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Alison Pill

On telling off F. Murray Abraham and her awkwardness with Jeff Daniels.

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Still only 22, Alison Pill’s already gotten a Tony nod for The Lieutenant of Inishmore and played a woman recovering from a pedophilic affair with Jeff Daniels in Blackbird. Now she’s starring in Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritius, a play about the high-stakes world of stamp collecting.

Stamp collecting?
When I’ve been reading it with friends to go over lines, they’ve sort of been shocked by the fact that, no, no, it really is about stamps. But in this one I get to call F. Murray Abraham an asshole, and just stand up to everybody in a way I haven’t really done in any other role.

There’s a surprising amount of violence, too.
Things that you don’t really think about when you’re working by yourself in your apartment take on a whole new meaning when you’re actually being punched in the face.

How did you get into acting at age 10?
I’m from Toronto, and I was there during the golden period of Toronto being the base for all American TV movies. So I got to play everybody’s daughter because of various tax-break laws. I was heavily subsidized as a youth.

Maybe your precociousness is what made you so horrifyingly believable in Blackbird.
It was hard for Jeff and me because the relationship onstage made it impossible for us to say to each other, “Oh, let’s just go out for a drink after the show.” Once, I was about to give Jeff a hug good-bye, and we sort of looked at each other and went, “Um, I’ll see you later.”

Mauritius
Biltmore Theatre; opens October 4.


Related:

Fall Preview 2007

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