How did you land the role of Olaf?
Well, it’s an interesting story... they actually asked me to come in for Hans and I thought that was odd cause I don’t really see myself as a Disney prince. But then they asked me if I wanted to play Olaf, so the story I tell is I went in as the prince and came out as the frog. I did it backwards!
What attracted you to the role?
I get to play this joyous character Olaf, who is the snowman Elsa creates as she’s discovering her powers. He’s such a joyous, child-like character, who says it as he sees it, with no filter and everything he sees is the cup half full. It’s just a really fun, wonderful character.
What’s it like working on stage with a puppet?
I've never worked with puppets before and I'm not a puppeteer in any sense… but it’s so much fun and a new string to my bow to be able to bring this character – who is basically like a small human in front of me – to life. It's been as challenge but also a lot of fun.
How does it feel to be back on stage?
I think we are so lucky as a company to be able to go back to work in the midst of a pandemic. As we told on out first day, all eyes around the world are on us because we are one of the first shows to get back up and running… It is totally a new landscape and a new world we’re living in and Disney have been brilliant at making sure we all feel safe and that the audience feels safe – it’s great.
What would you say to hesitant theatregoers?
Everyone turns to the arts for relief from whatever is happening in the world so I think it is really important we get back to work. Once we show how safe and achievable it is then other parts of the industry can get back to entertaining and bringing joy to people, which what we do as performers.
As a former reality TV judge, what would you like to see change in the industry?
As someone who worked in reality TV, I know it goes through cycles. When SYTYCD came onto the scene we had been watching singing shows for a very long time before we moved on to dance shows, cooking shows, DIY shows and now relationship shows… I just hope we can get back to reality TV that’s based on talent and merit, rather than a social exercise in seeing people get their hearts broken.
What do you hope people take away from Frozen?
Everyone knows Olaf because he is hysterical and joyous and I hope I can bring that element to the stage, while putting my own spin on it. I also hope people come away from Frozen with a renewed sense of inspiration and joy… because the show is about family, it’s about sisters, the bond they share and the love they have for one another.
Frozen is playing at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster. Let it snow!