George Clooney and Brad Pitt were among A-listers who took part in play reading of "8" in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 3. The high-profile actors joined the one-night-only show taking place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre to support gay marriage activists.
Clooney took on the role of a lawyer, while Pitt tackled the part of a judge. They were joined by a set of Hollywood's big names, including Martin Sheen, John C. Reilly, Kevin Bacon, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, Matthew Bomer and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
The cast members only had a very brief rehearsal before the show. They met for the first time earlier on the same day to do a two run-throughs before they took on the stage later the evening.
"8" itself follows the historic federal court trial overtuning Proposition 8, the ballot measure that denied gay and lesbian Californians the right to marry. Serving as the director for the play is acclaimed filmmaker Rob Reiner, with "J. Edgar" and "Milk" scribe Dustin Lance Black penning the script.
The West Coast version of "8" was a follow-up to the successful performance of the play in New York City last September 2011. The Big Apple version was supported by the likes of Morgan Freeman, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow and Bradley Whitford. The profit of the play will benefit American Foundation for Equal Rights' movement.
After the L.A. show, screenwriter Black shared to Entertainment Weekly, "I felt after the New York version that I wanted to know the plaintiffs more, I wanted to know their personal stories more."
"So I took out a few of the legal arguments that were a bit I guess redundant in a way, or at least they made the same point twice in two different ways," he added. "And I added more personal stories. Really, in the end, it's the personal stories that change people's minds."
Director Reiner, meanwhile, said of the play, "There are productions that are being done all around the country. Some as readings, some as full productions. And I would ultimately like to do a film at some point on this [trial]."
Asked if he might cast Clooney and Pitt if the possible movie is finally in the works, Reiner stated, "Probably not, unless we paid them lots of money." He then grinned before adding, "I don't know, maybe they'd do it. You never know. This was the easiest cast I've ever put together in my life."
The L.A reading of "8" was broadcast live online via YouTube and can be downloaded in archival form on AFER's official site.