Photo: Wayne McDonald Photography
Angelica’s character Annette was originally brought to Broadway by actress Hope Davis. Other notable actors like Annie Potts and Lucy Liu have reprised this role on Broadway with Kate Winslet stepping into this role in the Movie Adaptation ‘Carnage’.
GOD OF CARNAGE is about a playground altercation between eleven-year-old-boys which brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter. At first diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters.
Annette Raleigh is the wife of Alan Raleigh and mother to son Benjamin. Annette is a wealth manager who presents herself as an elite member of the one percent. Anxiety-ridden whose self-confidence has been eroded by the pressures of motherhood, she feels abandoned by her husband Alan’s eternal preoccupation with work and is on the brink of a panic attack. On the surface appears to be polite and accommodating, but the audience soon learns that this is part of a façade. When her veneer is stripped away what is left is an incredibly insecure and unhappy person.
I had the opportunity to chat with Angelica about her role, what she’s learned along the way and what’s next.
Kat: You’re set to star in the Mirvish Production of the Tony award winning play GOD OF CARNAGE at the CAA Theatre in Toronto from May 23rd – 28th in the coveted role of Annette Raleigh, how did you prepare for the role? Did you find any similarities between yourself and your character Annette?
Angelica: God of Carnage has won both a Tony Award for Best Play as well as a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy! Like you mentioned, this role is such a coveted one to play. I think of the actresses who have played her such as Hope Davis who originally performed Annette on Broadway, then other iconic actors like Annie Potts, Lucy Liu and Kate Winslet. Those are people I love watching so it is intimidating given that history of Annette. Knowing the people that have played her was something I was very cognisant of, playing Annette there are big shoes to fill. As a performer you have your thoughts on how you are going to approach and prepare for the character. There are aspects of her that I find myself drawing comparisons to, but also there are differences where I would want to approach things differently if I were in her shoes. However in the end this is something as a cast and production we are bringing together to audiences. When we as a cast and production come together, we are all collaborating together with our director, to bring our version of each character and the story to life.
Kat: Was there anything about your role that was particularly challenging?
Angelica: I feel for the predicament she finds herself in, while at the same time wondering how she let it get that far. Annette and her relationship with Alan was an interesting one to explore. Their relationship or lack thereof was one that I really enjoyed working through. Her relationship with Alan and the other characters Veronica and Michael is great to see change, seeing how they affect her resulting in the physical manifestation of that stress and tension was challenging, but a lot of fun. Without giving too much away, I can’t wait for this visibly “messy” moment in the play.
Kat: What’s been your favorite part of the process and why?
Angelica: As is evidenced if you search for it on the internet, you will see this play is one that has been done many times and won many awards. I think part of the process that I enjoy is though the story and characters are known, that we have the chance as a cast and production to share with audiences something that is unique to our production and vision.
Kat: Is there a type of character that you’d like to portray, that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
Angelica: I recently became a Member of Fight Directors Canada, so the various disciplines involved are something I want to keep growing in. I also got licensed in a few areas last year. If I could find a role that had some physicality to her, like maybe a role that required the actor to be a really good sword fighter, I would love to use that training and get to do that! Though as I say that, what comes to mind is probably who I see the character as. A strong and hardened individual, who has gotten so used to keeping everyone out that they don’t know how to let anyone in. You know there is so much underneath that tough exterior too.
Kat: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2023?
Angelica: When I am not on stage or in front of the camera, I tend to still be involved somehow in the industry. Aside from performing, I am active in my creative community, so right now I am looking forward to doing some things while I am in between projects. I get asked to be a juror, judge, panellist, speaker and host for different film festivals or industry events and initiatives. I am so grateful for all of it and can’t believe I am so lucky to get to do this so being out there, giving back and engaging with others is something I love to do!
Connect with Angelica on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liveloveactangel