The veteran actors are excited to be continuing their careers into their 80s and see the new roles are exciting opportunities to keep doing what they love the most.
Even the demanding rehearsing schedules for the major production wasn’t enough to keep Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones away from the two roles that they immediately fell in love with.
Jones admitted that for him, it’s all a matter of just waking up and finding your passion for what you do.
“First of all, wake up,” the 81-year-old actor said. “Wake up and try to get your bones moving. And then be enthusiastic about what you do. I’m very enthusiastic about acting still. I love the process of creating a character.”
His love for creating characters is exactly what made him so passionate about taking on the role of Miss Daisy’s chauffeur Hoke.
Hoke’s illiteracy gave Jones a special connection to the character because his own problems with language and speaking left him practically mute until he was 14.
The legendary actor struggled with a debilitating stutter throughout his childhood, but after an English teacher set aside time to work with Jones on his speech he was able to become an eloquent speaker.
Hoke also found a way to conquer his struggle with language, and the personal connection to the character interested him long before he was even offered the chance to play him.
“When I saw Morgan [Freeman] do it, I said ‘I’d like to play that role,’” he said. “I thought I understood [Hoke] and I want to understand him more.”
Being casted in the play is finally giving the long time actor a chance to do just that.
“Hoke Colburn is such a character,” The “Lion King” voice actor said. “He’s illiterate, but he speaks English… and uses it very effectively and very poetically. That’s what I love about the role, trying to understand how he re-weaves language so he gets himself across.”
As for the “Murder She Wrote” actress, she is simply overjoyed to get to leave her former TV role behind and play a role that places her in the American South.
Read more: Taylor Gordon, Popular Critic