Soap Opera Weekly, June 1995

"Larry Bryggman: Bombs and the Bard"
by Jonathan Reiner

Larry Bryggman usually creates tempests in teapots as As the World Turn's John [Dixon]. This summer, however, he finds himself embroiled in two additional tempests--he's currently starring as Cobb in Die Hard with a Vengeance and is preparing to play Alonso in Shakespeare's The Tempest in New York City's Central Park.

Bryggman's role of Chief Cobb, McClane's (Bruce Willis) superior officer, came about without much fanfare. "They put me down on tape and they hired me," he quips. "I was surprised at that, because I think that's a lousy way to hire actors. I hadn't met John McTiernan (the director) before, but he saw my tape and he hired me. I had never done an action film before, so this was different for me. I don't get to do that many films, so I had a wonderful time and I'm satisfied with my work. I had a lot of fun doing this--it was a great vacation."

The actor, known for his cerebral stage roles, praises the film's pace and presentation. "I've seen the picture, and it is what it is--an action picture. It grabs you around the throat and doesn't let go," he says.

Bryggman's role in The Tempest is part of the New York Shakespeare Festival, starting June 15. "The last thing I did in the park was As You Like It a few years ago. I met George (Wolfe, artistic director of the Festival and producer of The Tempest) many, many years ago because an assistant director on As the World Turns was his roommate, but this is the first time I've worked with him."

A veteran of numerous New York Shakespeare Festival productions, Bryggman rattles off with gusto the background of The Tempest. "The locale is a mysterious island. Alonso arrives in a shipwreck--he's coming back from Africa on his way to Italy, and he's just married off his daughter. There is some historical accuracy here: Shakespeare read an account of a shipwreck off Bermuda in the 1500s. It's quite clear that it's an unclear locale," the actor says with a chuckle. "It's a new locale. It's a place where all of a sudden our rules for society don't work, and the characters have the opportunity to start over again and try out things that haven't been tried before. It's really a great play."