Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. suffered sleepless nights as he struggled to memorise his lines for his Broadway debut.

The Jerry Maguire star is appearing on the New York stage opposite Vanessa Williams in The Trip to Bountiful, which opened at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Tuesday night (23Apr13).

Gooding, Jr. won mostly positive reviews for his turn in the play, which tells the story of an elderly woman who dreams of returning to her hometown before she dies, but the actor admits he lost sleep over the project.

He tells the New York Post, "Being back in the theater re-­energises my legit juices. I was onstage in the '80s, but this has heightened my old memories. Rehearsals began February, and it was tense. What I did, I not only learned my lines but everybody else's. I told the director, by week two I'd wake up at night thinking and memorising, and I couldn't get a night's rest. I'd wake up in bed saying my lines."