As a last-minute understudy, ER’s Anthony Edwards joins wife Mare Winningham in Girl from the North Country.
On Friday, Anthony Edwards starred alongside his wife Mare Winningham, over 35 years after they met on the set of their 1988 film Miracle Mile.
This weekend, Anthony Edwards made his Broadway musical debut.
The Emmy Award winner, 59, stepped in Friday to understudy the character of Dr. Walker in the newly Tony-nominated Girl from the North Country, in which his wife Mare Winningham plays Elizabeth Laine, with only one hour of rehearsal time under his belt.
Following the company’s contract with COVID-19, head producer Tristan Baker stepped to the stage to thank the musical’s swings and understudies before inquiring whether there’s “a doctor in the house,” a reference to Edwards’ beloved role as Dr. Mark Greene on ER.
Edwards revealed in a backstage video that he was two hours away at their Connecticut home when he received an unexpected phone from his wife that afternoon, informing him that the show would have to be cancelled due to the absence of the actors and asking if he wanted to fill in.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Edwards explained. “I’ve seen people continue with a book before because audiences are so caring and forgiving. And I thought to myself, “I love this show, everything about it.” And if this means that 800 or 1,000 people will be able to see it tonight rather than cancelling it, I’m in. Let’s go.”
Winningham went on to say that her husband’s last-minute performance left her “beyond impressed and proud.” “You’re brave and entertaining, and you’re blessed,” she remarked.
Edwards was notably off-book for much of the night, despite using his script for a few scenes. His onstage connection with Winningham, 62, was also enjoyed by the audience. Edwards will stay in the job for the rest of the weekend.
The show garnered seven Tony Award nominations earlier this week, including best musical and best actress in a musical for Winningham. Edwards’ surprising performance comes after the show received seven Tony Award nominations earlier this week.
During a February interview with Esquire, the Top Gun actor revealed that he eloped with Winningham last year, admitting that the wedding was “just the two of them and an old acquaintance to officiate.” Edwards stated, “We’re too old to throw weddings.”