MCAVOY AND LLOYD HAD ALREADY agreed to play the play, and the Jamie Lloyd Company had already commissioned Crimp to write the new version when Lloyd—who directed a conventional 2012 Broadway “Cyrano de Bergerac”—had a brainstorming session. where he ran past McAvoy.
“I remember it very vividly because it was actually on the set of ‘His Dark Materials,'” said Lloyd, whose son Lewin played the missing child Roger Parslow on the HBO fantasy series opposite McAvoy as Lord Asriel. “We were in this frigid, very, very dark TV studio, in a tent — one of those pop-up tents that people put people in when you wait. I’m going, ‘By the way, I have this idea about ‘Cyrano de Bergerac “We need to clear the nose. I can’t bear the thought of you being in a big prosthetic nose.” And he just totally got it.”
As McAvoy recalls, his initial reaction was surprise, because isn’t the piece about a nose? But when Lloyd explained his view that they really are about people who are objectified because of their looks and are isolated as a result, McAvoy was all in — even if fake Cyrano noses had never bothered him much, and even if it never bothered him. had made perfect sense to him that an outsized nose would be an obstacle to love.
“The truth is, I think even if he had a big old mess, like the one described in the piece, there’d be someone out there who would find it hugely attractive,” he said. “Man, there’s a kink for everything.”
Still, McAvoy wasn’t interested in making a standard release ‘Cyrano’.
“One of the things I really like about this version,” he said, “is that it’s less about the flamboyance of these gallivant, panache-crazy musketeer poets, and it’s more of a study of masculinity and sometimes poisonous masculinity. , a soldier culture almost, and it’s still about a poet. It’s still about someone who is obsessed with words. I was thrilled to finally see a production that explored people who are beautiful and light and whimsical with words, and they kill people.”
In an unintended overlap of star-driven productions, the Lloyd-McAvoy version first opened in the West End in Fall 2019 during the Off Broadway run of the stage musical “Cyrano”, starring Peter Dinklage. The return of Lloyd’s production coincides with the release of the big screen version starring Dinklage, who swaps a big nose for short stature as Cyrano’s marginalizing physical feature.