12.18.18

Cody Simpson Discusses His Debut Broadway Role In "Anastasia"

Inspired by the beloved films, Broadway's "Anastasia" transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family. With its opulent settings, dazzling costumes and a soaring score including the song favorites from the hit animated film, “Journey to the Past” and “Once Upon a December,” "Anastasia" is the spectacular musical about discovering who you are and defining who you’re meant to be. Cody Simpson, who is making his Broadway debut as Dmitry, came to BUILD to chat.

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** As Captioned Live ** \M\M

>>> HEY, EVERYONE. WELCOME BACK TO BUILD. I'M YOUR HOST BRITTANY JONES-COOPER. INSPIRED BY THE BELOVED FILMS, BROADWAY'S "ANASTASIA" FOLLOWS THE STORY OF ANYA WHO SETS OUT TO DISCOVER THE MYSTERY OF HER PAST. SHE ENLISTS THE AID OF A DASHING CONMAN NAMED DMITRY WHO HELPS HER DISCOVER HOME AND LOVE. I'M SITTING DOWN WITH CODY SIMPSON MAKING HIS BROADWAY DEBUT AS DMITRY. PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER FOR CODY. LET'S ROLL A CLIP. \M\M \M DANCING BEARS \M \M PAINTED WINGS \M \M THINGS I ALMOST REMEMBER \M \M AND A SONG SOMEONE SINGS \M \M "ONCE UPON A DECEMBER" \M \M SOMEONE HOLDS ME SAFE AND WARM \M \M HORSES PRANCE THROUGH A SILVER STORM \M \M FIGURES DANCING GRACEFULLY \M \M ACROSS MY MEMORY \M \M FAR AWAY \M \M LONG AGO \M \M GLOWING DIM AS I REMEMBER \M \M THINGS MY HEART USED TO KNOW \M \M IS IT YOURS TO REMEMBER \M \M AND A SONG SOMEONE SINGS \M \M ONCE UPON A DECEMBER \M

>>> WE DID IT. WE GOT IT.

>> YES.

>> EVERYONE PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER FOR CODY SIMPSON! [ APPLAUSE ]

>> THANK YOU.

>> HOW YOU DOING TODAY?

>> I'M WELL. HAPPY TO BE HERE.

>> SO LET'S START WITH THAT CLIP BECAUSE YOU GUYS JUST RELEASED THAT AND THAT WAS WITH YOUR CO-STAR CHRISTY WHO PLAYS ANYA.

>> YES, FANTASTIC.

>> THAT CHEMISTRY, HOW FUN HAS IT BEEN TO WORK WITH HER BECAUSE SHE'S A DYNAMO?

>> SHE IS UNREAL, SUCH A PROFESSIONAL, THE CONSUMMATE BROADWAY STAR, YOU KNOW. I'VE BEEN REALLY LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO WORK WITH HER. SHE HAS ALREADY TAUGHT ME SO MUCH IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS THAT I'VE BEEN ON, AND SO WE ARRANGED THE ACOUSTIC VERSION OF "ONCE UPON A DECEMBER" TOGETHER AND JUST WANTED TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL. WE THOUGHT IT WAS AN APPROPRIATE TIME, BEING DECEMBER AND THE HOLIDAYS. YEAH, YEAH.

>> AND THIS IS YOUR BROADWAY DEBUT. YOU SAID SHE HAS TAUGHT YOU SOME THINGS. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM WATCHING HER?

>> HOW TO PRESERVE YOUR VOICE, YOU KNOW, SO YOU CAN DO IT EIGHT SHOWS A WEEK, YOU KNOW, FLAWLESSLY HOPEFULLY. THAT'S WHAT WE HOPE FOR. SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO -- SHE TAUGHT ME TO EACH SOUR PATCH KIDS DURING INTERMISSION TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH AND THROAT MOIST, BECAUSE IT CAN DRY OUT LIKE THAT IN THE SHOW, AND IT WORKS. YEAH.

>> THAT'S AMAZING. I JUST EAT THOSE FOR FUN, BUT NOW I KNOW THERE'S LIKE A HEALTH BENEFIT.

>> YEAH. I DON'T KNOW ABOUT HEALTH BENEFIT, BUT SHOW BENEFIT FOR SURE, YEAH.

