Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Chris says his path to Broadway started when he saw the 2010 revival of August Wilson's play Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. "When you watch Denzel, it's like watching Moses. It's like watching Spider-Man—a real, live superhero in an unbelievable feat. He moved me," Chris says. "At that moment, I told the producer Scott Rudin, 'If you find me a script, I will do it. I really want to do it. I want to be involved in an ensemble; I don't want it to just be about me. I want it to be about the play and the work.' And they gave me this script, and I read it, and I was like, 'Wow, I'll do that one.'"
Though he's been in 26 films, Chris says being on stage is completely different than acting for the screen. "The level of preparation alone, it's like I've been in no films compared to this," he says. "Think about your favorite book. ... Could you recite it? Imagine knowing something that detailed to the point you could recite it and play with it and do it fast and do it slow. And be it."
Watch Chris give a backstage tour at The Motherf**ker with the Hat
When Oprah reveals to Chris that she's always wanted to act on Broadway, Chris tells her to go for it. "You're going to grow as an actress because you're going to play with these emotions. You're going to do it in so many different ways. Almost every night, you're going to be another person," he says. "Please, I want you to do it. You'll be a different person. I hope I'm in it—I'll do it."