She’s even enjoying the cross-dressing. “I was feeling like I could do more to get into my character,” she explains. “So I decided, What if I walked around New York trying to pass for a boy? What if I had to make people look twice to figure out what I was? I kind of got dressed up, and there were six photographers outside. I was walking my dog, and they know my dog, so all of the sudden I’m in a terribly unflattering outfit, I look like I’m auditioning for West Side Story, and it’s on the Internet! And it’s just like, I’m doing this for my job!”
She’s just visited the Hetrick-Martin Institute—her older brother is gay, and she has gotten very involved in various gay-rights causes—and finds herself thinking even more about the gender-bending aspect of her role. “I’m really going to lean in to that,” she says, before sighing a big sigh-of-contentment sigh. “It’s the most delicious, exhausting challenge.”
There are a number of films set to begin once the play ends and after some time spent immersed in a “gorgeous blanket of nurturing familiarity” (translation: family vacation). She’ll be in Garry Marshall’s Valentine’s Day, with Julia Roberts and Shirley MacLaine (“We don’t have any scenes together, but hey, I get a poster!”). Talk of other projects swirls around her, but she’s coy about it. “I don’t mean to be, but sometimes things don’t work out in the end, and then people think it’s because you hate someone, and I don’t hate anyone!”
It has, however, been confirmed that she’ll be playing Judy Garland on Broadway, and that seems about right.
“This is so embarrassing, but one of the waitresses just walked by with a glass of white wine and I almost reached out and grabbed it. It would be lovely to have a bit of release, but no. I have to go to rehearsal. I don’t want to be the girl who shows up tipsy. But wouldn’t it be fun? Wouldn’t it be fun someday to be a grande dame who can get away with anything?”