Wanting to understand what made the character tick was key to taking on the role of Argan for René Auberjonois
As reported by the Washington Post, Auberjonois, who is playing the hypochondriac Argan in Molière's The Imaginary Invalid, was intrigued by the challenge of figuring out his character. "I didn't get it when I read it," he said, but his lack of understanding of just who Argan was, intrigued Auberjonois enough to take on the role.
"It's just always better for me to be challenged and to not think I know the answers," Auberjonois said, explaining why he took the role. "It's in the figuring-out process that you can make the creative leaps."
To help comprehend the motives of Argan, Auberjonois has invented a backstory for him. Argan's wife, the mother of his two children, "probably died in childbirth," according to Auberjonois, which "kicked off all his fears about death and his fears about being left alone." And that anxiety "has manifested itself in infantilism ...and like a big baby, he doesn't want to be left alone in his crib."
Auberjonois feels that in spite of Argan's annoying qualities, audiences like him. "I think they recognize his weaknesses, his flaws," said Auberjonois. "I think they pity him. They find him laughable...just sort of a pitiful character."
The Imaginary Invalid is playing at the Lanburgh Theater in Washington, D.C. from now through July 27.
To read more, head to the article located here.