I talked to Josh Young early last year (read the interview here), right about the time that Jesus Christ Superstar opened on Broadway. I had seen him as Judas during the shows run at the La Jolla Playhouse and thought he was fantastic. Since then, he’s gotten a Tony Nomination for Superstar and is now traveling the country in Evita.
In the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic, he plays Che but not Che Guevera from previous productions or that horrible movie with Madonna. The producers changed the show around and now his Che is just a working class guy; kind of a man of the people. Josh told me that he actually thinks the way they’ve worked it now tells the story better. This isn’t the first time he’s played the role of Che. He originally played Che (the Guevara part) back in 2010 at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival but so much has changed in the show, he said. Especially now because he spends the whole show on-stage.
It was very cool to talk to him a second time to see how his career has progressed since his nomination. We talked if thats helped him with auditions and casting directors, life on the road and oh yeah, Evita!
Interview: Sean MacLaughlin Talks the ‘Evita’ Tour, Auditioning and Traveling the Country with his Wife, Baby and Two Dogs
Sean MacLaughlin is traveling the country for the next year with his wife, baby and two dogs. When the “Von Trapp Family Singers” (as he called themselves) eventually stop at a city near you, that’s probably because he’s about to get on stage to play ‘Peron’ in the touring production of Evita.
Sean was last seen on Broadway as ‘Raoul’ in The Phantom of the Opera and he’s from my neck of the woods – the Baltimore/DC/Virginia area. I love talking to people from my area and finding out how they got to where they are. Sean played it smart in his early career: before he packed everything up and moved to New York, he went to College at Virginia Tech and got a degree in communications. Then he moved to DC and did a bunch of theatre there because as he told me that he “was a firm believer in not moving to New York without getting experience.”
But, before he tried his luck in New York something great happened before that. I’ll let him tell the story in the interview below but basically, the success he’s having now all comes down to a combination of planning, preparation and luck. We also talk about his audition for Evita and auditioning in general, touring and more!
Interview: Wade McCollum Talks Auditions, Acting in New York and the Touring Production of ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is touring the country and one of the stars of the show, Wade McCollum, told me that’s he’s “having a blast.”
The “rhythm”of touring did take a while to get used to but Wade, who plays Tick/Mitzi in the show, has definitely adapted to life on the road. The audiences have also helped. “They’re always so crazy enthusiastic,” he said. Part of that is, I’m sure, the musical numbers and the outrageous costumes. He told me that some of his costume changes are as quick as 30 seconds. As someone who can spend that amount of time putting on his pants, I’m in awe.
In the interview, Wade and I talk about the touring life, being a New York actor and, in my favorite part of the conversation, auditions. At one point, he said that “a healthy amount of so what” is needed when you audition and I couldn’t agree more. It’s really wonderful advice and I have no doubt you’ll agree!
For the full interview, click the audio link above or download it from iTunes
Why Ally Sheedy Said “Yes” to ‘Full Circle’: “I have no friggin’ clue how I’m gonna do this but I’m just gonna say yes”
In Neil LaBute‘s new DIRECTV show Full Circle, Ally Sheedy and Noah Silver tackled their scenes both in English and in French. For any actor, handling the challenging writing with a screenwriter like LaBute can be its own obstacle, adding another layer of language to the fold is another.
Daily Actor interviewed Sheedy and Silver and chatted about their bilingual relationship.
‘Full Circle’ Star Kate Walsh Stresses the Importance of a Good Script: “You can’t act your way out of kind of bad writing”
Kate Walsh has been familiar to TV audiences for years with her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on both Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. She’s worked with showrunner Shonda Rhimes long enough to understand her rhythms and word preferences. When she stepped into Neil LaBute‘s world for DIRECTV’s new 10-episode series Full Circle, she had a new language to learn.
Daily Actor interviewed Walsh about how LaBute’s script felt to her.
“Neil’s writing is so specific and it’s so good that you want to really respect it verbatim…for me, it was just memorizing, memorizing, memorizing. I grabbed, you know, my boyfriend, his son, everybody that would sit down and go over lines with me,” said the former ABC star.
Neil LaBute‘s 10-episode series Full Circle on DIRECTV is creating a buzz in the television world, not only for the screenwriter’s TV debut, but also for the star-wattage of the cast. The third episode brings together two recognizable faces to television audiences, Julian McMahon and David Boreanaz.
The focus on human interaction is a huge part of LaBute’s work. In Full Circle, he progresses the storyline with an interesting concept where each episode features two characters, one of whom repeats from the previous episode. The cycle continues until the 10th episode completes the full circle.
