Johansson was the first to snag her statue for best featured actress in A View From the Bridge. She doused a handful of folks with thanks including co-star Liev Schreiber and hubby Ryan Reynolds. She even expressed her gratitude for her representatives at Creative Artist Agency who suggested she take to the stage in the middle of doing Iron Man 2 because "it would be a good thing." Looks like they were right.
Unlike Johansson, Redmayne's face isn't particularly well known on the big screen – just yet. You might have caught him in that straight-to-DVD Jessica Biel stripper film, Powder Blue, or alongside Kristen Stewart in The Yellow Handkerchief. Considering the latter only made it to 29 theaters, odds are, you didn't, but it's worth seeking out when it hits DVD. However, like Johansson, Redmayne won big for his Broadway debut. He was awarded the best featured actor award for his performance in Red in which he plays abstract expressionist Mark Rothko.
Fences took both leading performance prizes earning Davis her second Tony and Washington his first. Fences is a revival in which Washington plays Troy Maxon, a Pittsburgh sanitation worker just trying to make a living and be happy. But not only are his efforts stifled by segregation at work, but by troubles with his son and his wife (Davis) as well. Both took down other Hollywood heavyweights in their category, Davis edging out Laura Linney for her role in Time Stands Still and Washington stealing the statue from four big screen stars, Christopher Walken, Schreiber, Alfred Molina and Jude Law.
Zeta-Jones was the last of the bunch to get a hold of her award. She was honored with the statue for best leading actress in a musical for her performance in A Little Night Music. This may have been her Broadway debut, but Zeta-Jones is no novice to musicals and no, I'm not even referring to her Oscar winning performance in Chicago. Zeta-Jones appeared in a number of West End productions.
As a film fan it's thrilling to see not only some of the most successful in the industry honored, but up and comers as well. Not that Davis, Washington and Zeta-Jones have anything to prove, but their stage wins only solidify that they're amongst the most talented out there. Johansson is a different story. Yes, she's delivered some fantastic performances – Lost in Translation, Match Point, Vicky Christina Barcelona – but thanks to a slew of typical blockbuster type roles, whether it's Black Widow in Iron Man 2 or as one part of a love triangle in He's Just Not That Into You, she's not someone you can count to deliver quality material 100% of the time. Success on Broadway might change the perception quite a bit. If she's capable of delivering an award winning performance night after night in her first run on the stage, that's saying something, something that people are going to hear and remember.
Redmayne's in a different position entirely. Other than seeing his name in the credits a small handful of times, I never took notice of him. However, that all changed after seeing The Yellow Handkerchief in which he's by far the most memorable part of the film – and that's saying a lot considering his co-cast consists of Stewart, William Hurt and Maria Bello. As for his supposed War Horse casting, it comes as no surprise. Not only is this guy an absolute natural, but based on his poise during his acceptance speech, probably a gentleman and pleasure to work with as well.