Liev Schreiber on Broadway comeback, split with Naomi Watts

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“Les Liaisons Dangereuses” revival on Broadway starring Liev Schreiber and Janet McTeer

Tony Award-winning actor Liev Schreiber is back on Broadway for the revival of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” a story of sex, power and betrayal. He plays Vicomte de Valmont, a playboy in 18th century France challenged with corrupting a young woman before her wedding. 

Schreiber, who is also known for playing Los Angeles tough guy and fixer “Ray Donovan” on Showtime (a division of CBS), said he didn’t think Valmont’s role was right for him initially — “I still don’t,” he said, bursting into laughter — and found playing him difficult. 

“It’s a beast of a play. A lot of dialogue, particularly for Valmont. I think the sexual indiscretion part of it and the scandal of it is really complicated,” Schreiber said. “I think it starts out very funny and it goes to some relatively dark places.”

He said he loves playing Ray Donovan in the TV series, which is entering its fifth season, but he wanted to broaden his repertoire with his Broadway role.

“On a television show, you end up doing that for a long time, so then you’re sort of looking for ways to expand your work and your range, and for me this felt like it might be that kind of opportunity,” Schreiber said. 

While he didn’t need more on his plate, he said he also wanted a job that would allow him to be near to his children in New York.

“I have two sons, seven and nine, Sasha and Kai – the problem is, is that you have no time to be with them on a theater schedule,” Schreiber said.

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Schreiber also wrapped up acting in and co-producing “The Bleeder,” a film on heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner, the real “Rocky.”

“It was a lot of fun to do. And Naomi [Watts] and I got to work together on it. And I co-wrote it and co-produced it, and I’m really proud of it,” Schreiber said.

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Actors Naomi Watts, left, and Liev Schreiber arrive at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 13, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

AP Photo/John Shearer

Watts and Schreiber announced in September that they were ending their 11-year relationship. In a recent interview with Australia’s Daily Telegraph, Watts broke her silence and said, “I feel like change is always scary, but that’s only because transition for anyone is new and you wonder how things are going to go.”

Schreiber admitted it’s scary for him too.

“But we’re parents together, so we’ll be together for the rest of our lives, no matter what. And we’re very close. Hopefully that never changes, and I don’t think it will,” he said of their relationship. 

“Les Liaisons Dangereuses”  plays in New York City’s Booth Theatre through January 8.