Monday 21 May 2018

Cuba Gooding Jnr speaks about playing Billy Flynn in Chicago

As Cuba Gooding Jnr settles into the role of Chicago's Billy Flynn at the Phoenix Theatre, he briefly spoke with contributor Josh Kemp about the challenge of the West End stage.

Many celebrity stars in recent years have taken on the role of Billy Flynn, the most esteemed defence lawyer in Illinois’ showbiz history. From the likes of Jerry Springer who’s neither a stranger to showbiz or politics (aren’t they the same nowadays anyway?) to David Hasselhoff!

This time around the man filling Flynn’s shoes is none other than Hollywood's Oscar-winner,  Cuba Gooding Jr. Fresh from playing the notorious defendant in television's The People vs O.J.Simpson, Cuba is no stranger to sensational court-room drama - albeit that the Cook County courthouse does come with a little more razzle dazzle. And Gooding Jnr. brings a fresh energy to the role that works perfectly. 

Showered and robed after the show, Cuba spoke to me about how the contrast he’s experiencing between the West End’s live theatre and appearing before a camera. He summed it up perfectly:

 “In TV & film there’s a few takes and then its on to the next scene and there isn’t really time to connect with what you’re doing in the moment as you quickly move on to the next part. On stage every night is different, how your fellow cast perform, the energy from the crowd, everything is different and this adds to your performance and makes every night a challenge that’s new and engaging”

Chicago remains a fun and enjoyable night out, right through from the first number to the final curtain. To catch up with my review of this revival, click here. To read my interview with Josefina Gabrielle, currently playing Velma, have a read here.

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