SYDNEY -- They’re starring in a play about a woman reluctant to age and the perils of passing time, but veteran actors James Earl Jones and Angela Lansbury say that life in their 80s continues to be exciting thanks to their determination to keep doing what they love.
Jones and Lansbury, in Australia to star in a touring production of Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer-Prize winning play "Driving Miss Daisy," say the thrill of performing has propelled them throughout their decades-long careers and gives them the energy necessary to keep up with their often grueling schedules.
"First of all, wake up. Wake up and try to get your bones moving," a grinning Jones, who turns 82 this month, said Monday ahead of the cast’s first rehearsal. "And then be enthusiastic about what you do. I’m very enthusiastic about acting still. I love the process of creating a character."
The 87-year-old Lansbury said it was the stage that gave her a jolt of fresh inspiration later in life.
"Coming back to the theater about seven years ago turned the tide for me, it really did. Because it gave me a career after [her role as Jessica Fletcher in the long-running television series ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ " and the change is welcome.
"I was happy to retire her. I’m constantly reminded of her by people who are still very fond of watching the show," she said.