Anthony Rapp on “Rent,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” nearly playing the kid in “The Shining,” and more…

Anthony Rapp on “Rent,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” nearly playing the kid in “The Shining,” and more on “At Home With The Creative Coalition”

New York, New York (October 28, 2020)Anthony Rapp sat down with The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk in the latest episode of “At Home With The Creative Coalition,” a podcast featuring unplugged and uncensored conversations with today’s biggest stars. In the newest episode, Rapp opens up about his first audition for “Rent,” why director Chris Columbus almost passed on keeping the original Broadway cast for the “Rent” movie, nearly landing the role of the kid in “The Shining,” and more. Highlights below.

“At Home With The Creative Coalition,” sponsored by The Pioneering Collective, is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Soundcloud, and more.

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Highlights from “At Home With The Creative Coalition” featuring Anthony Rapp–

On almost landing the role of the kid in “The Shining”:
“I actually was in the running for the kid in ‘The Shining.’ It was so long ago, I don’t remember exactly how far I got, but I got far in that process and they were concerned I was a little too young. But I was definitely being deeply considered for that.”

On why film director Chris Columbus almost didn’t use the original Broadway cast in the “Rent” movie:
“[Chris Columbus], understandably, he shared with us that he wanted to work with [the original Broadway cast], but he was concerned that we would seem too old so he needed to meet with us and see. He said, ‘One by one you guys came in the door in the meetings and I was like, oh, no problem.’”

On his thoughts about “Rent” after reading the script for the first time and how “Rent” is similar to “Hamilton”:
“I thought that it had a tremendous amount of power. But, looking back at the time, it seemed like it was not likely to be a mainstream success because of who it was about and the nature of the subject matter and even the music, the style of the music. There was nothing indicating it would be the kind of hit that it was. I thought it had a good chance of being like a downtown, alternative space hit. But then looking back, now with the benefit of hindsight, I really think that what it did was fill a void. And when you fill a void, tremendous energy comes to it. It’s very similar to ‘Hamilton.’ Like if you on paper had said a multicultural rap-musical about the founding of our country, they’d be like ‘Uh huh, okay let’s see.’ You’d be skeptical. But then when you see it, it’s undeniable.”

On what song he sang to audition for “Rent”:
“‘Losing My Religion’ by R.E.M. I had met Jonathan Larson, the writer, that day. Michael Greif I knew a little bit, the director. I had auditioned for him once before… so I was happy to get the chance to be in front of him again and work with him again. And it was on the spot almost.”

On how many times he had to audition for “Rent”:
“Just a callback. I sang ‘Losing My Religion’ for the first audition and then for the callback, I had to learn the title song. And then I did that. And then, uh, got the role like that day, like the next day. It was really pretty quick.”

On the “‘Rent’ explosion”:
“The ‘Rent’ explosion happened — that was so tempered by the loss of Jonathan Larson, who wrote the show… So much of the attention we were getting was sparked in part by his loss. But if the show didn’t have the kind of power that it had, then it just would have been like ‘Oh, it’s a bummer, it’s sad that this talented person died. It would have been nice to see if he could have turned into something.’ But he happened to write a masterpiece. I was very aware that  it was a major turning point and a major breakthrough. I was also aware that having been around for as many years as I was that I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted to be in that show as long as I could and have the experience be as fully realized as it possibly could be.”

On a brief dry period in his career following “Rent”:
“Having done something as successful as ‘Rent,’ it seemed like this will solve the ‘Will I ever work again?’ question. Then it turned out, that question is never solved. There are people who win the Academy Award and then don’t work again for years.”

On how he landed his current role on “Star Trek: Discovery”:
“It was really happenstance. I got offered the role without auditioning. They were building this new version of the universe for the new streaming network, CBS All Access, and one of the characters is openly gay and that was a first for ‘Star Trek’ and they were committed to casting an openly gay actor in the role. They had their little list and I was on the list. And they thought that I’d be good for it.”

On watching old episodes of “Star Trek” to prepare for his current role:
“After I got cast in the role, I went back and started watching more of the older stuff and it was very inspiring to watch the incredible work of actors like Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner, who find a way to bring so much depth and intelligence to the work.”


More about “At Home With The Creative Coalition”
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “At Home With The Creative Coalition” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. “At Home With The Creative Coalition” is sponsored by Pioneering Collective. Listen now at

Upcoming guests include David Alan Basche (“The Exes,” “United 93”), Asante Blackk (“When They See Us,” “This Is Us”), Carly Chaikin (“Mr. Robot”), Wilson Cruz (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “13 Reasons Why,” “Visible: Out on Television”), The Creative Coalition President Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”), Lea DeLaria (“Reprisal,” “Orange Is the New Black”), Griffin Dunne (“This Is Us,” “Dallas Buyers Club”), Jim Gaffigan (“Tesla,” “The Jim Gaffigan Show”), Willie Garson (“Hawaii Five-0,” “White Collar”), Judy Gold (“The Other F Word,” “Nightcap”), Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “The Avengers”), New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Isaacs (“Compromising Positions,” “Takes One to Know One”), Richard Kind (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Big Mouth,” “Gotham”), Chad Lowe (“Supergirl,” “Life in Pieces,” “Pretty Little Liars”), Anna Lynne McCord (“Let’s Get Physical,” “90210”), Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace,” “Travelers”), Katherine McNamara (“Arrow,” “Shadowhunters”), Rob Morrow (“Billions,” “The Fosters”), Kathy Najimy (“Duncanville,” “Dumplin’,” “Veep”), Haley Joel Osment (“Future Man,” “Entourage”), Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon,” “The Muppets”), Jessica Queller (“Supergirl,” “Gossip Girl”), Alysia Reiner (“Better Things,” “Orange Is the New Black”), Yolonda Ross (“The Chi,” “How to Get Away with Murder”), Reid Scott (“Why Women Kill,” “Veep”), Matt Walsh (“Veep,” “UCB Comedy Originals”), Alfre Woodard (“Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), and Constance Zimmer (“Condor,” “UnREAL”).

Previous guests include Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Harley Quinn,” “Saturday Night Seder”), Alan Cumming (“Briarpatch,” “Instinct,” “The Good Wife”), Jason Isaacs (“The OA,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Harry Potter”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs,” “Reno 911!”), and Julie Taymor (“The Lion King,” “Frida,” “The Glorias”).

More about The Creative Coalition
The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of public importance. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns including #RightToBearArts to promote the efficacy of the arts. For more information, visit

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