Scarlett Johansson
Credit: Joan Marcus

Scarlett Johansson and Broadway vet Liev Schreiber will take to Broadway’s stage in Arthur Miller’s 1955 play, A View From the Bridge, now playing and opening Jan. 24. In the play, which focuses on a tightly knit Italian-American neighborhood in New York City, Schreiber plays Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman from Red Hook, Brooklyn obsessed with his niece, Catherine, played by Johansson.

“I don’t know that [Eddie] ever acknowledges to himself that he has any inappropriate feelings towards his niece,” Schreiber says. “I think he just doesn’t want to give her up. Part of the struggle is not wanting to let go of her. I think that when he sees her falling in love with someone else, it’s very difficult for him.”

Schreiber, who won a Tony for his performance in 2005’s Glengarry Glen Ross, first thought he was too young to play Eddie when offered the role, but the name “Arthur Miller” was enough to convince him to accept. “[Eddie] is such a brilliant character. Who knows if I’ll ever get asked to do it again so I jumped at it,” Schreiber says. “[Miller] is such a good writer. There’s no fat. Every scene is essential. That, for an actor, is a wonderful thing. It’s also exhausting and kind of brutal. But [A View from the Bridge] is part of that continuum of great American plays. It’s the American equivalent of Shakespeare.”

So how did his costar Johansson do with her Broadway debut? “I’ve just been really impressed with her composure. Broadway is a pressurized situation and we’ve had a really short rehearsal period,” he says. “It’s really amazing watching her handle it so well and so beautifully. She’s really evolved so much especially over the last two to three weeks. I’m blown away by her. I’ve kind of fallen for Scarlett.”

For more on Schreiber and Johansson’s turn on Broadway, check out the new issue of EW on stands this Friday.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus