Stage, TV actress Sarah Steele is making a name for herself
NEW YORK >> Sarah Steele's return to Broadway is good news. Well, maybe not for everyone.
The actress, perhaps best known for playing the no-nonsense daughter of Alan Cumming on TV's "The Good Wife," is rejoining the cast of "The Humans" as it jumps to the Helen Hayes Theatre.
The Stephen Karam play is about a blue-collar family driving one another crazy during Thanksgiving. Steele plays an angry composer working two bar jobs.
While playing the role off-Broadway last year, Steele earned praise from critics but brought the role home. At one point, her boyfriend said to her: "'You are a piece of work right now. This person is changing you."
He better settle in for another round.
Steele in person is warm and kind. She was raised in Pennsylvania, played Adam Sandler's daughter in "Spanglish" and graduated from Columbia University. Her other stage credits include Karam's "Speech & Debate" and "The Country House."
The Associated Press asked her about her relationship with Karam, her gig on the soon-to-end "The Good Wife" and her cool name.
Q: The playwright wrote this role with you in mind? What's that like?
A: There's nothing better than a great writer — a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer — writing you a part. I feel like it's all downhill from here.
Q: Did he capture the way you talk?
A: What's so funny is that I think he captured something about the rhythm of the way I speak and made a character that is so completely not who I am at all. I mean, he really actually challenged me. It's very different from any character I've ever played and very, very different from me.
Q: What should we take away from this play?
A: It's not trying to tackle any particular issue. It's just a snapshot of how we live now. The experience that my friends who have seen it have had is that everybody relates to a different thing. Someone will come and think it's a play about millennials trying to make it in the world. Some people will come and think it's about dementia. Whatever hits you the most is what you think the play is about, but really it's not about any of those things.
Q: How do you juggle TV and the stage?
A: I feel like I hit the jackpot that people seem to think I have this TV career because of 'The Good Wife' when 'The Good Wife' was just a part that I got in college that was just supposed to be a couple of episodes and then they decided to expand the character. It's been such an amazing thing for me.
Q: You were in the big movie "Spanglish" and then went back to school. Why?
A: It seemed very natural to me at the time. I was 15 and I just remember having a feeling, being out in Hollywood, that, 'I am not ready to attack this world yet. I am not strong enough to withstand this yet.' I really, honestly went back home and went to school to become my own person. Because I was like, 'Once I know who I am, I think I can do this, but right now I'm 15.'"
Q: Sarah Steele is such an awesome, superhero-ish name. Is it real?
A: It is my real name. My parents almost named me Elizabeth and then at the very end they were like, 'No. Sarah Steele.' It's a much better name for an actress. But a lot of people get me confused with Sarah Stiles. We have both had reviews where the other person was named. We have a joke: We're like, 'Hopefully, if I get a bad review, they'll say your name.'