John Larroquette is Taking Care of Business
The five-time Emmy Award-winning actor discusses making his Broadway debut in How to Succeed In Business (Without Really Trying).
THEATERMANIA: Are you enjoying being back in New York?
JOHN LARROQUETTE: I don't know New York that well. I never came here as a young actor. The first time I came here was to host Saturday Night Live and I think that was in 1985. Over the past 20 years, I have been asked to come here many times. For example, Neil Simon has asked me, but I have never been free. I was always doing a series, and you only have three or four months off, which is not enough time to dedicate to a show. So, I met with people last year about coming to New York, and then Oliver Parker! came up, so I did it.
TM: Is Broadway the only thing you have not done in your career?
JL: I suppose so, besides opera!
TM: How did this project come about?
JL: I was in Los Angeles when this came along, and it was exactly what I was looking for. I knew the work. When I was a boy in New Orleans, I saw the film, and I loved Robert Morse. I actually also saw the revival in New York with Matthew Broderick and I liked it. Considering the work is 50 years old, it's cool, edgy, and sharp. This is an interesting, funny slant on how things work in the real world.
TM: Are you looking forward to working with Daniel Radcliffe?
JL: I love Daniel. Even though he is young, he is a true acting veteran.
TM: Your character, J.B. Biggley, is the president of World Wide Wicket Company. What drew you to the role?
JL: He is a powerful man, and the characters I have been drawn to are fellows who are big, somewhat in charge, but timid behind closed doors. J.B. is a gentleman, but he is fragile. He is taken in by this young, brilliant con man. It's a funny play because everyone is straightforward, nobody tells a lie. Also, his name is J.B., and my nickname for the first 18 years of my life was also J.B. [John Bernard]. And J.B.'s first name is Jasper, and the character I played in Oliver Parker! was Jasper as well.
TM: Do you think this production will be a hit with audiences?
JL: I think this production is going to look and sound great. I hope people find it interesting enough to keep it around for a while. I hope this is a great Broadway experience for people and that the house is filled. It's not a heavy piece; it's not Shakespeare.
TM: Are you ready to see all of the Harry Potter fans at the stage door?
JL: Sure! I am figuring that every woman under the age of 30 will be coming to see Daniel and every housewife of New Jersey will come to see me. We will cover every demographic!