The Guthrie’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” has already hit it big with audiences. 

If it wasn’t apparent by the number of sold-out performances, it’s certainly clear by the ever-present buzz surrounding the show — and its cast.

And a big reason is one of its lead stars — Ricardo Antonio Chavira, of “Desperate Housewives” fame. Chavira is splitting his time this summer to play the handsome, brute Stanley Kowalski — in between taping a new season of drama on Wisteria Lane.

In the five minutes of free time he has, Chavira was nice enough to answer a few of our burning questions.

Stanley Kowalski is certainly an interesting character to play. Do you enjoy playing this kind of role? How does it differ from playing your slightly more passive-aggressive, formerly blind character Carlos, on “Desperate Housewives?”

Stanley is an alpha male — a man’s man. Carlos is the same way, but the show is called “Desperate Housewives,” not Desperate Husbands. The common link between these characters is that they both absolutely adore their wives. “Streetcar” is set in the 1940s and there were different gender roles back then. Stanley is what a real man’s man is, but he is certainly not without his problems.

Stanley obviously has some anger management issues — how do you “unwind” after playing such an angry role? Does it affect you after leaving the stage?

It affects me. Sometimes I unwind in a good way by talking to my wife and kids. Or sometimes I unwind in a bad way by having some shots of bourbon.

How have you been enjoying your time away from the Guthrie in Minnesota? Or really, have you been able to enjoy it at all, between filming the show and performing on stage?

I’ve been traveling a lot back and forth between Los Angeles and Minneapolis doing “Streetcar” and shooting “Housewives,” so I don’t have a lot of free time, but I enjoy spending time at Lake Calhoun or Lake of the Isles.

What’s one thing that’s surprised you in this role? Anything that you weren’t expecting from this experience?

The quality of the production overall is incredible. From the set, sound, cast, designers, director … it’s beyond exceptional. I am really proud of this project!

Besides a new clean-shaven Carlos, anything you can tell us about the next season on “Desperate Housewives?”

Yes. Tune in.

Performances of “A Streetcar Named Desire” continue through Aug. 29 at the Guthrie Theater. Tickets start at $24 and are on sale at the Guthrie Box Office.

Sara Boyd is a web producer and columnist at WCCO.COM.


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