Koppel interviews Langella

“Koppel interviews Langella”
By Michael Aaron Gallagher
SU alums participate in ‘Orange Central’ celebration

With his signature adeptness and trademark interviewing prowess, former anchor of the long-running ABC News program “Nightline,” Syracuse University Alumnus, Ted Koppel ‘60, H’82 recently sat down with Tony Award-winning actor Frank Langella ’59 for an intimate, one-on-one conversation at Syracuse Stage.
Ted Koppel (left) interviews Frank Langella (right) in front of a sold-out crowd at Syracuse Stage as part of Syracuse University’s Orange Central events. Photo Copyright 2009, by Michael Aaron Gallagher. All rights reserved.

When asked how he prepares for an interview, Koppel, who is currently a senior analyst for BBC World News America and National Public Radio (NPR), shuttered to admit that he doesn’t make any special preparations.

“I do the research,” said Koppel, who has won 42 Emmy awards for his work in broadcast journalism, “but I don’t prepare questions.”

In front of a sold-out audience, the two discussed Langella’s notable career both on stage and screen. His recent portrayal of President Richard Nixon in the Ron Howard film “Frost/Nixon” (2008), garnered an Academy award nomination for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.”
Between reminiscing stories of their days spent at Syracuse University and their memories of legendary running back Jim Brown, to Langella’s lighthearted ribbing of Koppel’s attempt to imitate President Nixon and do impressions of old Hollywood celebrities, the two conversed with unrehearsed ease.

During their exchange, Langella admitted that he was the second choice to play Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” (1972) a classic role that Al Pacino later made famous. He also discussed his work in the upcoming Oliver Stone film “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” (2010), starring Shia LaBeouf, Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, and Josh Brolin.

The following day Langella received the George Arents Award (for excellence in performing arts), Syracuse University’s highest alumni award.

“He’s a distinguished graduate of the university,” said Koppel, “and a great, great actor.”

“Koppel interviews Langella”
Copyright © 2009 by Michael Aaron Gallagher

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