Film fans think of Jerry O’Connell as a Hollywood guy, with roles in TV shows like The Defenders and Crossing Jordan and a high-profile marriage to actress Rebecca Romijn. But O’Connell’s upcoming Broadway debut in Seminar actually represents a homecoming for the actor, who attended the Professional Children’s School and studied screenwriting at NYU.
“I was born and raised in Manhattan, and I’m staying in my parents’ apartment right now,” O’Connell told Broadway.com at a recent press event for Theresa Rebeck’s play, in which he plays an aspiring novelist opposite Alan Rickman. “It’s a little awkward being well into my 30s and living with my parents again, but that’s how it goes.”
O’Connell won’t be bunking with Mom and Dad for long: Romijn and the couple’s almost-three-year-old twin daughters, Dolly and Charlie, are headed east soon. “I can’t wait for my kids to get here for an extended period of time, get them in school,” O’Connell said, adding with a laugh, “I want them to have an edge—toughen them up a little bit—and they’re really only going to get that in New York.”
Kidding aside, Romijn has been totally supportive of her husband’s Broadway ambitions. “When the opportunity to be part of Seminar came up, my wife and I knew it was something I would have to pursue,” O’Connell said. “It’s tough that we have to move, but I’m no stranger to New York; I take the number 1 [subway] train up here every day. There was no way I was going to turn Seminar down.”
Class will be in session on Broadway for Rickman, O’Connell and fellow “students” Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater and Hettienne Park beginning October 27 at the Golden Theatre.