The History Boys. All My Sons. Who are they?
Over the next few weeks on Behind the ‘Line we are taking some time to learn more about members of the casts of these two shows.
I had the chance to interview one member of the cast of The History Boys, Alex Weisman, who plays Posner. Alex is really cool! I felt so at ease when I had the pleasure of interviewing him last Thursday (which was also his birthday). Before the interview began, Alex made himself comfortable. He took off his flips flops, sat on the sofa, and had a warm smile on his face. Thank GOODNESS, he was laid back so there was no need to be nervous around him.
“The number one qualification of a baby model is being still,” explained Alex as we began the interview. Laughing, he explained that out of nowhere, a parent at his older sister’s dance class noticed him when he was an infant. This parent was a model agent and was impressed by how baby Alex behaved so well. It was then that Alex landed his first acting job, as a baby model. Alex just has that remarkable ability to capture peoples’ attention.
Alex is confident in what he wants: “I want to change the world.” And be a successful actor and become an advocate for the American Heart Association. Alex has had three open-heart surgeries, which influences him to want to make the world a better place.
With The History Boys, Alex is off to a good start toward his goal of becoming a successful actor. He explained that at the beginning, he had no idea what he was getting himself into because it was his first time working with TimeLine. Yet he was thrilled that everyone at TimeLine was so welcoming and made him feel part of the team. Artistic Director PJ Powers and Director of Marketing and Communications Lara Goetsch “have really helped me a lot personally getting my career started and I feel that they’ve got my best interest at hand,” Alex said. “I enjoy working here.” (And TimeLine really enjoys working with you, Alex!)
Alex and Posner? There are ways that Alex connects with his character. One that was fascinating to hear was that he learned how it really feels to be invisible. He explained that Posner wants to take up as little space as he can and disappear, and that it was very interesting for him to explore that. “I think that I very much have a big personality, but then there is a part of me, like Posner, that also wants to disappear,” he said.
During The History Boys extension, there are a few changes in the supporting cast along the way. “It changes the show. This piece is so much about this eight-headed monster, as people have describe this pack of boys. When all of a sudden there is a new person in there, it changes the group momentum. When one head changes, it is a different monster because we are one character — eight actors playing one character. It’s different, but it’s great because it keeps it from being monotonous. The show is new every week.”
At the end of our interview, I asked Alex if there was anything else he would like share. He thought for a moment and then moved more to the edge of his seat. In a passionate voice, he explained that through his character he hopes the audience takes away a message: “Don’t let people tell you who you are. If you let someone else explain who you are, then you have to fight for your uniqueness. Acknowledge everything that you are feeling and let yourself be free to be who you are.”
UPDATE: Today Alex was featured in the Chicago Tribune‘s “On the Town” section as one of six “Hot New Faces” in Chicago theater! Congratulations Alex!!!! You can read the article online here …
Raquel Mendoza is a Marketing/Communications intern at TimeLine this summer. She will next interview Michael Peters, who plays Rudge in The History Boys. Look for that article next week!
Thanks for the interview. I have seen Timeline production three times starting with the first weekend and have been impressed with the growth in confidence and spontaneity in Alex’s performance as Posner.