>> SO THIS IS YOUR FIRST TURN ON BROAD WAY. HOW DID THAT EVEN COME TO YOU BECAUSE I HAVE KNOWN YOU AS A RECORDING ARTIST.

>> RIGHT.

>> I HAVE HEARD YOUR VOICE, BUT MAKING THAT JUMP PROBABLY FELT LIKE A BIG LEAP TO YOU A LITTLE BIT.

>> I THINK IT PROBABLY LOOKED LIKE A BIG LEAP FOR PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, ME COMING FROM, YOU KNOW, POP AND ROCK AND ALL OF THAT KIND OF STUFF AND IT BEING A DIFFERENT STYLE OF MUSIC AND SINGING. BUT I'VE BEEN A HUGE FAN OF MUSICAL THEATER FOR A LONG TIME, AND MUSICAL -- FILM ADAPTATIONS OF MUSICALS, MUSICAL SHOWS, PLAYS, THINGS LIKE THAT. IT WAS JUST NEVER SOMETHING I HAD THOUGHT INTENSELY OR COMPLETELY RATIONALIZED DOING MYSELF. I ALMOST DIDN'T THINK IT WAS POSSIBLE. YOU ALMOST LOOK AT IT AS LIKE AN ALL-STAR LEAGUE, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? OR, YOU KNOW -- AND SO I THINK THE OLDER I GOT, THE MORE I REALIZED IT WAS SOMETHING THAT I COULD POSSIBLY DO. SO, YOU KNOW, I WENT OUT FOR A FEW THINGS THIS YEAR, FILMS AND MUSICALS AND OTHERWISE, AND IT EVENTUALLY LED ME TO GOING OUT FOR THE ROLE OF DMITRY IN "ANASTASIA", WHICH WAS, YOU KNOW, WHICH IS IN MY OPINION THE PERFECT PROJECT TO BE INTRODUCED INTO THIS REALM.

>> AND WHAT WAS THAT AUDITIONING PROCESS LIKE FOR YOU?

>> IT REQUIRED A FAIR BIT OF VOCAL PREPARATION. YOU KNOW, IT IS A VOCALLY DEMANDING PART, AS ARE ALL, YOU KNOW, LEAD ROLES IN A BROADWAY MUSICAL, OF COURSE. SO, YEAH, JUST A BIT OF PREP, AND AS AN ACTOR IT IS SOMETHING I'VE FORMALLY STUDIED FOR A FEW YEARS NOW BACK IN CALIFORNIA. SO THAT WAS A REALLY EXCITING PART ABOUT IT, TOO, WAS TO BE ABLE TO TAKE ON A LARGE RESPONSIBILITY AS AN ACTOR, AS A LEADING MALE IN SOMETHING. IT IS A LARGE RESPONSIBILITY, BUT IT IS SOMETHING I WAS SO EXCITED TO UNDERTAKE.

>> SO EXCITING. IS IT HARD TO PUT THAT BACK IN FOCUS? WHAT WAS THAT FIRST CURTAIN CALL LIKE? I WOULD IMAGINE THE ADRENALINE IS JUST SO INTENSE.

>> YEAH, IT WAS AN EXTREME BLUR, THE OPENING NIGHT. I REMEMBER GETTING READY TO GO ON, WARMING UP, DRINKING TEA AND STUFF LIKE I DO BEFORE I GO OUT, AND THEN I RETAKING MY BOW AND THAT WAS ABOUT ALL I CAN REALLY REMEMBER. THE REST OF IT I JUST -- YOU KNOW, YOU ALMOST HAVE TO TREAT IT LIKE IT IS, YOU KNOW, A DRESS REHEARSAL SO YOU DON'T FREAK OUT TOO MUCH, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? BECAUSE I DID A REHEARSAL -- THE FIRST TIME I ACTUALLY GOT TO DO THE SHOW WITH THE WHOLE CAST AND THE PRODUCTION AND THE SET AND EVERYTHING WAS THE AFTERNOON OF MY OPENING NIGHT, WHICH WAS, YOU KNOW, SOME -- YOU KNOW, REGULAR SORT OF PRACTICE HERE, BUT IT IS -- UPS THE STAKES A LITTLE BIT. BUT, NO, I GOT THROUGH IT WITHOUT ANY MAJOR HICCUPS AND I HAVE ONLY BEEN GETTING MORE COMFORTABLE EVERY NIGHT SINCE I'VE BEEN ON. SINCE OPENING NIGHT, THE WHOLE CAST AND EVERYONE HAS BEEN SO WELCOMING AND COMFORTING, CHRISTY ESPECIALLY AND JOHN BOLTON WHO IS FUN TO BE ABLE TO PLAY WITH EVERY NIGHT BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT HE'S GOING TO DO NEXT. IT KEEPS YOU IN A STATE OF SUSPENSE ON STAGE.

