Actor couples tend to be happy when one person is working, but Steven Pasquale and his wife, Tony winner Laura Benanti, have a double reason to celebrate: They’ve both landed juicy leading roles in promising TV pilots. Pasquale will star as a former day trader who becomes a high-end bookie in USA’s Over/Under, and Benanti will play a Playboy bunny who fears her days are numbered in the NBC pilot Playboy, which is scheduled to shoot in Chicago in mid-March.
“I’m thrilled about this pilot,” Pasquale told Broadway.com at a press event for Tony Kushner’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. “We’re going to shoot it here this summer because it’s very much a New York story; New York is kind of the main character.”
The Chicago setting for Benanti’s show was chosen “because the original Playboy Club was in Chicago in 1961,” Pasquale explains. “I’m secretly hoping that once they shoot the pilot, they’ll do the series in New York. Otherwise, we’ll be on the plane every weekend.” Not that he’s complaining about the possibility of his-and-hers series: “It’s a good dilemma, as my father would say. We’ll figure it out.”
For now, Pasquale is rehearsing to play the youngest son in a dysfunctional Italian family in Kushner’s Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide, which begins performances on March 22 at the Public Theater. “It’s Tony Kushner so it’s lofty and brilliant and funny and heartbreaking and spectacular in every way,” he says of the play. “We’re really, really excited about it.”