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300tube Broadwaycom   6 December, 2017
 1,876

Show People with Paul Wontorek: Steven Pasquale of JUNK

  Broadway vet Steven Pasquale discusses starring in Ayad Akhtar's financial thriller JUNK, the Broadway flop he loved and his epic wedding with Phillipa Soo.

Here are some must-read highlights:

ON AYAD AKHTAR’S FINANCIAL EPIC JUNK
“I’m in a great, new, huge American play. It’s a super intense examination of finance in the 1980s and of the practices that were put in place then. It’s one of the great pieces of writing I’ve ever been around. The play is a thriller, but it really holds a mirror up to raw, unfettered, rapacious, veracious American capitalism and whether or not we are doing it right. The scenes come at you like lightning. It asks the question, ‘Would you go to jail for two and a half years if you could walk away with $2 billion?’ Doug Hughes, our brilliant director, said, ‘Let’s chat.’ We met in that beautiful plaza at Lincoln Center with the fountain in the background, and he said, ‘This is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Ayad Akhtar is one of the great storytelling minds of our time. I really know how to direct this play, and I think you’re the guy to play this part.’ I certainly didn’t need any more than that. I was sold.”

ON HIS DREAM STREETCAR CO-STAR
“I sent Sarah Paulson a text the other day saying, ‘Let’s do A Streetcar Named Desire together.’ She responded, ‘I’m terrified, but I love it.’ So there it is, right there, on the record. She’s the person to play Blanche DuBois. She would play it better than anyone maybe ever has. SP, looking at you!”

ON ACTORS AND FINANCE
“We all basically suck at it. I’m probably better than your average actor, but I still suck at it relative to, like, another adult. Fifteen years ago, I hired an accountant to take care of my finances so that I could just go and do jobs and work in Canada and California and New York and Australia. Somebody else could worry about paying my taxes and commissioning the people that work for me. That was actually one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I got a guy! Without him, I’d probably be in jail for some sort of tax evasion. I think artists, by nature, worry less about ‘adulting.’ We just want to tell stories and then people clap, and then we go to the Glasshouse Tavern afterwards.”

ON FLOPS THAT CLOSED TOO SOON
“You know what I loved? That American Psycho musical. I loved it! What a raw deal that show got. It should have been a monster hit. I saw Alex Timbers the other day, he loved it too. We were talking about it. Sometimes the good stuff doesn’t last and sometimes the turds just stay forever. Sometimes the steaming Broadway turds just last forever and the good shit lasts a hot minute!”

ON WHAT HIS PAL LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA SHOULD DO NEXT
“I’m dying to know what’s going on in that brain of his. I want him to do something weird. I think he should get weird. A totally unobvious choice, which I’m certain he’s already working on. I’m sure a million people are like, ‘Contemporize this story!’”

#ONABICYCLEBUILTFORSOO
“That was our wedding hashtag. We actually showed up to our wedding on a tandem bike. That was our cute little bit that we did. Classic us, we didn’t test drive it or anything. It was very dangerous. We almost ruined Pippa's wedding dress. It ended up with me basically walking the bike because we couldn’t do it properly without hurting ourselves.”

ON HIS AND PHILLIPA SOO’S EPIC WEDDING
“We had the most fun, super informal. It was an incredible group of people. Jon Groff officiated our wedding. He did a great job. We said, ‘Whatever you want, but don’t do anything too crazy.’ Of course, he had Celia Keenan-Bolger speak. Renée Elise Goldsberry gave a little bit of a speech. Kelli O’Hara did a rap that Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote, which was hilarious and perfect. In true Jonathan Groff style, everything was just right.”

ON SOO KEEPING HER NAME
“Screw the patriarchy, dahling!”

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