>> I WAS SO IMPRESSED. I GOT YOU TO SEE YOU PERFORM.

>> ON SUNDAY, RIGHT?

>> I DID, YEAH. IT WAS A GREAT SHOW. I REALLY ENJOYED IT. I LOVE THE STORY AND THE PERFORMANCES WERE JUST SO ON PAR. THE ACOUSTICS IN THAT THEATER I FEEL LIKE IN PARTICULAR ARE SO AMAZING AND YOUR VOICE REALLY FILLED THAT SPACE, AND IT WAS SO COOL TO HEAR.

>> I'M GLAD TO HEAR THAT.

>> YEAH. SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE FOR YOU PERFORMING, YOU KNOW -- I KNOW YOU TOUR AND YOU HAVE BEEN IN STUDIOS, BUT IN THE THEATER LIKE THAT THAT IS SO ICONIC?

>> YEAH, IT REQUIRES A LARGE AMOUNT OF VOCAL PROJECTION OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE YOU ARE MIKED, WE ARE MIKED, BUT IT IS NOT TO THE, YOU KNOW, EXTENT OF, SAY, A REGULAR CONCERT WHERE THE VOCAL IS THE LOUDEST THING IN THE ROOM AND, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN HAVE YOUR REVERB AND YOU ARE DO ALL OF THAT. IT IS DRY AND IT IS THERE AND IT IS UP TO YOU TO MAKE SURE IT IS -- THAT EVERYONE IN THE THEATER CAN HEAR YOU, ESPECIALLY IN YOUR LINES, EVERYTHING YOU SAY, ESPECIALLY IN INTIMATE MOMENTS. IT IS KIND OF LIKE YOU WANT TO PRESERVE THE REALITY OF THE SCENE, BUT YOU ALSO WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT, YOU KNOW, THE GUY IN THE BACK LEFT KNOWS WHAT THE HELL YOU'RE SAYING.

>> LIKE SCREAMING "I LOVE YOU" INTO SOMEBODY'S FACE?

>> YEAH.

>> WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST SURPRISING PARTICIPATE TO YOU SO FAR?

>> SURPRISING? HOW WELCOMING EVERYONE HAS BEEN. YOU KNOW, COMING IN TO MY FIRST SHOW, IT IS A NERVE-RACKING EXPERIENCE. THERE'S A LOT OF PRESSURE INVOLVED, BUT THE CAST ITSELF WAS SO NICE AND, YOU KNOW, ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT WERE THERE ON MY OPENING AND, YOU KNOW, EVERYONE THAT HAS SEEN THE SHOW SINCE EVERY NIGHT, I'M WELCOMED WITH SUCH LOVE AT THE STAGE DOOR EVERY TIME I LEAVE, AND THE REACTIONS HAVE BEEN SO POSITIVE. SO IT IS GREAT. THERE WERE LARGE SHOES TO FILL. THERE'S BEEN TWO PHENOMENAL ACTORS AND SINGERS THAT PLAYED THIS ROLE BEFORE ME, YOU KNOW. I DIDN'T ORIGINATE THE CHARACTER OBVIOUSLY, TAKING ON, YOU KNOW, SOMEBODY ELSE'S ROLE. SO THAT'S A BIT OF PRESSURE, TOO, BUT YOU KIND OF HAVE TO JUST DO YOUR BEST AND THAT'S ALL YOU CAN DO.

>> I'M CURIOUS HOW MUCH "DANCING WITH THE STARS" PREPARED YOU FOR THE INTENSE CHOREOGRAPHY AND LEARNING THINGS SO QUICKLY.

