YOU MAKE THOSE CHOICES AND YOU COMMIT TO THEM AND YOU DO IT. WITH THEATER, THERE'S SO MUCH SPACE, YOU KNOW. AND I HAD SO MUCH SPACE. AND I STILL, EVERY PERFORMANCE, HAVE THAT SPACE AND EXPLORATION AND IT JUST KIND OF ALMOST INCREASES YOUR RISK TAKING LUNG CAPACITY AS AN ACTOR. BECAUSE ESPECIALLY AFTER IT'S OPEN, SOMETIMES OLIVIA IS MORE PREGNANT, SOMETIMES SHE'S LESS PREGNANT. LITERALLY, SOMETIMES I PLAY AROUND WITH PHYSICALLY BEING MORE OR LESS. SHE'S MORE SOUTHERN SOMETIMES. I PLAY AROUND WITH HER VOCAL REGISTER AND IT'S REALLY AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE RISKS, YOU KNOW, WHICH IS A MUSCLE THAT I IMPLORE EVERY ACTOR TO CONTINUE TO FLEX, YOU KNOW. TO NEVER GET TO THAT SPACE WHERE YOU'RE LIKE, THIS IS WHAT I DO. THIS IS WHAT I FEEL COMFORTABLE DOING. NO, YOU HAVE TO TAKE SOME RISKS. YOU MIGHT FAIL. IT MIGHT NOT WORK. YOU MIGHT LOSE YOUR VOICE A LITTLE BIT BUT YOU TOOK IT AND YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT YOURSELF. AND I WON'T KNOW WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF UNTIL I'M DONE, BECAUSE I'M KIND OF A DELAY PROCESSOR LIKE THAT, BUT THAT'S WHY I JOURNAL.

>> LAST QUESTION.

>> HI.

>> HEY.

>> SO I WAS WONDERING, YOU GUYS TOUCHED UPON THE AUDIENCE BEING INTERACTIVE DURING THE PERFORMANCE BUT HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE AUDIENCE BECOME EMOTIONAL AS LIKE ON THE VERGE OF TEARS AND DOES THAT AFFECT YOU IN ANY WAY?

>> EVERY SHOW. AT THE END OF EVERY SHOW. I CAN HEAR IT. I CAN FEEL IT. AND FOR ME, YEAH, IT IS. IT'S A CONVERSATION, YOU KNOW. AND I THINK IT DEFINITELY FUELED THE WAY THAT I ENTER INTO THE LAST PART OF THE PLAY, WITHOUT GIVING ANY SPOILERS. AND IT'S SUCH A GIFT, PEOPLE HAVING A PHYSICAL PRESENCE THAT CAN CAPTIVATE AN AUDIENCE FOR 25 MINUTES IS JUST A FEAT. WE DON'T HAVE THE SAME ATTENTION SPANS WE USED TO. TO GET THAT AND FEEL THAT KIND OF RESPONSE THAT VERY TRUE AND HONEST AND VULNERABLE RESPONSES. IT'S A GIFT AND I KNOW HOW RARE IT IS.

>> AND IT COMES SO NATURALLY WITH "FIREFLIES" BECAUSE IT BUILDS SO GRADUALLY. THE EMOTION BUILDS, THE TENSION BUILDS. WHY YOUR NOT QUITE SURE HOW ITS GOING TO ENDS. IT'S AN EASY RIDE TO BE ON BECAUSE IT FEELS SO NATURAL. I CANNOT TELL YOU ENOUGH HOW MUCH I ENJOYED YOUR PERFORMANCE AT THE ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY. “FIREFLIES” IS PLAYING NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 11th. GIVE IT UP FOR DEWANDA WISE.

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We ended our 2018 on a high note with Lyrica Okano! The star of the Hulu original, Marvel's "Runaways," shared what it's like working for the renowned comic behemoth. (Photo Credit: Mike Pont /BUILD )

Paris Hilton

Now that's 🔥! The one and only Paris Hilton stopped by the studio to chat about her time working on the Netflix documentary, "The American Meme," and more.  (Photo Credit: Mike Pont /BUILD )

Willem Dafoe

Genuinely one of our favorite guests, it's always a pleasure to have the great Willem Dafoe. Watch our discussion about his Vincent Van Gogh portrayal in the film, "At Eternity's Gate." (Photo Credit: Noam Galai /BUILD )

Robert Zemeckis

Robert Zemeckis is the man behind every film we've come to know and love! Hear what he had to say about creating the new unique drama, "Welcome to Marwen." (Photo Credit: Mike Pont /BUILD )

Amy Adams & Steve Carell

It's not every day that we have actors of such magnitude like Amy Adams and Steve Carell! You cannot miss our conversation with the stars of the Golden Globe-nominated film, "Vice."

(Photo Credit: Noam Galai /BUILD )

Jada Pinkett Smith of Facebook Watch's "Red Table Talk"

We love her at her red table, but she looks good in pink too! Make sure to watch our amazing conversation with Jada Pinkett Smith about her hit show, "Red Table Talk." (Photo Credit: Mike Pont /BUILD )

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