Luxe Life Blog Sits Down With Leslie Odom, JR. To Talk “Smash” And So Much More!
Debut Season Finale Of "Smash" Airs Tonight (5/14/12) On NBC @ 10p/9p
|EXCLUSIVE PHOTO - Leslie Odom, JR. On Stage For The Final |
"Leap Of Faith" Performance On Broadway
Photo Credit: Tisho Richardson For The Luxe Life Blog
When, Tisho Richardson, founder of The
Luxe Life Blog, was preparing to interview Leslie Odom, JR., best known for his
re-occurring role on the NBC Hit “Smash”, he thought that the interview would
focus mainly on “Smash”, the “can’t take your eyes off it” show whose debut season finale airs, tonight, on NBC
(10p/9p central). But, as he conducted
the interview and got to know Mr. Odom, he discovered that this charming actor
was not only a “breakout” star on “Smash”, but, also, an amazing talent with an
impressive list of credits on stage, screen, and TV.
Tisho also, discovered that the interview would coincide with the closing of the Broadway musical, LEAP OF FAITH, for which Leslie has received the kind of "one of a kind" reviews that herald the arrival of the most sought after of all Broadway talents, the "triple threat."
Browse the interview of Leslie Odom, JR. below and the stunning photographs that have been captured of this illustrious, not so “breakout” star.
Tisho Richardson (TR):
You were cast on Broadway in
Rent while still in high school but left to get an education in the musical
theatre program at Carnegie Mellon University, what were some of the things you
considered in making the decision to stay on with Rent or pursue your
Leslie Odom, JR. (LO):
That initial decision was made
by my parents, I didn’t want to leave New York and I was offered other shows,
but with the aid of my parents that was one of the wisest decisions I could
have made. Carnegie not only gave me the tools and training to sustain myself
in the business, It also gave me access to a network of fantastic alum that has
carried me alone way.
Another amazing feat you
accomplished was booking the first job for which you auditioned, which was a recurring
role on CSI MIAMI, what would be the single most important advice you would
give actors starting out on nailing an audition?
My father used to drill in to me
three things, unconscious, unconsciously competent and there was competently
competent. Basically his thing was you don’t want your success or your winning
to happen by accident. You want to be prepared when you are given
opportunities. What I will say to young people is we all have nerves, we all
have insecurity, but when it’s your time to shine, when they give you your
opportunities because you don’t know how much you will get, you have to do the
thing, you have to be competently competent.
What was like being part of "Leap
Leslie Odom, JR. In "Leap Of Faith"
“Leap of Faith” was great I did it
2 years ago in L.A. and to revisit it 2 years later, to bring all the things
that I learned as a human and as an actor being, I mean 2 years ago I hadn’t
worked with Don Cheadle, 2 years ago I hadn’t spent a season on TV, singing and
dancing every week, I brought all those lessons and experiences back with me, I
feel like the performances are richer, fuller, deeper and I am very pound of
the work we have done on Broadway.
What do you think you will miss
most about leap of faith?
The people! It’s a great group of folks, it’s almost a
cast of mostly African American performers, that’s a very rare thing, and it’s
always a treat when I get to work with black folks.
The industry has a term for
people who are blessed with multiple talents, which is known as being a “triple
threat”, you are a triple threat being in film, tv, and theater, do you think
that you might venture in to the music industry at some point, possibly an
album or recording career?
Become a quadruple threat that
kind of thing has to be right; you can’t just stick a microphone in front of an
actor, it has to be the right material, the right song, I certainly wouldn’t
turn down an opportunity to do something like that.
Smash focuses on every aspect of
theater; production, casting, live performances, backstage “goings-on” – How
would you compare the “smash” portrayal of everything involved in a musical
production verses the real life experience of working in the industry?
It’s a TV dramatized version of
what we do, it’s a little more dramatic that what we do.
The cast of Smash seems like the
chemistry is there because it is in essence a large family much like a working
musical becomes, do you feel, even though it is a large ensemble show, do you
feel that the actors natural chemistry is making it a Smash?
It is! My favorite people to
work with in the business are theatre people, whether it’s television or film.
I love working with artist that come from the theatre. You have to understand
when you come from a job that pays you $450 dollars a week, when you come from
that you truly appreciate what you are given in the business. To be on a set
full of theatre people that appreciate the opportunity that they are given to be
on television, it truly a gratifying experience.
Red Tails was a fictionalized
portrayal of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American United States
Army Air Force (USAAF) servicemen during World War II. Did you feel that sense of pride they had
when portraying one of these brave men?
Leslie Odom, JR. In "Smash" - Photo Courtesy: NBC Universal
Leslie Odom, JR. In "Red Tails"
Absolutely! The great
opportunity and gift to recount the perfect record of the Tuskegee Airmen was
not lost on anybody. From Neyo, to Terence Howard, to Cuba Gooden Jr. on down,
we all felt incredibly humble and grateful to be there.
It must have been awe inspiring to show up on the set of Red Tails daily and be transported back to that era through sets, costumes, period vehicles/aircrafts, what was 1 of your favorite“props” or period-piece vehicles/aircrafts to see?
Leslie Odom, Jr. - In Costume "Red Tails"
I love the costume! I remember the first day being in costume and walking on the set into one of the barracks they had built it was truly like being transported back in time.
How is it different preparing
for a role in which you are portraying someone verses an original character?
It’s not all that different
because I sort of think of all of them as souls. The character I play in Leap
Of Fate, while he wasn’t written to be based on anyone, I’ve used people in my
life to kind of base him on. I treat every character with seriousness,
sincerity and honest.
Follow Leslie Odom, JR. On Twitter & FaceBook:
FaceBook : http://www.facebook.com/leslieodomjr
Interview Conducted By: Tisho Richardson
Write-Up Proceeding Interview –Written
By: Toni DiCappo
Special Thanks: Joan Sittenfield - JoanSittenfield Management
Blog Post ©2012 - LuxuryTickers.com™ - All Rights Reserved
FaceBook : http://www.facebook.com/leslieodomjr