How did you acquire that incredible voice?I can assure you that it’s not an incredible voice. It’s a solid voice, one that gets me through eight shows a week safely and comfortably. But there are a lot of bigger singers than me … I’ve always enjoyed music. I’ve always sung along and stuff, so I suppose I’ve always had a kind of musical inclination in that sense. Three years ago, I started having singing lessons. I just loved it. My singing teacher is a great guy in England named Mark Meylan. He’s very funny and dry.
Were you able to reach those notes right away?
No. That has been worked on across the three years. My range got slightly bigger. But I’m not quite Freddie Mercury yet.
That was an energetic performance. How do you unwind?
I go home and watch the History Channel or something. Nothing particularly interesting. Now that we’re more into the run, I’m less buzzing after each show. In the beginning, I would go home and I couldn’t sleep for like two or three hours. But now, I’m able to rest afterward.
Aside from the singing lessons, how else did you train for this marathon role?
I started doing dance lessons at the beginning of last year. When I wasn’t doing “Potter,” I did three hours (of dancing) on weekends. I was doing it every week for 12 months. The course gets you slightly more in shape. But it wasn’t until the rehearsals when you get the specific choreography of the show into your body. Eventually, you relax with it. Then it becomes less of a workout. I can now do “Brotherhood of Man” without getting totally out of breath and having to struggle in the next scene.
When I do film or TV, the biggest bond I have is normally with the crew. Because, particularly in the case of “Potter,” I was the only one who was there every day. Even Emma (Watson) and Rupert (Grint) were often not there. So the crew are the people I gravitated toward and hung out with.
In this show (“How to…”) it’s a different experience that you have of being in a cast. Because you really do rely so heavily on each other. You help each other out and be there for each other when stuff goes wrong. There’s a real company feel. We have a really great company. And that applies to not just the cast but also the crew backstage who are just as hardworking and happy to be here. But going though the rehearsal process, at certain times you’re all slightly vulnerable, messed up and thinking that you don’t belong there. You see each other through that phase which is lovely.
You left New York to attend the recent London premiere and then flew back here immediately.
Yeah, it was a great day. It sounds too cold and clinical to say “on autopilot” but it was almost like I was watching it all happen to somebody else. It was slightly kind of odd. I couldn’t believe that I was suddenly back here and was about to do the show again after I’d been in London. It was kind of bizarre. It was one of those things that I suppose tests the stamina. It’s nice to be reminded that you can do it.
It’s not something that you get particularly adjusted to. It’s always something that makes you feel slightly awkward. You’re like, 'if you really hear me, I promise you won’t be screaming'. There’s nothing to get that excited about. It’s all very surreal. The people scream and get so excited. Again, it’s a similar thing – it’s like it’s happening to somebody else. After a while, you tend to almost not hear it. It’s quite strange.
It’s part of my identity in the fact that it was my first big job. But it’s not something that I wake up saying to myself. I’m fully aware that I’m not him. I suppose the truthful answer is, I don’t think about it that often. Although “Harry Potter” is responsible for almost everything in my day-to-day life – from my job to where I live – it’s not something that comes into my head all the time.
Would you like to do another musical? Which do you like the most?
I would absolutely love to do another one. I’d love to do a new musical as well. That would be very exciting. My favorite musical, despite the fact that I’ve never actually seen it live – I’ve only seen recordings and listened to the cast album – is Sondheim’s “Company.”