‘Once’ Star Cristin Milioti Talks About Her Tony Nominated Role: “I only know chords. They gave me ten days to learn two songs on the piano, and I did”

Cristin-Milioti-onceI’ve tried to get reasonably-priced tickets to Once twice in the last few weeks and have ended up empty handed both times.  Now that the musical has received eleven Tony nominations I guess I can look forward to the tickets skyrocketing even higher.

But that aside, one of the most startling achievements of Once is that its female lead, Cristin Milioti, has been nominated for the Tony for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical… and it’s her first musical she has ever appeared in!  She talks about how she got the role and how she developed her character’s Czech accent to Rolling Stone.

Milioti admits that not only did she not initially land the lead female role, but she didn’t even know how to really play the piano very well! She says, “I auditioned for this back when it was going to be a reading. I auditioned for the Girl, but the part had already been cast before the audition had even been held so I ended up playing Réza, the Girl’s flat mate. We did the reading, and then a day or two later the director called and said that he wanted me to come in and audition for the Girl again for everyone, and he really pushed for me the entire time. I was deemed not a good enough piano player. I can’t sight read, and I’ve never taken piano lessons – I only know chords. I could play you a C chord and a G chord and kind of make it look like I kind of knew what I was doing, but that was about it. So they gave me ten days to learn two songs on the piano, and I did. I came in and I played ‘The Hill,’ and I got it.”

One of Milioti’s challenges was developing a Czech accent for her character.  Luckily, Milioti enjoys working on dialects and accents, and reveals, “I came up with my own thing when we did this workshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There was a student there who was from the Czech Republic, from Prague, and I got to hang out with him for an hour. That was so helpful. We had a dialect coach here, but I would say like 99 percent of the work I’ve done has all been like dialects and voices, so I love that stuff and I’m very lucky that it comes easily. It’s like writing a song or something, just learning the different kinds of melody.”

Once is currently running at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/director-david-gordon-greene-nar.jpg
Director David Gordon Green Narrates a Scene From ‘Joe’
Director David Gordon Green narrates a sequence from his new film, Joe, featuring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan. In the video, he mentions his reasons why he likes to hire non-traditional actors. He likes people who have real skill-sets and not actors who have the skills on their resume. He also talked about this in […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/david-gordon-green-joe.jpg
Director David Gordon Green: “I find actors in unusual places”
I keep missing screenings of director David Gordon Greene‘s new film, Joe. I hear it’s really good so I’m looking forward to catching it at some point. Joe stars Nicholas Cage as ex-con Joe Ransom, who isn’t the greatest of role models until he meets a 15-year-old boy (Mud‘s Tye Sheridan). In this featurette, Green […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/judy-greer-i-dont-know-why-you-know-me-from.jpg
Please Don’t Say These Things To Judy Greer (video)
Judy Greer - who we love here at Daily Actor – has a new book called, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From (Confessions of a Co-Star), a series of essays about her life as an actress, friend and someone who everyone thinks they might know. Here’s a blurb about the book: “Want to […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Captain-America-SamuelNick-Fury.jpg
How Samuel L. Jackson Learns His Lines for the Marvel Movies (video)
Samuel L. Jackson stopped by Good Morning America earlier this week to talk about Captain America: The Winter Soldier – which is terrific, by the way – and he told Robin Roberts that for the first Cap film, he had trouble learning his lines. “I sat at home and I did all my studying, and […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/andy-karl-margot-seibert-rocky.jpg
Andy Karl and Margo Seibert Talk ‘Rocky: The Musical’ on ‘Today’
Andy Karl and Margo Seibert, the stars of Rocky: The Musical, talked to Today‘s Matt Lauer about the new Broadway musical. Karl talks about the final fight and taking on the iconic role. This is Seibert’s Broadway debut and she’s asked about her callbacks (9 in all!) and more. Check it out!