From Apple TV+ new hit show, “Dear Edward,” Grammy and SAG Award-winner Brian d’Arcy James is this week’s featured guest on Hollywood at Home, a podcast hosted by The Creative Coalition’s CEO Robin Bronk, featuring unplugged and uncensored conversations with entertainment industry’s who’s who. In this episode, d’Arcy James takes us behind-the-scenes and behind-the-curtain of his celebrated performances from reigning as Hamilton’s original King George to playing the lead role in “Shrek the Musical,” and more.
Hollywood at Home is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and more.
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Highlights from Hollywood at Home featuring Brian d’Arcy James:
On his new show, Apple TV+ “Dear Edward”: “It’s about community. It’s about pain. It’s about overcoming that through reaching out. And it’s a beautiful story.”
On originating the role of King Henry in “Hamilton”: “I originated the role of King George off-Broadway at the Public Theater. I’m proud to say that I was there at the very beginning and that was a rocket ship ride. I did it because I was asked by Lin [Manuel Miranda] and Tommy Kale, the director. It was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life – you’re in this show and you know Paul McCartney’s coming. And then, ‘What President is here tonight?'”
On being Shrek in “Shrek the Musical”: “The makeup was by far the most challenging work experience I’ve ever had. It took an hour and a half to get into it, and about 45 minutes to get out of it. There were a lot of physical challenges – but, when the show was happening and we were doing it there, it was just gorgeous and lovely and a super fun ride. The score by Jeanine Tesori is just great. But, it took its toll on me mentally because it was like doing two shows at once because of the work and the patience. My daughter was in second grade at the time. On days when there were two shows a day, I couldn’t get out of the makeup in between shows I just had to stay in the big green head and locked in the “Shrek jail” for Wednesdays and Saturdays. The suit was a big bulky suit overheating. I wore ice packs. Problem with that is that the ice would melt and I would have an extra five pounds on me, and at that point, every pound was crucial and problematic. It was a big science experiment.”
On working on the film “Spotlight”: “After the intoxication wore off of doing a scene with Michael Keaton, there was something so solid and so momentous – Birdman came out when we were shooting. You know, there’s something very strange when you’re talking to somebody [journalist Matthew Carroll] who’s watching you play him in a movie. I think by the very nature of the story itself, in terms of how it unfolded in Boston with the Archdiocese, there was an understanding that might play out on a larger scale just in terms of what the institution of the church might think and what they may or may not do. A story had already been told, and so it was undeniable. So there was really no chance for anyone to come back and say, well, this isn’t true. It had been exposed already. I think it is a lasting legacy to great journalism. Talented, diligent people who get into places where it’s really hard to extricate the truth. There would be stories, personal stories, that would come forward. I’m moved just thinking about it because It really is such a heinous thing that still occurs.”
On being in an Oscar-winning film: “It is surreal. You know, there’s one element to it where you think, ‘Oh great. We’re here. We’re at the party. This is great.’ And then you realize ‘oh, well, we actually could win this thing.’ I remember Morgan Freeman was the presenter of our award. I remember him saying, ‘Spotlight.’ I was sitting in the back because ‘Spotlight’ screenwriter Josh Singer gave me his seats. I just kind of catapulted myself over 26 people and probably stepped on ankles and wrists and whatnot. I flew down the aisle. Then there’s that other moment of being on the stage, looking out and seeing all these luminaries – seeing Steven Spielberg sitting in the fourth row and just thinking I am inside the rabbit hole. It was It was a stunning night – to be to be an arts lover and someone who believes that the arts can change the way we think, and that was recognized.”
On being a parent while filming “13 Reasons Why”: “There was an interesting moment for me as a parent and as an actor when the high school that my daughter went to sent an email out to the parents to say there is this show called, ’13 Reasons Why,’ and there’s a lot to be discussed about this. And I thought it was a really interesting moment for me to appreciate as a consumer when we tell stories and we watch movies. I didn’t honestly know what kind of impact the story was going to have. I learned a lot really fast about the story that we were telling. It was such a dramatic story with the characters wanting so desperately to find connection and a place of health and love.”
More about Hollywood at Home:
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “Hollywood at Home” 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. Listen now at http://thecreativecoalition.org/podcast.
Previous guests include Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Iain Armitage (“Young Sheldon”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Jim Gaffigan (“The Jim Gaffigan Show”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Tony Hale (“Veep,” “Arrested Development”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Jason Isaacs (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “Harry Potter”), Richard Kind (“The Watcher”), Nathan Kress (“iCarly”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), AnnaLynne McCord (“Let’s Get Physical”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Molly Smith Metzler (“Maid,” “Shameless”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory”), Kyla Pratt (“Call Me Kat”), Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), Tramell Tillman (“Severance”), Krista Vernoff (“Grey’s Anatomy”), KT Tunstall (“Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” “Suddenly I See”),and Alfre Woodard (“Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), among others.
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 its members on issues of public importance. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns including #RightToBearArts to promote the efficacy of the arts. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.
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Jess Hoy, The Circle Collective