Christopher McDonald removes his fedora, slides into a booth at Sardi’s, the Broadway bar, and stares across the street at the Broadhurst Theatre.
“Lucky Guy” is playing, Tom Hanks stars and McDonald co-stars.
McDonald talks about Hanks with tremendous admiration.
“He’s a great guy, smart, funny and with a great attitude,” McDonald tells Zap2it. “He’s generous and funny as Hell. We laughed so much during the rehearsal period.”
He’s gone with Hanks to see Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson, perform at 54 Below, a Broadway nightclub, and they went to a basketball game.
It’s a far cry from when McDonald wrote him a letter years ago.
“Tom is the only person I ever sent a fan letter to,” McDonald says.
Proving his nice guy reputation is well deserved, Hanks had indeed responded.
McDonald reminded him of this exchange when they started working together on “Lucky Guy” and he remembered.
McDonald gazes at Sardi’s walls of fame, framed caricatures of actors, playwrights and others important to Broadway.
“To get up on this wall would be the coolest thing,” he says.
This is McDonald’s second stint on Broadway, after stepping in as Billy Flynn in “Chicago.” That was a bittersweet time as he was taking care of his Tony-nominated brother, Daniel McDonald, who died of a brain tumor.
“I’ve been chasing Broadway for a while,” he says.
McDonald came close to a role in “Glengarry Glen Ross” earlier this season, but that went to John C. McGinley.
“I wanted to work with Al,” he says of Al Pacino who starred in the latest revival.
It all worked out well, though, being in Nora Ephron’s last play, which has already been extended into July, and has taken six Tony Award nominations.
Hanks plays the late newspaper columnist, Mike McAlary, who jumped from tabloid to tabloid, constantly ranking in astounding amounts of money for a print journalist.
That was because of Eddie Hayes, a slick lawyer McDonald plays. McDonald has spent time with Hayes, and clearly relishes playing him.
Hayes has even influenced how McDonald, 58, dresses off stage.
“I’m business on top and party downstairs,” McDonald says of the jaunty hat, a jacket with a pocket square, and jeans.
McDonald has three movies slated for this year, and is in Kirstie Alley’s upcoming TV Land sitcom. McDonald has worked constantly and plans to continue.
“If I didn’t make it happen, it wasn’t going to happen,” he says.