>> I GUESS A LOT OF MY ROLE, THERE'S ONE OR TWO NUMBERS THAT HAVE DANCE IN IT AND THE REST IS KIND OF JUST STAGING AND THINGS LIKE THAT. BUT I MEAN I'VE HAD A FAIR BIT OF DANCING MOVEMENT EXPERIENCE IN THE PAST, AND THAT DEFINITELY WASN'T THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF IT, YOU KNOW. YEAH. THE MOST CHALLENGING PART WAS PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER AND MAKING IT -- GIVING IT YOUR OWN SPIN, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? YOU HAVE TO SAY THIS, YOU GOT TO STAND THERE FOR THAT AND SING THIS AND DANCE THAT, AND NOW MAKE IT YOUR OWN, YOU KNOW. SO THAT'S PART OF -- THAT'S JUST PART OF THE CRAFT OF BEING AN ACTOR THOUGH, IS MAKING SURE YOU'RE SPINNING IT WITH YOUR OWN STYLE AND STUFF BECAUSE YOU CAN ONLY TAKE SO MUCH FROM WHAT, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE HAVE DONE IN THE PAST. YOU HAVE TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT-TO-MOMENT REALITY OF IT.

>> BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE A HUGE THEATER BACKGROUND, I'M CURIOUS, LIKE WERE YOU ALWAYS INTERESTED IN THEATER? DID YOU DO SOME AS A KID?

>> I WAS A MONKEY IN ""THE JUNGLE BOX" IN MY MIDDLE SCHOOL PRODUCTION.

>> THERE YOU GO.

>> AUDITIONED FOR MOGLI, DIDN'T GET IT. I ALWAYS RESENTED THE GUY WHO DID GET IT BECAUSE HE WAS THE DRAMA TEACHER'S NEPHEW, AND SO I ENDED UP PLAYING A MONKEY. I HAD TWO LINES, AND TAKE WAS THE EXTENT OF MY SCHOOL, YOU KNOW, MUSICAL EXPERIENCE. A LOT OF OTHER OBVIOUSLY MUSICAL EXPERIENCE ON STAGE AND STUFF IN THE PAST HAS PREPARED ME FOR THIS, BUT, YOU KNOW, IT IS A WHOLE NEW BEAST, AND IT IS SUCH A REMARKABLE CRAFT. I HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR EVERYBODY WHO DOES IT AND HAS DONE IT IN THE PAST, BECAUSE YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW UNTIL YOU GET UP THERE AND DO IT YOURSELF WHAT A DEMANDING TASK IT IS TO PERFORM.

>> YOU MENTIONED TOO THAT YOU LIKE SOME MUSICAL THEATER MUSIC. WHAT ARE SOME OF THOSE YOU GREW UP SINGING?

>> "GUYS AND DOLLS." I RECENTLY SAW A SHOW CALLED "ONCE ON THIS ISLAND" THAT WAS WRITTEN BY -- OR THE MUSIC WAS WRITTEN BY THE SAME COMPOSERS AND SONG WRITERS THAT DID OUR SHOW, AND THAT WAS AMAZING MANY. I'VE GROWN UP LIKING SO MANY OTHER ONES IT IS HARD TO PINPOINT. I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SEE A LOT OF SHOWS SINCE I'VE BEEN HERE, WHICH IS NICE.

>> AND YOU HAVE BEEN PERFORMING YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. I THINK WE FIRST MAYBE HEARD YOUR NAME IN 2009, ABOUT THEN, SO YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE GAME FOR A MINUTE. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT BEING A PERFORMER IN THIS INDUSTRY AND LONGEVITY?

