Peter Dinklage joined The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner to perform “Your Name,” from the upcoming film Cyrano on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Dinklage’s star role in the Joe Wright-helmed film and adaptation of the stage musical was penned by Dinklage’s wife, writer, and producer Erica Schmidt. The film is originally based on the classic 1897 Edmond Rostand play Cyrano de Bergerac, following the story of a swordsman and wordsmith who helps a young Christian romance Roxanne with love letters. On Colbert, the former Game of Thrones star sat down to discuss the film, even drawing comparisons between his GoT character, Tyrion, to Cyrano.
“I enjoy playing intelligent people,” said Dinklage. “It’s more fun to take people on that intelligent ride. Tyrion on ‘Game of Thrones’ did that as well.”
Dinklage talked about how the Dessners, who wrote the original music for Cyrano, transformed the poetry in the play into a collection of love songs. These love songs contain lyrics written by The National frontman Matt Berninger and his wife and collaborator, Carin Besser.
“Cyrano, he pontificates quite a lot in the original stage show, and Erica and the band has the brilliant idea of making all the poetry into songs,” said Dinklage. “And who doesn’t want to hear a love song.”
Backed by a string quartet and pianist, Dinklage joined the composers of the soundtrack for a stirring performance of “Your Name,” showcasing the actor’s baritone vocals, which were very reminiscent of Berningner’s voice.
“The greatest singers aren’t necessarily opera singers, they just have soul,” said Dinklage to Colbert, referencing Nina Simone and Bob Dylan, before performing with the Dessners. Admitting to not being a professional singer, Dinklage added that he was in good hands with his wife Schmidt and the Dessner brothers in turning the poetry of Rostand into something singable.
“If you’re flat, you’re flat,” said Dinklage. “We sound a lot smarter because of our writers.”
Aaron and Bryce Dessner recently picked up the 2022 Grammy nomination for Album of the Year for their work on Taylor Swift’s 2020 release evermore. Aaron previously won the 2021 Grammy for Album of the Year for Swift’s folklore.
The Cyrano soundtrack is out December 10, and the movie, also starring Haley Bennett (Swallow) as Roxanne and Kelvin Harrison (The Trial of The Chicago 7) as Christian, hits theaters on January 21, 2022.
Photo by Scott Kowalchyk / CBS.