The duo’s storyline develops when two old friends, entertainment attorney Stanley (Julian McMahon) and comedian Jace (David Boreanz) meet up to deal with Jace’s social media crisis with a young, gay high school student. The dynamics the two actors have on-screen is palpable and Daily Actor was able to interview the two about their work together.
Interview: Tom Felton Takes Risks in ‘Full Circle’: “If it’s too safe then there’s definitely no satisfaction”
Neil LaBute is making his television debut on Oct. 9 on DIRECTV with the series Full Circle. The award-winning screenwriter and playwright takes afascinating approach to telling the story.
The 10-episode series will take place in one location and feature a conversation between two characters sitting in a restaurant. One character’s storyline will continue into the next episode with the introduction of a new character until the returns to the beginning episode and completes the full circle.
Kicking off the series is Tom Felton, best known to audiences for his portrayal of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise. In Full Circle, his character Tim is having an affair with married woman Bridgette, played by Minka Kelly. Their discussion is the final meeting between the two lovers as Kelly’s character must choose between two vastly different lives.
Daily Actor sat down with Felton to talk about his choice to do American television and the challenges for an actor who spent years working with a green screen.
Interview: Brea Grant On Her Directorial Debut ‘Best Friends Forever’ and How The Whole Experience Made Her a Better Actor
Best Friends Forever is Brea Grant‘s “passion Project.” Not only does she star in the film, but she also co-wrote (alongside her co-star, Vera Maio) and directed the story about two friends who take a road trip just as the apocalypse is about to happen.
Brea (Heroes, Dexter) is my favorite kind of actor (and person). She loves to create and she wasn’t satisfied just sitting around waiting for her career to happen. She went out and is making it happen.
She and Maio, got together and wrote a script that they had both planned to star in. The script turned out great. They found a director and financing but as things go in the indie world, things didn’t go as planned. The director left the project and at the last second, Brea was like, “Why don’t I just direct this movie?” The film is totally original and as a first time director, I thought she did a wonderful job.
In the interview, I ask her how she liked directing and how she liked directing herself, if she liked being the person in charge and how the whole experience made her a better actor.
Interview: Brit Marling and Director Zal Batmanglij Talk ‘The East’, Their Writing Process and Acting Notebooks
The East is a new thriller from writer/director Zal Batmanglij and writer/actress Brit Marling that has Brit as an undercover agent at a private intelligence firm. She infiltrates a group called, The East, who has been targeting companies that pollute the environment. But, the longer her character is with the group, the the more she begins to sympathize with what they are doing.
The film also stars Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page and our friend Shiloh Fernandez and it’s a really good film. If you’re looking for something that’ll give your brain some food instead of mindless summer action, definitely check it out.
I’ve talked to Brit three times and Zal twice and they are just such nice and normal people. Even more so now with all of the success they’ve had. They’re both incredibly smart and I love their films.
In the interview, we talk about writing the film and how they work together during that process, how Brit keeps acting notebooks for each project she’s working on and how they got the great cast for the film.
The East is currently playing in Los Angeles and New York. It opens wide this weekend.
Interview: Tony Nominee Shalita Grant on ‘Vanya and Sonia’, Her Rehearsal Process and Why She Was Willing to Wait for Her Broadway Debut
It’s got to be good being Shalita Grant right now. In March, she made her Broadway debut in Christopher Durang‘s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. The show opened to great reviews and was nominated for six Tony Nominations including Best Play, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play (David Hyde Pierce) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for… Shalita Grant.
She plays Cassandra in the show, which also stars Sigourney Weaver and Kristine Nielsen, and she told me that she based her character on her great-grandmother, “who’s pretty bipolar and just out there, like so out there.” Audiences love her and everyone I’ve talked to who’s seen the show says she’s fantastic.
Shalita’s from my home state of Maryland and went to the Performing Arts High school in Baltimore. From there, she auditioned for and got into Julliard, met Christopher Durang, who is the co-chair of the Playwriting Program there. He wrote a short play that she starred in… and that short play morphed into Vanya and Sonia. Great story, right? She’s got an even better story about turning down a chance to be in the ensemble of The Merchant of Venice that starred Al Pacino. She’s got so much confidence in herself that I found it hard not to love everything about her.
I talked to Shalita about what it’s like to create a role on Broadway, getting nominated for a Tony, her rehearsal process, Vanya and Sonia and we get into the whole Merchant of Venice story. It’s great, she’s great and you’re going to love this interview.