If it weren”t for Shakespeare, we wouldn”t have had Liev Schreiber”s many celebrated contributions to stage and screen.
“I owe everything to Shakespeare,” Schreiber told HitFix. “Shakespeare was my entrée into theater and my career in general. Had it not been for the time that I spent in England and George Wolfe at the Public Theater, I probably wouldn”t be an actor today.”
Schreiber has performed in several Shakespeare productions by New York”s renown Public Theater, including Shakespeare in the Park, the buzzy run of plays that packs Central Park with Bardolaters every summer. He also took on the Bard on film alongside Ethan Hawke in the 2000 adaptation of Hamlet.
Also among Schreiber”s extensive Shakespeare credits: the title role in the Public Theater”s 2006 Macbeth. Ten years later, Schreiber returned to the Scottish king for HitFix”s video series celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare. Today, April 23, marks 400 years since the Bard”s death in 1616, and it is also, according to tradition, Shakespeare”s birthday.
For this video series, Schreiber recited Macbeth”s soliloquy from the final act of the play, the words he says right after he learns that his wife, the queen, is dead. The devoted woman by his side who fed his ambition, who pushed him to take the crown he now wears is gone.
“It”s this existential epiphany that Macbeth has when he realizes that everything that he”s done – in my opinion – everything he”s done he”s done for her, and now she”s dead,” Schreiber explained.
This soliloquy has joined the ever-growing list of lines that have been plucked from the Bard”s plays and put into titles for other works (alongside the likes of Brave New World, Noël Coward”s Present Laughter, and Mumford & Sons” Sigh No More). All Our Yesterdays is the title of a 1969 Star Trek episode, an album by folk rock duo Blackmore”s Night, and a 2014 YA time travel novel that”s been optioned for a movie adaptation.
Just a few months after we watched Schreiber take the Dolby Theatre stage for Spotlight“s Best Picture win in the Oscars telecast, a small crew of HitFixers had the incredible experience of watching Schreiber, just a couple yards in front of us, lament the death of the queen, Lady Macbeth. It was mesmerizing. Now you can watch this captivating, intimate recitation, in the video below.
For more content from HitFix”s Shakespeare 400 series, watch the flagship video in the series below for seven actors” reflections on Shakespeare“s influence in their lives and in the world. And keep up with the video series as we unveil more content over the next several days here.
All hail the Bard!