>> WELL, YES, PACING YOURSELF, YOU KNOW. IT IS SO TEMPTING TO GO OUT THERE EVERY NIGHT AND SCREAM AND -- BECAUSE YOU WANT TO GIVE 100% BUT YOU ALSO DON'T WANT TO, YOU KNOW, WAKE UP THE NEXT MORNING AND NOT BE ABLE TO GO ON THE NEXT DAY. IT IS LIKE BEING AN ATHLETE. IT IS LIKE IF YOU ARE GOING TO GO UNTIL YOUR MUSCLES FAIL EVERY DAY IN TRAINING, IT IS NOT A SUSTAINABLE WAY OF GOING ABOUT IT. IT IS THAT SORT OF PHYSICAL PACING AND IT IS ALSO JUST A MENTAL GROUNDING, LIKE A PSYCHOLOGICAL GROUNDING THAT YOU HAVE TO REMAIN. LIKE I HAVE A LOT OF -- THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS I DO THAT KEEP ME STRAIGHT, YOU KNOW, AND SANE, FROM PRACTICE TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION AND THAT KIND OF THINGS. WHEN I DON'T DO THOSE THINGS, IT CAN BECOME A HIGH-FREQUENCY THING, SO YOU HAVE TO DO THINGS TO HELP YOU SLOW DOWN. IT IS ALWAYS A SPRINT, BUT IT IS A MARATHON. EVERYONE WANTS TO SUCCEED TODAY, BE THE BEST TODAY. IT IS LIKE, OKAY, YOU CAN BE, BUT 10 YEARS, 20 YEARS AS WELL ARE IMPORTANT.

>> THOSE THINGS ALSO HELP YOU DEAL WITH ALL OF THE ATTENTION, YOU KNOW, THE HEADLINES AND THE SOCIAL MEDIA. I WOULD THINK YOU HAVE TO KIND OF PROTECT YOURSELF A LITTLE BIT.

>> YES. I GO THROUGH PHASES WHERE I WILL JUST DELETE ALL OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA OFF MY PHONE FOR A FEW WEEKS AND JUST NOT LOOK AT IT, AND, YOU KNOW, LOG INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S PHONES AND POST AND JUST NOT LOOK. BECAUSE AS MUCH AS THAT YOU ARE OVERWHELMED BY ALL OF THE POSITIVITY YOU RECEIVE, A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE A LOT OF FREE TIME THAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW TO SAY, YOU KNOW, HORRIBLE THINGS ABOUT EVERYONE THAT DOES ANYTHING OR PURSUES ANYTHING IN LIFE. YOU KNOW, THERE'S ALWAYS PEOPLE THAT WILL BE THERE TO TRY TO SORT OF, YOU KNOW, KICK YOU IN THE ASS. SO IT IS -- YOU KNOW, IT IS JUST TRYING TO REMAIN STRAIGHT AND CHEM THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU AROUND YOU CLOSE.

>> I WOULD IMAGINE IT GOES BOTH WAYS BECAUSE I ALWAYS READ SOMETHING THAT YOU HAD FANS SENDING YOU FAN MAIL TO THE THEATER.

>> YES. FIRST DAY I SHOWED UP FOR REHEARSAL THERE WAS FAN MAIL THERE. YOU HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN ME IN THE SHOW YET, DON'T JUMP THE GUN. BUT, NO, IT HAS BEEN EXTREMELY OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE, THE RESPONSE I RECEIVED.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR MUSIC, YOU HAVE CODY AND THE TIDE, YOUR BAND. WHAT ARE YOU GUYS WORKING ON? I KNOW YOUR FANS WANT TO KNOW THAT.

>> WE DROPPED FOUR SONGS OVER THE SECOND HALF OF THIS YEAR ON AN EP CALLED WAVE TWO. WE HAVE DONE WAVE ONE AND WAVE TWO SO FAR AND WE'RE WORKING ON THE NEXT ONE NOW. I DROPPED A SONG CALLED "NEW CROWNED KING" WHICH WAS AN ACOUSTIC THING I HAD WRITTEN THAT PEOPLE SEEM TO BE REALLY ENJOYING SO FAR. YEAH, IT IS MUSIC AND WRITING MUSIC, WRITING IN GENERAL IS A DAILY PRACTICE OF MINE. SO I DON'T SEE MYSELF EVER STOPPING DOING THAT, NO MATTER, YOU KNOW, WHAT OTHER PROJECTS I'M INVOLVED WITH. YEAH.

>> DO YOU SEE YOUR THEATER EXPERIENCE AFFECTING YOUR WRITING OR THINGS MUSICALLY THAT YOU ARE INSPIRED BY NOW?

>> LIKE INFLUENCING IT?

>> YEAH. DO YOU FEEL A DIFFERENT VIBE NOW THAT YOU'RE WRITING SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN IMMERSED IN THE THEATER COMMUNITY?

