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Alex Newell Talks ZOEY'S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, and More on Variety's Stagecraft Podcast

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Alex Newell Talks ZOEY'S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, and More on Variety's Stagecraft Podcast

Alex Newell was a guest star on Variety's Stagecraft podcast recently where he talked about genderfluidity, Barbra Streisand and his "Dreamgirls" goals.

Newell first talked about his role of Mo on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. He discussed how, on the page, the role wasn't exactly what he was looking for, but he was able to relate and make it his own.

"What was important for me to include was my own story, and what gender expression is and identity is" Newell said of the role.

Newell also talked about his upbringing in the church, and how he sometimes felt like the "elephant in the room." He said the church would exploit his "God-given talents" but then judge his personal life and tell him to hide it.

"[The church will] preach and teach love but don't actually use those values sometimes," he said.

Newell later talked about making his Broadway debut in Once On This Island. He talked about how the first musical theatre performance he used to watch online as a kid was Once On This Island, so getting to play Asaka was a full-circle moment for him.

When asked about his non-conforming gender identity, and how he finds his place in the industry while holding onto that identity, Newell said he's just being himself.

"It's kind of just being steadfast in who are you," he said. "Not everybody is supposed to like you, not everybody has to like you."

Newell was asked, at the end of the interview, what he wants to do on stage or screen that he hasn't yet.

"I think everyone wants me to do Effie," he said. "And I want to do Effie. I would love to do Dreamgirls."

Listen to the full interview here.

Alex Newell got his start on The GLEE Project, and then went on to become a series regular portraying Wade "Unique" Adams on seasons 3-6 of the show. Since then Alex has starred in the Broadway revival of Once on this Island starring as Asaka, Mother of the Earth. Alex can currently be seen on the musical television series, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.


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