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ROVING REPORTER: Twelve Angry Men

Landing jury duty usually pisses people off. “12 Angry Men,” currently running

in the Loeb Ex, is set in a tense jury room during a controversial murder case involving

a 16-year-old defendant. The Roving Reporter was pretty angry, but after pleasant

conversations with several docile young actors, he regained his composure.

Jay D. Musen ’09

RR: Tell me about your character in

“12 Angry Men.”

JM: Juror #8 is the character that

Henry Fonda portrayed in the movie.

He’s sort of the protagonist. At the beginning

of the play, everyone is convinced

that the boy is guilty except for Juror

#8, who thinks there might be room for

reasonable doubt. It’s actually unclear

what Juror #8’s feelings really are because

when he’s asked why he’s the only

one who raises his hand for a vote of

not guilty, his defense is that there were

eleven other votes for guilty and if he had

raised his hand the boy would die. And

you can’t send someone off to die without

talking about it fi rst.

RR: What is your angriest scene in the play?

JM: My angriest scene in the play is the fi nale for act one, where I am baiting

Juror #3, who is my staunchest opponent. Juror #3 is allowing personal feelings of

his own past to cloud the issue, and Juror #8 is very well aware of that.

RR: Is there anything you think about to mentally prepare for angry scenes?

JM: Not really. I think about the character and the situation.

RR: What’s the angriest you’ve ever been in your life?

JM: I don’t actually know. I’m very diffi cult to anger.

RR: So this role was a stretch for you?

JM: No, because my character is one of the most levelheaded people in the

room.

RR: Who’s better: you or Henry Fonda?

JM: Henry Fonda, defi nitely.

Dan E. Catomeris ’11

RR: So who do you play in “12 Angry

Men?”

DC: I play Juror #7. He’s a man who

has tickets to a baseball game that night

so he wants to get out of there as quickly

as he possibly can.

RR: The characters in this play have

really creative names.

DC: Well, there’s a reason for that.

The point is they could be anybody. They

don’t know each other, and they don’t

need to know each other. The situation

that they’re in is more important.

RR: Have you ever served jury duty?

DC: No, I have not.

RR: Are you now looking forward to serving one day?

DC: No, I think I would try to get out of it when I’m on the stand.

RR: How would you do that?

DC: I’d do the George Carlin trick, which is you sit on the stand and you say

“Judge, I would make a great juror because I can spot a guilty man [clap] just like

that.” Or you can just act crazy.

RR: What is your angriest scene in the play?

DC: Well, fi rst of all, there’s only one scene in the play. The angriest is probably

when I’m being accused of not caring about the trial, and then I realize that I don’t

care about the trial. That makes me sort of a crappy person.

RR: When’s the last time you were really angry?

DC: I’m a pretty mellow person. I mean, I’m not wearing my tie-dye today, but

I’m a pretty mellow person. I don’t really get too angry too often. But I was pretty

angry when my friend Ryan stole my cat. I haven’t seen the cat or Ryan for two and a

half years. OK, that’s not true, but he threatened to do it. If he did I would be angry.

Jeffrey C. Witt ’09

RR: Who do you play in “12 Angry

Men?”

JW: I play the notorious third juror.

My character is perhaps the angriest

of the 12 angry men. I kind of hold a

grudge against the kid who’s on trial because

of a relationship with my son that’s

gone rotten.

RR: What’s your angriest line in the

play?

JW: Well, I threaten to kill the eighth

juror. I guess that’s maybe my angriest

line: “I’ll kill you.”

RR: What’s the angriest you’ve been

in recent memory?

JW: That’s a good question. I don’t

think of myself as an angry person, but perhaps those around me would say otherwise.

I’m pretty easy-going.

RR: So how’d you get the angriest part?

JW: I guess I do a good angry impression. I can get my voice up there and yell, I

guess. But still, I’m not a very angry person.

RR: Well, who’s the angriest person you know?

JW: The angriest person I know is probably one of my roommates. He gets mad

about little things. We all get a lot of laughs out of it, which of course fuels the fi re.

Alex N. Maurice ’09

RR: Who do you play in “12 Angry

Men”?

AM: Well, fi rst of all, my character,

Juror #11, has this passionate belief in

democracy. He comes from war-torn

Europe where he experienced tyranny.

I’m not sure what I bring to that. Switzerland

is a democracy so you get to vote

on everything.

RR: Is that where you’re from?

AM: Yeah, that’s where I’m from.

Also, this is my fi rst acting experience, so

it’s pretty interesting.

RR: Are you a pretty angry juror?

Where you do rank from 1 to 12?

AM: I’m very, very low. I’m rather serious, but rarely angry. Once I get enraged

because someone breaks one of my ethical principles, which is that you have to fulfi ll

your commitment to democracy, but that’s really one of the only moments where

I’m angry.

RR: What’s the angriest you’ve been in recent memory?

AM: That’s a tough one. I’m not that much of an angry person. Perhaps I have

more of a diplomatic streak in me.

RR: How did so many mellow people get into this cast?

AM: Well, I’d say Jeff [C. Witt ‘09] defi nitely has the ability to fl are up. You might

have sensed that. He’s not an angry person in general, but he defi nitely has the potential.

My character is not supposed to be angry.

RR: So are there only really like eight or so really Angry Men?

AM: There are two very angry guys who are a bit unreasonable, and there are a

couple people who fl are up from time to time.

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