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The Merchant of Venice - Broadway

Al Pacino stars on Broadway in Shakespeare's classic.

Merchant’s Heather Lind on Papa Pacino and Playing Good Girls

Merchant’s Heather Lind on Papa Pacino and Playing Good Girls
Heather Lind photographed for by Jenny Anderson at The Algonquin Hotel
'I’d love to play someone with a darker side.'

Age and Hometown: 27, Guilderland, NY.

Current role: Making her Broadway debut as Shylock's lovestruck daughter Jessica in The Merchant of Venice.

Double the Fun: While Lind was premiering in Merchant at Shakespeare in the Park last summer, her identical twin sister, Christina Bennett Lind, was booking a major role on the ABC soap opera All My Children. “It was a good year for us!” Heather says with a laugh, adding that she and Christina have never been competitive. On the contrary, clever casting directors sometimes hire the sibs together: "We did Gertrude Stein’s Faustus and played a character who is two halves of the same person. We’ve also played mother and daughter,” she says, “which is always funny.”

My Dad, Al Pacino: After earning a theater degree from Fordham, Lind went on to study for an M.F.A. in acting at NYU and was cast by the Public Theater two months shy of graduation. Her instructors made allowances when she landed the plum role of Jessica, daughter of moneylender Shylock, played by Al Pacino. As such, she was seated next to the actor at the play’s first reading. “He showed up a little bit late,” Lind says of Pacino, “and when he walked in, the whole room froze.” But the gloss of celebrity didn’t last long. “He’s this legend, but he’s just the most playful, alive actor I’ve ever worked with.”

Moving On from Merchant: Shakespeare in the Park “is every New York actor’s dream,” notes Lind, but she didn't expect the dream to come true quite so soon. “It was a box way down on my to-do list!” Now she's dreaming of film work, perhaps with one of the legends who have seen her in Merchant. “Meryl Streep has come, Johnny Depp—all these big stars you don’t ever think you’ll meet," she says. On stage or screen, Lind is ready to try different characters on for size. “I get cast as a lot of ‘good’ people who have a real sense of virtue,”  the doe-eyed actress says, “which is great, but I’d love to play someone with a darker side.”

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