>> I THINK SO. I THINK YOU REALIZE, OR WHAT I HAVE REALIZED IS THAT A POP CONCERT CAN BE LIKE A THEATER EXPERIENCE, TOO, YOU KNOW. YOU CAN -- I ALWAYS LOVE GOING AND SEEING ARTISTS' SHOWS THAT HAVE A STORY LINE AND AN ARC AND THINGS LIKE THAT. I RECENTLY SAW THE JAY-Z AND BEYONCÉ STADIUM SHOW, AND IT HAD THIS WHOLE -- IT IS LIKE YOU ARE GOING AND SEEING A SHOW, YOU KNOW. SO I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, IT HAS BEEN EXTREMELY INFLUENTIAL AND GIVEN ME A LOT OF IDEAS FOR HOW I CAN TAKE THIS EXPERIENCE AND, YOU KNOW, BRING IT TO MY BAND AND MY MUSIC AND HOW THAT CAN POSITIVELY SORT OF INFLUENCE THAT, TOO.

>> I'M ALSO CURIOUS HOW IT HAS BEEN LIVING IN NEW YORK. I KNOW YOU'RE FROM AUSTRALIA.

>> YEAH.

>> ALL OF YOUR FAMILY IS BACK IN AUSTRALIA. IT IS REALLY COLD HERE.

>> YES, I SPENT A FAIR BIT OF TIME IN NEW YORK IN THE PAST, BUT I'VE NEVER LIVED -- I HAVE NEVER BEEN A FULL WINTER. THIS IS MY FIRST ONE. IT IS A CHANGE, GROWING UP IN -- FIRST IN AUSTRALIA AND THEN IN CALIFORNIA, BOTH PLACES THAT DON'T REALLY HAVE WINTERS, YOU KNOW, IN THE TRUE SENSE OR IN THE NEW YORK SENSE OF THE WORD. SO IT'S BEEN A SHOCK FOR SURE, BUT I'M REALLY ENJOYING IT. IT GIVES ME A CHANCE TO LAYER UP AND WEAR MORE CLOTHES.

>> THAT'S MAYBE GOOD FOR SOME, I DON'T KNOW.

>> YEAH.

>> WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PART --

>> DEPENDS WHO YOU ARE.

>> WHAT'S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PART OF NEW YORK SO FAR?

>> THE CULTURE HERE, IT'S SO RICH IN ART AND LITERATURE. I'VE BEEN GOING TO MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES AND STUFF, AND THAT'S SOMETHING WE DON'T REALLY GET IN LOS ANGELES IN THE WAY THAT YOU GET IT HERE. SO I HAVE REALLY BEEN ENJOYING THE KIND OF CULTURAL AND THE INTELLECTUAL SIDE OF BEING HERE, YOU KNOW, ESPECIALLY BEING IN THE THEATER, TOO. LIKE YOU LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT THE HISTORY OF IT AND ALL OF THAT STUFF. IT IS GREAT.

>> WE LOVE HAVING YOU HERE.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> I WANT EVERYBODY TO CHECK OUT "ANASTASIA" BECAUSE IT IS GREAT.

>> GO SEE IT.

>> I KNOW OUR AUDIENCE HAS SOME QUESTIONS.

>> I WILL BE THERE MOSTLY.

>> WHO DO WE HAVE FIRST?

>> HI.

>> HELLO. HOW ARE YOU DOING?

>> HI. I'M GOOD. HOW ARE YOU?

>> GOOD, THANKS.

>> SO MY QUESTION IS ABOUT YOUR DYNAMICS SO FAR WITH THE CAST.

>> YEAH.

>> I KNOW THAT IT IS A VERY, VERY -- YOU KNOW, THAT CAST IS ALMOST LIKE A FAMILY, EVERYONE GETS ALONG SO WELL.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> HOW HAS IT BEEN LIKE GETTING ALONG THROUGH THE SHOWS SO FAR?

