Age & Hometown: “The same age as John Osborne when he wrote Look Back in Anger”; Vancouver, Canada
Current Role: An off-Broadway debut as downtrodden housewife Alison Porter in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Look Back in Anger.
A Wild Childhood: When four-year-old Goldberg made her stage debut in a preschool production of The Owl and the Pussycat, she instantly knew that performing would become her passion. Growing up in “outdoorsy and tranquil” Vancouver, she honed her acting skills while classmates went hiking and snowboarding. “Our backyard was part of the mountains,” the actress says of her childhood home, where animals much larger than owls and pussycats roamed. “We had to have barbed wire to keep the bears out,” Goldberg recalls, adding with a laugh, “Once, there was a bear in the garage eating Lean Cuisine pizzas, and my dad had to shoo it away. In Vancouver, you have to lock your doors—not for strangers, but for bears.”
Love and London: After crossing the Atlantic to attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Goldberg stayed put, exploring the city on a Vespa with her actor boyfriend, John Light. In 2011, she garnered an Olivier Award nomination in the dual roles of Betsy, a deaf and pregnant 1950s housewife, and Lindsey, a contemporary home buyer (also pregnant) in the Royal Court Theatre production of Clybourne Park. “It was a real shock,” Goldberg says of being singled out for her work in Bruce Norris' Pulitzer Prize-winning play. “John and I were at breakfast, having a heated political discussion about Israel.” Suddenly, a mysterious flood of congratulatory text messages interrupted the debate. By the time the couple found out about the nomination, their tension had melted away. “We were flabbergasted!”
Behind the Anger: In Look Back in Anger, an “aggressively silent” Goldberg goes head-to-head with husband Jimmy, played by Matthew Rhys of TV’s Brothers & Sisters. Although Jimmy slings vicious insults at his wife, Goldberg maintains that the real Rhys is “generous and hugely supportive. He’s the best onstage hubby a girl could ask for.” Even while performing on a closet-sized set filled with trash and rotting food, Goldberg has enjoyed every minute of her New York theater debut. “It’s such a heavy play, but we’ve been laughing,” she said of director Sam Gold and the tight-knit cast. “Everyone’s willing to have a great time, which you need in this weird, wacky play. It’s given light and life to it instead of doom and gloom.”