Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale is readying to star as hot shot real estate agent Ricky Roma opposite Al Pacino, who immortalized the role in the 1992 film version, in the upcoming Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross. Pacino has graduated from playing the foul-mouthed Roma to aging co-worker Shelly Levene in the play, which begins performances on Ocober 16 at Broadway's Schoenfeld Theater.
So how does Cannavale feel about playing the Pacino role alongside the master? "I don't think about that," Cannavale told New York magazine. "He's got his own thing to do," Cannavale said of Pacino. "I imagine he's going to attack his role the way he needs to and let me do my own thing. Richard Roma and Shelly Levene are on opposite sides of the spectrum, but they're both desperate. I can't wait to see how Pacino's going to play a guy at the end of the road like that."
Cannavale is a longtime Pacino fan and is beyond thrilled to be working with the Oscar winner. "I've seen every play he's done in New York in my lifetime," he noted. Cannavale even used to imagine Pacino was in attendance for all of his plays as a tactic to energize himself before performances. "My little mantra was, 'Al's coming tonight.' [During] Hurlyburly everyone would make fun of me and say, 'Pacino's in the audience tonight.'" Canavale finally got his wish, when seated next to Pacino at the 2011 Tony Awards, he invited the legendary actor to The Motherf**ker with the Hat. "He came to the last show and stayed in my dressing room for two hours," Cannavale said. "He wouldn't leave! I sat on my little dressing room table, and he stood in front of me and talked to me and the mirror, about acting, about me, about him, about how we should find a good play. And then a few months later I got the call [for Glengarry] asking me if I'd have an interest. It was the most 'duh' phone call I ever got!"
Glengarry Glen Ross opens on November 11.