Though Nelson, 2012's "Best Actor," is generally a fan of more representational styles of art, he says that he, Hicken, and Berryman have become Rothko aficionados together, studying both his work and his character. "In getting to know Rothko and researching him and understanding where his paintings come from, I now have a much deeper appreciation for those fuzzy rectangles that, on the surface, could be quickly judged and dismissed," the actor said in an interview before the rehearsal. "But to sit there with them as we did at the Phillips-we took a field trip to the Phillips Gallery in D.C. that has a Rothko room-over a period of time, you see the movement, you see the pulse that he's talking about. But it takes patience. It takes you opening yourself up and digging in to the relationship, which is nicely symbolic or parallels how you would relate to anything, either a surface quick glance or a willingness to stop and take time to really look."