For fans of musical theatre, Jeremy Jordan is a household name. The rest of us might know the 30-year-old Tony-nominated actor from his starring role alongside Anna Kendrick in The Last Five Years, a big-screen musical adaptation. He's also about to become better known to small screen fans, thanks to his new role in the upcoming TV show Supergirl.
It's an exciting time for Jeremy, who after years treading the boards is making the leap into TV and film, and in an exclusive interview with HELLO! Online, he opens up on working with Anna, why nothing beats the theatre, and Twitter marriage proposals...
You've got your fair share of female fans, what does your wife think of all the attention?
"It’s never felt like a threat. People will ask me on Twitter to marry them, and of course! But you know, it’s not been so bad that we’ve been concerned in any sort of way for safety or fidelity purposes. I keep myself in a relative bubble at home, and it is weird when I go out in public, especially in the theatre or events, and fan girl people attend, to be reminded, ‘wait I am Jeremy Jordan’. But I don’t feel that way... I hope it will remain that way.
How did you and Anna prepare for the film? Did you want to do a straight adaptation or bring a spin to it?
"On stage, it’s really just a bunch of solos, they trade back and forth and they’re hardly ever on stage together, so for the film version we weren’t going to change anything in terms of lyrics or the songs, but how they were presented we definitely wanted to change. We would be in each other’s time lines so to speak, and we would affect each other’s performances. Also setting it in the real world and finding where each of these songs take place was an exciting challenge."
With The Last Five Years being your first major film role, did Anna offer advice?
"Anna’s a cool chick and I suppose if I asked for it she would have given it, but we have different strengths. I have been in musical theatre my entire life so I bought that to the table... I will say I definitely learned a lot from her, just watching her, and seeing how she evolves a character on film because there’s still lots to learn on my end, and so we learned from each other."
Do you prefer treading the boards to being in front of a camera?
"There is nothing like the theatre. But I have been doing more film work, film and TV. My last show was Newsies in 2012 and then right from there I filmed Smash and then I filmed The Last Five Years... I did a play last summer, and when I did that, I was like, 'Oh god I miss this stuff'. Anytime I go into the city and walk down Broadway I just get like an ache, so yeah I don’t think that will ever go away."
What would be the ideal musical role to bring to the big screen?
"There are lots of great roles, but I’m more interested in creating something new - not to say that I wouldn’t do a revival if the right thing came along, but I love the idea of starting from scratch. [For The Last Five Years] I knew the musical so well, inside and out, before I had the audition from years ago, that I had to train [Norbert Leo Butz, the original Jamie in the stage show] out of my head because I had listened to that recording for most of my life, I had to really work hard to create my own interpretation."
What can we expect from the new CBS show, Supergirl?
"I think it’s great. We shot the pilot last month, and there’s been a lot of positive response behind the scenes. But I think it should be a big hit, and in the UK as well. The rapport was great. I hadn’t done a pilot before. I had done some TV, but hadn’t gone through that experience and I was told by a lot of people it’s usually very manic and crazy and frustrating, but we all had a great time. Right off the bat the vibe was great. I didn’t get to work with all the actors but I did get to work with Calista and Melissa."
Your character Winslow 'Winn' Schott is described as being a "superstar IT whiz", how are you with computers and technology in real life?
"I’ve always been a techy-nerd, I’m always buying all the latest gadgets. [Winn is] a character that’s a lot closer to me than any other character I’ve played in a long time. Maybe more excitable... But I will say that Jamie in The Last Five Years, especially those early years, I infused a lot of my own personality."
What first sparked your interest in theatre and acting?
"A couple of people in my family did community theatre, and my grandma ran the youth program at the community theatre... But it was always just play to me, it wasn’t a big deal, I just would go on stage and make faces. Then when I was in high school I did a production called The Fantastic where I played mute character, I didn’t sing or speak, and that forced me to learn to react, and as soon as I learnt to listen and put myself in the world of the show and because I was present, I was like 'oh ok, there is a transformative element to this whole thing', and I fell in love with that immediately."
Have you ever considered a music career?
"I was always a choir boy, ever since elementary school, and I was shy about it but it was kind of a way to bypass the shyness and sort of an escape for me, so I’ve been a singer for a long time. Last year I started doing cabaret show around the country just to try it out, because I‘ve always wanted to be considered a serious actor, but sometimes you just want to make some extra money! This year’s New Year’s resolutions was to finish writing an album, and I want an original album of original work – not a musical theatre album."