>> SURE. IT HAS BEEN GREAT. EVER SINCE MY FIRST DAY WORKING WITH CHRISTIE AND JOHN, WAS -- THEY WERE SO WELCOMING AND SO COOL. WE WANTED TO FIND -- EVER SINCE THE FIRST DAY WE WERE TRYING TO FIND OUR OWN MOMENTS AND OUR OWN THINGS THAT OUR CHARACTERS COULD DO THAT, YOU KNOW, MAYBE WERE DIFFERENT TO THE WAY IT HAS BEEN DONE IN THE PAST OR WHATEVER, BUT YOU ALSO WANT TO STAY TRUE TO THE STORY AND THE WAY IT IS PORTRAYED ON STAGE. SO EVERYONE HAS BEEN AWESOME SO FAR AND WE ARE ONLY GETTING CLOSER AND MORE IN THE RHYTHM AS WE GO ALONG. THANK YOU.

>> THE CHEMISTRY IS AMAZING. YOU CAN FEEL IT IN THE AUDIENCE.

>> REALLY? THANK YOU.

>> YEAH, IT IS REALLY, REALLY FUN.

>> THANK YOU.

>> WE HAVE A TWITTER QUESTION. WANTS TO KNOW WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PERFORMING LIVE ON TOUR AND PERFORMING LIVE ON BROADWAY?

>> PERFORMING ON BROADWAY I THINK REQUIRES A FAIR BIT MORE -- IT IS A FAIR BY MORE VOCALLY DEMANDING, A FAIR BY MORE PERSONALLY INVOLVED WHICH I PERSONALLY THRIVE OFF OF. AT THE SAME TIME THERE ARE THINGS THAT TRANSLATE OVER. I GUESS PERFORMING LIVE ON TOUR, YOU ARE IN A DIFFERENT CITY EVERY NIGHT AND ON BROADWAY YOU ARE IN ONE PLACE AND I CAN, YOU KNOW, I HAVE A BIT OF A HOME AND GO HOME TO IT AND COME BACK TO THE THEATER. THAT WOULD BE THE DIFFERENCE.

>> HAS IT MADE YOU WANT TO DO MORE BROADWAY?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> SO IT IS THE FIRST OF MANY.

>> HOPEFULLY.

>> AND ONE LAST QUESTION, OR I THINK WE HAVE TWO MORE.

>> NICE SHIRT.

>> THANK YOU.

>> OUT HERE REPRESENTING.

>> OF COURSE.

>> LOVE IT.

>> I'VE BEEN A FAN OF "ANASTASIA" SINCE THE BEGINNING.

>> AWESOME.

>> I WAS SO EXCITED TO HEAR THAT YOU WERE COMING IN.

>> THANK YOU.

>> BUT MY QUESTION IS LIKE EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN ON THE SHOW HAS THAT FAVORITE SONG. SO WHICH ONE IS YOURS?

>> GOSH, THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION. OF MINE THAT I SING, IT IS "EVERYTHING TO WIN." OF THE SHOWS -- OF THE SHOW IN GENERAL, IT IS THE VLAD AND -- IT IS ONCE CHRISTIE -- SORRY. ONCE ANYA, THE EMPRESS HAS DISCOVERED HER AND THEY MAKE THE PRESS RELEASE AND ALL OF THAT, IT IS THE SONG THAT THEY SING. \M I REALLY HAVE A LIBERTY TO GOSSIP WITH THE PRESS \M

>> OH, THE PRESS CONFERENCE.

>> EXACTLY. I WASN'T SURE WHAT IT WAS CALLED. THAT ONE OR "WE'LL GO FROM THERE," WHICH IS GREAT.

>> I LOVE SHE KNEW THE NAME.

>> OF MINE, IT IS "EVERYTHING TO WIN."

>> WE HAVE ONE MORE QUESTION.

>> SURE.

>> HI, HOW IS IT GOING?

>> HI, HOW ARE YOU?

>> ALL RIGHT. MY QUESTION IS IF THERE'S ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY THAT ARISES, IS THERE ANOTHER PLAY THAT YOU WOULD BE INTERESTED IN AUDITIONING FOR?

>> ABSOLUTELY. SHOULD ONE COME UP, I ABSOLUTELY WOULD LOVE TO. WHEN I'M OLDER "GUYS AND DOLLS" IS ONE I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO DO. I'M A LITTLE YOUNG FOR IT I THINK AT THE MOMENT. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING. "HAIR" WOULD BE REALLY FUN. I KNOW THEY'RE DOING A LIVE, POSSIBLY SOMETHING. SO, YEAH, SOMETHING LIKE THAT WOULD BE GREAT.

