HAWKINS All the time.
ABDUL-MATEEN Show to show.
HAWKINS Moment to moment.
ABDUL-MATEEN There are moments in the play where I just get to listen, and I’m just like, “Man, this brother’s killing this right now.”
HAWKINS Yeah, at the end of the play, every single show, night after night, I feel like I’m just sitting there watching you give a master class, and I wonder what you will do next. And that’s so exciting, man, because there’s not too many people who can access that range of emotion.
Ultimately, this is a tragedy, but I was struck by the handshake and hug that you give each other onstage after the show ends. Why is that important for the audience to see?
HAWKINS I know we’re both going through it, so I just think it’s a matter of knowing that I got another brother in the fight. We make it look easy, but it isn’t easy going up there. But, for me, I have to let Lincoln go and literally leave him on the floor. So, when I get up, I’m able to reset.
ABDUL-MATEEN I am not Booth, and Corey is not Lincoln. When we take a bow, I am being myself. But, at the beginning, when that curtain goes up, only Corey and I are out there and putting on this show for two and a half hours. I have an obligation to get as close to my character’s truth as possible, and when I want to get that hurt out, I got to give it to Corey’s character. That’s my job. And it’s his job to do the same thing back to me. So, when we take our bows, I get to say, “I appreciate you for taking care of me and that this was a pleasure to do this.”