CBS New York's Stage Stories w/Broadway Girl NYC

By Brian Ives

“I remember climbing up the wooden stairs,” Gabriel Byrne says, when recalling his first play during a conversation with Laura Heywood (aka BroadwayGirlNYC). “To what they called ‘the nosebleed section.'”

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“I remember seeing the curtain go up and when all these brightly colored, costumed people came on stage, saying to my mother, ‘What’s that?’ And she said, ‘That’s a play.'”

And at the curtain call, “I saw the looks on their faces. It was something that I never forgot.”

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It clearly made an impact on Byrne, now a star of stage and screen. He is currently nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”

Clearly, the man still believes in the power of art. “When I became a teacher, I realized that by taking a kid aside and saying, ‘Hey, have a read of that book,’ or ‘Go see that film,’ [you could make an impact]. I still really believe in that. I believe you can make a difference in a person’s life by saying ‘Have you read that book?’ Or ‘You should go see that movie.’ Or ‘Go see that play.'”

To see if Byrne turns his passion for art into a Tony win, watch the Tony Awards on CBS June 12 at 8 pm ET.

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