>> THANKS.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> IN THE MEANTIME THOUGH, ALL OF YOUR FANS CAN CATCH YOU IN "ANASTASIA". I WILL SAY IT IS SUCH A CLASSIC MUSICAL AND I LOVE THAT THEY'RE CONSTANTLY UPDATING IT. IT WAS SO COOL TO SEE YOU IN THAT ROLE. YOU GUYS WANT TO CHECK OUT CODY, YOU CAN SEE HIM IN "ANASTASIA" NOW THROUGH FEBRUARY 17TH. GIVE IT UP FOR CODY. [ APPLAUSE ]

>> THANK YOU.

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Britt Robertson and the Shondaland series, "For the People," are back on ABC for season 2! Find out how the legal drama has changed the actress' view of the world. (Photo Credit: Mike Pont /BUILD )

Allen Kovac & Nikki Sixx

It's not every day we have a music legend like Nikki Sixx in the studio! 🤘 Check out our talk with him and co-producer Allen Kovac about the candid Netflix biopic of his iconic band, Mötley Crüe. (Photo Credit: Mike Pont /BUILD )

Lacey Chabert

Lacey Chabert let us sit with her! 😌​​​​​​ Hear what draws the actress to certain projects and if she'd be up for reprising the role of Gretchen Wieners in a "Mean Girls" reunion. (Photo Credit: Jammi York /BUILD )

Shannon Coffey, Chantal Rochelle & Kevan Kenney

It's that time of the week...#NewMusicFriday! And who better to break down all the new releases of the week than our music experts. Hear what they had to say! (Photo Credit: Mike Pont /BUILD )

Gregg Araki, Kelli Berglund, Avan Jogia & Karley Sciortino

Quite the stylish bunch! 😎 Gregg Araki, Kelli Berglund, Avan Jogia and Karley Sciortino, the people behind STARZ's "Now Apocalypse," sat down to discuss the new show. Watch!

(Photo Credit: Mike Pont /BUILD )

J.K. Simmons

Always a pleasure to have the talented class act J.K. Simmons stop by the studio. We talked with him about his new film, "I'm Not Here," and more. (Photo Credit: Mike Pont /BUILD )

Nina Dobrev

STOP! ✋ And take this time to check out our chat with the beautiful Nina Dobrev about her new CBS sitcom, "FAM." You won't regret it. 😎 (Photo Credit: Jammi York /BUILD )

Kyle Cooke, Amanda Batula, Carl Radke, Lindsay Hubbard, Danielle Olivera, Hannah Berner, Paige DeSorbo and Jordan Verroi

It may be winter but the "Summer House" cast brought the heat! 🔥 Check out our chat with the stars of the Bravo reality series to find out what fun and drama you can expect from the newest season. (Photo Credit: Jammi York /BUILD )

AJ Michalka & Patton Oswalt

Backstage crossover! 🤩 "The Goldbergs" alumni stopped by to chat about their latest comedies. AJ Michalka gave us details about the new series "Schooled" and Patton Oswalt told us what to expect in season 2 of "A.P. Bio." (Photo Credit: Noam Galai /BUILD )

Chiwetel Ejiofor

We obviously know how great of an actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is in front of the camera but now we get to see his work behind one. Hear all about Ejiofor's directorial debut in the new Netflix Original film, "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind." (Photo Credit: Noam Galai /BUILD )

Harry Shum Jr., Matthew Daddario, Emeraude Toubia & Katherine McNamara

What a beautiful grouping of people 😍...and we're going to miss them! 😭 The final season of "Shadowhunters" is upon us and we had the pleasure of chatting with the cast of the beloved series. (Photo Credit: Jammi York /BUILD )

Rome Flynn

Rome Flynn is a busy man! Not only has he starred in this season of ABC's hit show, "How to Get Away with Murder," but you can also catch him in Tyler Perry's last Madea movie. Tune in to our talk with him. (Photo Credit: Jammi York /BUILD )

The Season 11 Queens of "RuPaul's Drag Race"

Too much slayage in one photo! 😩 From woke words about representation to shady moments about other queens, you absolutely DO NOT want to miss our Monét X Change hosted-chat with the fabulous bunch of "RuPaul's Drag Race" season 11. (Photo Credit: Noam Galai & Mike Pont /BUILD )

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