Before he got busy stealing scenes in movies (Duplicity, Milk, Charlie Wilson’s War) and joined True Blood as king of the vampires, Denis O'Hare conquered Broadway in shows ranging from Inherit the Wind and Sweet Charity to Assassins and his Tony-winning performance as a fanatical baseball fan in Take Me Out. The multitalented star recalled his big night at the Tonys—and how he arrived for it on foot!
Which year did you win your first Tony?
My first and only Tony, for Best Featured Actor in a Play, in 2003
For which role and show?
Mason Marzac in Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out
Where were the awards held?
Radio City Music Hall
What did you wear?
Ummmmm, I think it was Donna Karan.
Who was sitting next to you?
My beautiful boyfriend, Hugo Redwood
Who did you think would win your category?
I wasn't sure. I was up against my co-star Daniel Sunjata, and as long as one of us won, I was OK with that. I was also up against Robert Sean Leonard and Philip Seymour Hoffman [for Long Day’s Journey Into Night], so it really could have gone to anyone.
What was the first thing that ran through your mind when they said your name?
Did you forget to thank anyone?
Nope. I was most nervous that I would forget someone in the cast, but I just visualized their dressing rooms and I got them all.
Did you cry?
If you could relive that night, would you change anything?
No. The car my producers sent never showed up and we had to arrive on foot and sort of backwards. We walked in behind the press so there was no big entrance, but I think it was fitting somehow.
Who were you most surprised to hear from after the win?
I was sent flowers by some people who I hadn't heard from for a long time. That surprised me.
Did winning a Tony change your life? How?
No. I feel like I have more opportunities now, but I still feel like my life is fundamentally the same.
What's your biggest memory of the night?
Jumping up onstage, not wanting to use the stairs, looking out at that big house and not feeling that nervous.
What's the best piece of advice you can offer for getting through Tony night?
Enjoy it. Relax. Take it all in. Don't worry.
Where do you keep your Tony?
In the kitchen on a little table by the phone books.