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Stephen Colbert checks Lucas Hedges’ ID, pours him a drink, makes him sing Cats

Photo: Scott Kowalchyk (CBS)

Stephen Colbert’s not-so-secret studio bar has been the source of some serious fun on The Late Show over the years. Like at the Golden Globes every year, the addition of alcohol to a professional obligation reliably punctures some of the air of stuffiness in the average show biz interview, so, for Lucas Hedges, the legend of Colbert’s drinks cabinet was something he had to test out on Monday’s show. The young star of Manchester By The Sea, Ladybird, and the upcoming Ben Is Back brought up the Colbert bar soon after sitting down, prompting the ever-responsible Colbert to make sure the actor is actually of age. (Hedges is, in fact, 21, so game on.)


The pair, sipping some of Colbert’s rum, talked about Hedges’ role as a young man struggling with addiction (alongside mom Julia Roberts) in Ben Is Back, which was written specifically for him by the film’s director, Hedges’ father Peter (Pieces Of April, Dan In Real Life). “When the eventual Behind The Music is done about your life, they’re not going to run this are they?,” joked Colbert, as he poured his guest some hooch. Speaking of Hedges career path so far of playing tortured, intense people (including his current Broadway role alongside Elaine May in The Waverly Gallery, written by his Manchester By The Sea director Kenneth Lonergan), Hedges confessed that he’d like to try something a little lighter someday. Perhaps even something . . . furry? Telling Colbert that he warms up for his theater performances by singing selections from Cats, Hedges was goaded into doing a little “Rum Tum Tugger” by his host, the booze and the fact that Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste knew the song prompting him to his feet. Sure, he didn’t know all the words, but the kid’s a gamer, especially with a thimbleful of rum in him.

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About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.