Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones have reunited in a touring production of the play "Driving Miss Daisy." The legendary actors recently spoke about their careers and what keeps them going in the business.
"You get on stage and you really can let it out," Lansbury told the Associated Press in Australia. "You're not hampered by camera angles or lighting. Coming back to the theater about seven years ago turned the tide for me, it really did, because it gave me a career after 70."
"I could still work in the theater and play great roles, but it wasn't so easy to continue as a motion picture actress. Which I was very glad of – I didn't like the way we were making movies … the kind of roles I would like to play didn't exist. But I love the theater, and as it turned out, it was the right thing to do," Lansbury explained.
She, of course, has had a very successful career in film, television, and the theater. Two of her most well-known roles are as the controlling mother in "The Manchurian Candidate" and the sweet, down-home detective in "Murder, She Wrote." Lansbury most recently appeared in Gore Vidal's "The Best Man" with Jones. The play was a hit on Broadway and brought the two legends together.
"I'm very enthusiastic about acting still," Jones told the AP. "I love the process of creating a character." When asked how he keeps his energy up, he explained that he tries to "be enthusiastic" about what he does.
Working on "Driving Miss Daisy" is a treat for both actors who are familiar with the original play and the film starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman. It centers on the relationship between an Africana American chauffer named Hoke who drives Daisy around and develops a friendship with her over the course of 25 years.
"When I saw Morgan do it, I said, 'I'd like to play that role,' Jones said. "I thought I understood (Hoke) and I wan to understand him more. Hoke Colburn is such a character. He's illiterate but he speaks English … and uses it very effectively and very poetically. That's what I love about the role, trying to understand how he re-weaves language so he gets himself across."
The play will tour across Australia, which is great for residents but has disappointed more than a few American fans.
"Love both of them. Wish that show was coming to the U.S. because I would sure be there. They are both fine actors, which we need to see more of here," Yahoo! user Flo W posted.
"What I wouldn't give to see these two outstanding actors. Bring this play to the U.S. with both of them and I'll be there with bells on," added longislandsam.