My friend Aaron always asks what is my favorite line from my current production, and why. My “why” is almost always the same; it defines my role. As for the line in An Ideal Husband (Oct. 8–24, 2010)? Um… well… yeah…
There are always lines, whether yours or others, that define your character. You use them to create and mold your attitude, your interactions, your presentation of self.
Statements made by others, whether they are truths or lies, are sometimes the most insightful because they are actually another character’s perception of you, which can add depth to your own thoughts and mannerisms.
Your own lines can be tricky when you are speaking of yourself, for the simple fact that you could be projecting an image of how you would like to be viewed by others rather than how you actually are.
So, I admit that I am struggling with how to define Sir Robert Chiltern.
After all, he is a politician. How could it be easy? I don’t think that cliché requires explanation. The play is called “An Ideal Husband.” Whose ideal? The concept of an ideal itself is debatable. Each of the ladies have their own views, just as the men have their own opinions, and everybody’s perceptions differ. So much of what Sir Robert Chiltern says is shrouded in the past, in how he used to be. But, after all, “no one should be entirely judged by their past.”
Oh… wait… that’s it.
There you go, Aaron. The answer to your question.
–Jeremy Joynt, Sir Robert Chiltern, An Ideal Husband