Aaron Tveit has accomplished great things in the theater world—first breaking out in Next to Normal, then following up with the lead role in Catch Me If You Can. So, it might have seemed surprising to some when he abandoned the stage to star in USA’s Graceland.
“I was intrigued and excited for the challenge,” he said in an interview with Buzzfeed. “When you work on a movie or when you work on a play, you have one script and you do all this work on it and you do it for a long time, but this is like, you get to go through that process every week. Every week you get a new script, you get a new story to tell.”
However, Tveit did have to go through the difficult process of transitioning from Broadway to the TV world. “When you’re doing a show on stage, you only work 27 hours a week or 30 hours a week, but it’s so physically and emotionally demanding in a way,” he explained. “And also, because literally, when I’m doing a show, every morning when I wake up I have to check and make sure my voice is there. Especially a show like Next to Normal or Catch Me If You Can, where I was singing the whole show and you kind of have to keep your voice there. Everything is like getting ready for the show and then recovering from the show to get ready for the next day. You only have one day off. Most people get two days off, which is like, one day you do everything you need to do, and then the second day you rest. But when you’re doing a show, you only have one day to do that.”
“But on the other hand, doing five months of a television shoot where you’re working 12, 14 hours a day—again, it’s five days a week so you do kind of have two days off, which is nice. But I approached it knowing I knew how to keep my stamina up from doing theater work. So I kind of said OK. I tried to treat it the same way. This is how I need to keep myself healthy and keep myself physically ready to work every day. It is a little different and working on set is a little easier than working on stage, but still, because I was used to working on stage, I was able to transition to those kind of long hours a little more easily.”
But Tveit isn’t giving up theater completely.
“I definitely miss being on stage,” he admitted. “One nice thing about Graceland, too, is—hopefully we run a few years, but it’s a cable schedule, so it’s only half a year. I have half a year feasibly to do other things and be on stage or do a movie or sing. It keeps me able to do a lot of different stuff, which is great for me.”
Graceland airs on USA, Thursdays at 10 p.m.