As Aunt Maggie Faraway, Irish actor Fionnula Flanagan has to do a lot with a little. Often in a catatonic state, Aunt Maggie rests like a silent watchdog over The Ferryman’s Carney clan; but when she comes to life, Flanagan holds the audiences rapt.
“She's a time-traveler,” Flanagan said of her character on opening night. “When I first read it I thought, ‘This women is a sibyl.’ She knows what’s going to happen, she intuits what’s going to happen, and it’s devastating to her.”
The play marks the first time Flanagan has returned to Broadway since her Tony-nominated turn in 1974’s Ulysses in Nighttown, and she relishes her return to New York—and now her second Tony nomination. “Broadway's always been exciting and terrifying at the same time,” she said. The same could be said of The Ferryman.
“It’s a very important play that everyone should see because it’s about family and secrets and denial and life and loyalty and love and treachery,” she says in the video above, seven months into the Broadway limited engagement run.
And Flanagan witnesses it all. Though Aunt Maggie is often asleep, Flanagan is always awake; when Maggie is “Faraway,” Flanagan is soaking it in. “I'm working all the time,” she says. “That’s what it’s about.”
Videography and video editing by Roberto Araujo.