Actor and alum Christian Camargo ’92 was featured with his wife, actress Juliet Rylance, in the New York Times on Sunday January 10. The two worked together in productions of Shakespearen tragedy and each received high praise.
According to the article, “Two actors might work all their lives and never receive higher praise. In back-to-back productions of Shakespearean tragedy with Theater for a New Audience last season, Juliet Rylance’s brave, gracious portrayal of Desdemona was hailed in the New York Times as exquisitely moving and the dark, lean and hungry Hamlet of Christian Camargo as virtually perfect.'”
The couple is now performing together for the first time in productions of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” and “The Tempest.”
The director of the two productions, Sam Mendes, is quoted as saying he was intrigued by their dynamic. “Christian is very watchful, observant, bright, incredibly acute. He’s sensational at making thought live. But his heart, his full emotional engagement doesn’t come into view until the very end of the process. Juliet’s completely open and trusting. She flings herself in with all her being, and the rest catches up.”
Camargo earned a BA in history while attending Hobart as Christian Minnick. He was program director at WEOS-FM and a member of the lacrosse team. His mother, actress Victoria Wyndham, has appeared on the daytime dramas “Guiding Light” and “Another World.”
After graduating from HWS and then Juilliard, he landed leading roles in the Public Theater’s summer productions of Shakespeare in the Park and in David Hare’s Skylight on Broadway. He then moved to England and worked with the inaugural Globe Theatre for nearly two years.
Since moving back to the U.S., he has built a long resume of theatre, television and film appearances, and has worked as a writer and producer. A list of his accomplishments is included in the Internet Movie Database,
The full article about Camargo and Rylance follows.
The New York Times
A Threesome: Husband, Wife, Shakespeare
Matthew Gurewitsch • January 5, 2010
TWO actors might work all their lives and never receive higher praise. In back-to-back productions of Shakespearean tragedy with Theater for a New Audience last season, Juliet Rylance’s brave, gracious portrayal of Desdemona was hailed in The New York Times as “exquisitely moving” and the dark, lean and hungry Hamlet of Christian Camargo as “virtually perfect.” At the time few knew they were newlyweds; their work was judged independently, on the merits.
Among the many who took notice was the director Sam Mendes, who promptly invited Ms. Rylance and Mr. Camargo to join his ensemble for the second, all-Shakespeare season of his Anglo-American Bridge Project, a joint effort of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Old Vic in London and Neal Street Productions, a partnership formed by Mr. Mendes and associates to develop film and theater ventures. This will be the couple’s first time performing together.
In “As You Like It,” which begins previews on Tuesday, the British Ms. Rylance, 30, and the American Mr. Camargo, 38, play Rosalind and Orlando, whose courtship unfolds as an elaborate, gender-bending masquerade. In “The Tempest,” beginning previews on Feb. 14, she appears as the wide-eyed Miranda, on the brink of a brave new world; he as the spirit Ariel. An eight-month international tour follows, stopping in Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Madrid, London and other cities.
“Professionally, the closest we’ve been before is at Theater for a New Audience, when we got to peek into each other’s rehearsal rooms,” Ms. Rylance said during a joint interview over lunch at the Brooklyn Academy in late December. That she could work in America without special dispensation from Actors’ Equity was a happy consequence of her recent marriage. As Mr. Camargo explained, “We’re kind of a Bridge Project unto ourselves.”
The two players became friends in 1997, when he was in London for the inaugural season of the Globe Theater, working with Mark Rylance, Juliet’s stepfather. “Back then Juliet was the boss’s untouchable daughter,” Mr. Camargo said. “And there’s this slight age difference.”
Things changed in the fall of 2008. Mr. Camargo was appearing on Broadway in “All My Sons” while Ms. Rylance was in town on an extended visit with her stepfather, then also on Broadway, in “Boeing-Boeing.” By day she took part in a Shakespeare workshop for Theater for a New Audience, as did Mr. Camargo.
“Projects started winding down,” he said, “but saying goodbye really wasn’t an option. We needed to stay together. So in November 2008 we made a quick visit to City Hall. It was lovely and wonderful.”
Like most stars who seem to break out overnight, they do have histories. Mr. Camargo, a fourth-generation actor of Mexican-American descent, grew up in New York and trained at the Juilliard School. His résumé includes supporting roles on Broadway (beginning with David Hare’s “Skylight” in 1996) and in Hollywood (most visibly as the Ice Truck Killer in the premiere season of Showtime’s “Dexter”). Ms. Rylance, who trained in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, has followed her stepfather’s example as an actor-producer, starring in acclaimed London stagings of “Bash: Latterday Plays” by Neil LaBute and “Romeo and Juliet” for her own Theater of Memory, created in 2007.
To Jeffrey Horowitz, the founding artistic director of Theater for a New Audience, Ms. Rylance’s and Mr. Camargo’s work in Shakespeare epitomizes ideals to which he and his company have been dedicated for three decades. “They build from the language,” he said. “They articulate it in a natural, living way. It’s a great gift.” But the Duke Theater, where Mr. Horowitz’s company performed last season, is studio size, the play’s runs were short, and many in the long cancellation lines were shut out. (Efforts are under way to revive “Othello” and “Hamlet” on Broadway in rotating repertory.)
Now that Mr. Camargo and Ms. Rylance are a couple, do they take their work home?
“Absolutely not,” he replied, and then instantly reversed himself. “Yes. We do run lines together. But I definitely have my own way, and Juliet has her own way, and we’re respecting that. I’m more the cat going into the cellar under the steps to die, and Juliet just says to the room: ‘I’m here. Let’s everyone get together.’ The analogies don’t quite match, do they? My process is more solitary and isolating. Maybe I’m wrong. It’s always changing.”
Ms. Rylance put it more simply. “It’s fascinating figuring out when to marry what we’re doing and when to step back. We’re learning a lot about our relationship.”
Art, they suggested, may be imitating life, or was it the other way around? In any case the jousting in “As You Like It” between Rosalind (who impersonates the youth Ganymede, who in turn “pretends” to be Rosalind) and Orlando (the straight man in this comedy of self-generated errors), strikes home. “You see the reality and the euphoria of love at first sight,” Ms. Rylance said. “Yet to mine the relationship for its lasting values, you have to discover skills that you have no inkling of at first.”
Mr. Mendes said he was intrigued by their dynamic. “Christian is very watchful, observant, bright, incredibly acute,” he added by phone. “He’s sensational at making thought live. But his heart, his full emotional engagement doesn’t come into view until the very end of the process. Juliet’s completely open and trusting. She flings herself in with all her being, and the rest catches up.”
Mr. Mendes did not plan at first to cast the newlyweds as lovers. According to received wisdom, romantic chemistry offstage often evaporates when an audience is watching. Or is that an old wives’ tale?
“It’s not inaccurate to say that it may be more difficult to fall in love every night with someone you know intimately than with someone you don’t,” Mr. Mendes said. “That’s something Juliet and Christian have to negotiate and navigate themselves. But casting any two people is a risk. I think the deeper knowledge they have of each other will only be to the good and deepen their performances. For them this year will be a journey in every sense: geographical, professional, emotional. They’re very brave to be taking it.”
As for their marital status, the news has been slow to spread, even among their friends. But it was never meant to be a secret. “One thing we’ve realized is that with proper weddings,” Mr. Camargo said, “you send out invitations, and people know.”