Thomas Roberts   |  May 03, 2013

‘Ann’ reflects on the life of the former Texas governor

Actress Holland Taylor shares talks about her portrayal of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, for which she received a Tony Award nomination.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> so could we be getting more clues about the 2016 race? well, next month, hillary clinton is going to share the stage with fellow potential candidate chris christie as speakers at the clinton global initiative conference. as one woman is possibly gearing up for another race for the white house , my next guest is wowing crowds on broadway in her critically acclaimed one-woman show in which she embodies the political savvy and incomparable wit of one of america's most beloved female leaders, texas' late great democratic governor, ann richards .

>> 15 years after knocking on my first door, i found myself governor of texas. older and wiser, i had learned by then what not everyone knows. it takes one person to run and it takes quite another to actually govern.

>> joining me right now live in studio, the talented, incomparable, intrepid holland taylor .

>> that's from three productions ago. i do it so differently now.

>> congratulations, though, because you have been nominated as lead actress in a play for the tonys. it's incredible work. this has to be extreme validation for something that's been a passion project for you.

>> it is validation. not so much of me as an actress, but of this project and the worth of it. because this was not an idea i had, you know, i'm going to write a show for myself because i can't get work, you know what i mean ? it was about her, her persona had such an effect on people. i went in search of that persona thinking that if i could recreate an echo, it would be inspiring as she was a little bit, and it clearly is. so that is a hell of a validation.

>> for our audience who is seeing this, we would be remiss if we didn't point out how much you do embody this role not only in the physicality of it but also the spirit of who ann richards was. why does she resonate with you or why do you think it's resonating now with audiences?

>> i met her once, which certainly is not why i'm doing this, but when she died relatively young, and very unexpectedly, i was unusually affected and i would wonder, you know, months later, what's the matter with you, you didn't know her. i was mourning. then i realized i was mourning for a loss that i didn't know i had and loss for the country. and i went to explore, because i wanted to do something creative, i went to explore what it was that moved me so and it took me years. i researched this heavily like a scholar for three years. if that's mine -- i'll be embarrassed. anyway, you know, it turns out i can say after years of this, it's not what she said, it's not even what she did. it's who she was.

>> patrick and i came on opening night, we loved this play. i have never seen a play that i thought was too short except for this one. i think you were fantastic. were you worried that a political play wouldn't take off?

>> but thomas, it's not a political play. think about it. it's like a play about amelia earhart , would it be about aviation? i mean, there's planes in something about amelia earhart and there's flying but it's about heroism and the play about ann richards is about who she was, her core, her values, swirled into this incredible personality.

>> it is really fantastic. you know, almost two years ago, i stole a dinner seat next to holland at an event and i love this woman. you got to go check out ann, it's fantastic. holland, great to see you. i know you will win