From Humbug to Hope: Anybody Can Change

Tania Thompson
 | Nov 08, 2018
Hal Landon in A Christmas Carol

Hal Landon Jr. as Ebenezer Scrooge in SCR's first production of A Christmas Carol in 1980.

During nearly 40 years portraying Ebenezer Scrooge, Hal Landon Jr. has logged more than a thousand performances in A Christmas Carol (Nov. 24-Dec. 24, Segerstrom Stage). But he says he’s never done working on the role.

“I’ve spent time trying to figure out why Scrooge is the way he is and what makes a man shut down like that in terms of relating to the rest of the world and his obsession with money,” he says. “Over the years, I created an entire backstory for Scrooge. For example, he’s not just lonely when we see him on that Christmas Eve; he has felt the same loneliness throughout his entire life, which is something that, as an actor, I need to understand and respond to.”

Landon imagines that Scrooge’s life totally changes after we leave him at the Cratchit home on Christmas Day.

“He has a lot of money that he starts using for the common good. I like to think that his relationship with the Cratchits and with his nephew, Fred, becomes very close and brings all of them a lot of joy. Scrooge is a symbol of hope for all of humanity because he proves without a doubt that anybody can change.”

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