Call Redialed: NEW Byron Lane & Tom Lenk Interview: "Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist"
After interviewing Byron Lane & Tom Lenk ahead of the initial NYC premiere of Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist, it’s so great to catch up with Byron & Tom as they return to The Laurie Beechman Theatre for an encore run!
Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist is an isolated and aimless gay man with a "roommate wanted" ad on Craigslist finds his life, family, and relationship flipped upside down when the ad is answered by effusive and other-worldly actress Tilda Swinton (Tom Lenk) who demands she be allowed to study and dissect his sad life for her next big movie role. The two very different personalities clash immediately as things get hysterically chaotic and surprisingly cathartic.
Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist will play The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue, inside the basement of the West Bank Cafe) through April 28. Click here for tickets!
1. It's been a year since our last interview. What has changed the most for both of you in this past year?
Byron Lane: We traveled to Edinburgh where Tilda was a sold out hit. We traveled to London where Tilda was a sold out hit. We traveled to San Francisco where Tilda was a sold out hit. So, that's been awesome. I also turned 40 in the last year! I decided to start following my heart more and that's been kinda working out for me. The usual stuff, you know. Excited to see what's next!
Tom Lenk: Um...I got into a fight with my own personal fitness. We have yet to start speaking again, but I look forward to initiating talks in the near future.
2. In our last interview, we discussed Tilda Swinton's NYC debut. What did you learn from that run of the show that now informs this run/future productions?
Byron Lane: Oh, god, well, some magical things happened on stage during our first run in New York--happy theatre accidents--that we now incorporate in the show and have been a part of every performance since! So NYC has changed us FOR REAL! It's been so fun and can't wait to bring the magic back here.
Tom Lenk: There is a moment, I won't spoil it for you, that came about from an impromptu audience interaction moment in NYC, that we have since incorporated into our other productions, that is quite hysterical but also provides a new level of hydration that is both surprising and refreshing for me.
3. What are you looking forward to most about bringing this show back?
Byron Lane: I love New York so much! I love being a part of this show so much! I love my castmates so much! I love The Laurie Beechman Theatre and Chip and Ron and the staff there like Michael and Adam (who are, by the way, brilliant artists!). Can't wait to see what new discoveries pop up on stage this time!
Tom Lenk: Our NYC location specifics joke audience reactions.
4. Do you have any fun backstage stories/mishaps that happened during the first NYC run that you can tell us about?
Byron Lane: Gosh the whole experience was SO FUN! We do often reminisce about the tiny bathroom where all five of us huddle before the show, where every now and then one of us--I won't say who!--asked us all to turn around so he could pee. Ah, theatre family!
Tom Lenk: What backstage? All four of us reside in a single stall restroom before the show, but honestly, if it's good enough for Joan Rivers, then we can certainly make it work.
5. Since the show is called Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist, what is the sketchiest ad you ever answered on Craigslist?
Byron Lane: I'm boring. I used to buy furniture on Craigslist like old mirrors and steamer trunks. Those were my biggest risks! LAME RIGHT?! Although my mother always said, if you're gonna get murdered, do it while going for a great, vintage steamer trunk.
Tom Lenk: I think I declined to answer this one in print last time? But you may be able to see me talk about it on stage at some point 😝
6. Rapid Fire Questions:
- Twizzlers or Red Vines? Twizzlers.
- Favorite M&M Color? Yellow. That's one of the colors, right? What does it mean?!
- Peanut Butter: Crunchy or Smooth? SMOOTH ALL CAPS!
- Favorite go to Emoji when texting? The heart. (❤️)
- Twizzlers or Red Vines? Twizzlers taste and smell like nail polish. WHY WHY WHY?' Red vines only please.
- Favorite M&M Color? I have no loyalty to colors. Just please cover them in peanut butter. k thanks bye.
- Peanut Butter: Crunchy or Smooth? WHOA. who knew. I should have read ahead. SMOOOOOOTH please. Pro tip. Trader Joe's vanilla or chocolate coconut milk fake ice cream + l Trader Joe's layer of smooth peanut butter + Trader Joe's NEOPOLITAN PUFF CEREAL ON TOP = HEAVEN
- Favorite go to Emoji when texting? 😬 or 😑 or 😝
More on Byron:
Byron Lane wrote and stars in Last Will & Testicle, an award-winning web series called “fearless” by Cosmopolitan magazine about his tryst with testicular cancer. He wrote, produced, and stars in the feature film comedy "Herpes Boy," which won several festival awards including Best Comedy at Comic Con and an Audience Award from Austin Film Festival. His web series pitch Gay Divorce was a finalist in Project Greenlight’s See Yourself contest. He's a former personal assistant to Carrie Fisher, won a regional Emmy at his former day job as a writer for local TV news, and he and his boyfriend have a rescue dog named “Tildaswinton.” Stalk him at ByronLane.com.
More on Tom:
Tom Lenk is a SAG Award winning actor, known for his work on Joss Whedon projects - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, its spin-off Angel, and the movies Cabin in the Woods and Much Ado About Nothing. He can also be seen in the films Argo, Transformers, and the much-anticipated Girls Will Be Girls sequel. Other television credits include Transparent, Zac & Mia, Room 104, Fresh Off The Boat, Good Girls Revolt, I Like You Just The Way I Am, Episodes, Witches of East End, How I Met Your Mother, House M.D., Psych, Greek, Nip/Tuck, and Six Feet Under. On stage, Tom starred as Alex Moore in Buyer and Cellar at Pittsburgh Public Theater and Hartford Theaterworks, Franz in both the Broadway and original Los Angeles casts of Rock of Ages, Duncan Trask in the critically acclaimed West Coast Premiere of Book of Liz and his solo show Lenk Lewk Live! at Birdland. He regularly performs in L.A. with Gravid Water at UCB, Mortified, 30 Minute Musicals, The Gale at The Groundlings, and Unauthorized Musical Parodies at Rockwell (Scream, Home Alone, Hocus Pocus). His comedy special/DORKumentary, Nerdgasm is available on Amazon. Recently profiled by the prestigious New York Times Style Section, Tom's "Lenk Lewk For Less" photos and videos have gone viral with 100's of millions of views and legions fans on Instagram. See all the FASHUN, FUN & WIGZ at @tommylenk on Instagram.