Last month I wrote about LACMA's new series of live script reads curated by director Jason Reitman, as a group of actors took on the script for the John Hughes '80s classic The Breakfast Club. Well, a couple of nights ago was the second installment as another group of actors climbed on stage to read something from writer/director Billy Wilder, The Apartment. In the 1960 original, the lead roles went to Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray. On this night in Los Angeles, those roles went to Steve Carell, Natalie Portman and Pierce Brosnan. Other actors were Ken Jeong, Mindy Kaling, Nick Kroll, Jake Johnson and Collette Wolfe.
The Apartment highlights were Steve Carell, as the lead role was tailor made for his sweet, yet smart, style, Nick Kroll and Pierce Brosnan. Kroll repeatedly reaped big laughs despite having one of the lesser characters by giving perfectly timed lines. Ken Jeong got the biggest laugh of the night when he forgot he was up during the scene at the Chinese restaurant and then delivered some wicked stereotypical lines from the Asian waiter. Least up to the task? Natalie Portman. She basically flatlined the entire reading, almost never changing her tone, volume and emotion. Sorry, Natalie.
There's another reading in December and I'll post a report of that one too. The script? The Princess Bride.
***Left to right in photo: Jake Johnson, Mindy Kaling, Pierce Brosnan, Natalie Portman, Steve Carell, Nick Kroll and Collette Wolfe. Sorry the photo isn't better!***