Actor Corey Stoll has opened up about his experience starring in the Public Theater’s controversial staging of Julius Caesar this summer, explaining that performing the play in the wake of protests and criticism was itself a form of “resistance.”
In an essay for Vulture, the 41-year-old House of Cards star, who played Marcus Brutus in the play, wrote that he initially did not know the Caesar character would be a stand-in for President Donald Trump, complete with blonde hair and business suit. The character’s resemblance to the president sparked outrage when, as happens in the Shakespeare classic, the Trump-like Caesar is brutally stabbed to death by his associates in the Senate. The controversy led two sponsors of the Public Theater, Delta Air Lines and Bank of America, to pull their funding, while hecklers interrupted the performance during its final few nights.
“The protesters never shut us down, but we had to fight each night to make sure they did not distort the story we were telling,” Stoll wrote. “At that moment, watching my castmates hold their performances together, it occurred to me that this is resistance.”