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Annabella Sciorra: Brooklyn to Broadway

Annabella Sciorra makes her Broadway debut in "The ---- With the Hat," alongside fellow newcomer Chris Rock. The difference is that Sciorra has been a theater baby from the start -- she founded a theater company, the Brass Ring, in an East 65th Street apartment in 1981, not long after graduating from Brooklyn's South Shore High School.

She's worked Off-Broadway with such acclaimed companies as the New Group and Naked Angels, though she's equally known for film ("Jungle Fever," "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle") and TV (Gloria Trillo on "The Sopranos," Det. Carolyn Barek in "Law & Order: Criminal Intent").

In her current show, she plays Victoria, the unhappy wife of AA sponsor Ralph (Rock), who contemplates an affair with her husband's sponsoree, Jackie (Bobby Cannavale).

You and co-star Bobby Cannavale were a couple for three years before breaking up in 2007. In the play, your two characters start to make out on a couch. I could never make out with my ex-wife, even in a play. How do you prepare and get through that?You're not an actor. We're actors. I don't know.

But you're people, too.I don't think we think about it. Life goes on. You have an ex-wife; I have an ex-boyfriend. But we had a director and a writer who really bonded the cast together. So we feel really safe with each other onstage, and when we walk out there, we feel like it's just us and we're there for each other. There's a fair amount of vulnerability that we need to have with each other, and I don't think we'd be able to do it if we didn't feel safe as actors.

The play seems to be about the differences between who we think we are and who we really are, as judged by what we do.I think that's a really good take on it. Even Julio, although he's more centered and grounded and present in who he is , does seem to live this dual existence with his [seemingly gay] sexuality and yet being married.

Since I've read conflicting stuff, let me ask: Are you or are you not a native New Yorker?Thank you! I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and I still live here. There's a bunch of wrong information about me online that, once it gets onto certain websites, they consider it like the Bible, and you can't change it. I was not born in Connecticut, I am not Cuban and French, both of my parents are from Italy. Oh, and I've never lived in New Orleans -- that's another one.

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