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Q&A: Jude Law

The ''Sherlock Holmes'' star talks Broadway and making his Shakespearean mark in ''Hamlet''

In recent years, Jude Law has been as much a fixture of the tabloids as the movies or stage. The actor — whose new daughter, Sophia, was born Sept. 22 to actress Samantha Burke — declines to discuss his personal life. But the Sherlock Holmes star, 36, does open up about his daunting run as Hamlet in a Broadway production opening Oct. 6.

Were you at all intimidated to play such a famous role?
The intimidation is part of why you do it. It's always good to do things that scare you. I've learned that there's no definitive Hamlet. The man playing Hamlet is Hamlet at that time. It's an individual journey.

How did you find a fresh take on well-known lines like ''To be or not to be...''?
The familiarity doesn't trip me up, because in context they flow. Is life all about living or dying? How do you ask that question? Shakespeare's given us a beautiful way of doing it.

The show already ran for three months in London. Did it change when it came to NYC?
Three of the London actors couldn't come. Also, each theater has a very different atmosphere. It's always exciting to realize you have an opportunity to do the play as if for the first time because you've got a new city around you.

Did you alter your performance for Broadway?
There was no need to adjust it for an American audience. They've been getting the humor very quickly and responding to [Hamlet's] shifts. They're absolutely with me.

What's next for you?
I don't know. This has been quite a mountain to climb. I'm just enjoying the view.

Originally posted Oct 02, 2009 Published in issue #1069-1070 Oct 09, 2009 Order article reprints