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Mark Rylance Gives Away Tony Trophy to Man Who Inspired Jerusalem Role

Mark Rylance Gives Away Tony Trophy to Man Who Inspired Jerusalem Role
Mark Rylance
'Jerusalem' star Mark Rylance gave his Tony Award to the man who inspired his performance.

As he first told Broadway.com, Mark Rylance has followed through with his plan to give away his 2011 Best Actor Tony Award to Micky Lay, the man who inspired his character, Johnny "Rooster" Byron, in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, according to the U.K.'s Independent. Rylance previously told Broadway.com about his intentions to give away the statue right after his win on Tony night in June.

Rylance had the statue engraved with the words "To Micky and Scotty Lay from Mark Rylance." It was presented to Lay in his favorite pub in Pewsey, Wiltshire in England on July 28. The actor frequently visited Lay, a former bodybuilder who lived in a dilapidated trailer, while developing his role for the production. "I think he'd really like it," Rylance told Broadway.com. "He was very generous with me and invited me into his house and talked with me for six hours or so on different occasions about his life as a Romany gypsy man in England."

The pub's owner, Jerry Kunkler, originally accepted the award on Lay's behalf during a recent trip to New York and delivered it to Lay upon his return. "He didn't really say much although he did open a few liveners," he told The Independent.

Jerusalem marks the second Tony Award for Rylance after his previous win for Boeing Boeing. When the actor accepted his award at the Tony ceremony he once again memorably recited a poem by Louis Jenkins. Jerusalem is now playing at the Music Box Theatre through August 21. Rylance will reprise his role for a second West End engagement beginning at London's Apollo Theatre on October 8.

Click below to watch Rylance tell Broadway.com about his plans for the trophy on Tony night.

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