BWW Interview: Frankie Grande Talks Starring in HENRY DANGER THE MUSICAL
On Saturday July 27, Kid Danger (Jace Norman) and Captain Man (Cooper Barnes) faced their biggest challenge ever in Nickelodeon's hour-long episode, Henry Danger The Musical. The special, which features 26 original Broadway-style songs, marks the return of the villainous Frankini (Frankie Grande) who puts a musical curse over the town of Swellview, while Kid Danger and Captain Man are forced to find a way to stop him.
Frankie Grande took time to speak with us about starring in the musical episode and gave us a hint at what his future plans entail!
You must be really excited to talk about this new musical episode of "Henry Danger."
It is directly up my alley. The whole thing is up my alley! And I am in it very much. It's super availing and I'm very excited because it was so much fun to do. And it's so awesome to get to flex my musical theatre chops so hard on television for everyone to get to see. I'm really excited.
How did they approach you about doing a musical episode?
On the show I'm a recurring guest star so basically I just found out that I was gonna do another episode so I was like, 'Okay, cool.' And then it was like, 'Oh, we're MAKING IT a two-parter,' and I was like "Okay, great.' Also, it's happened before. And then they were like, 'Oh by the way, it's a musical.' And I was like, 'Shut. Up.' Like that's not possible, like what are you talking about? It's an original musical written by Sam Martin. It's original music and it's phenomenal. The songs are so catchy and it was so nice to be a part of something from the ground up, like I get to originate a role on a television musical and it's just awesome. I'm so excited.
How many songs do you get to sing in the musical?
I think like six. So it's a meaty role, for sure. I think there's 26 songs in the show, like it's pretty incredible. Possibly I sing in seven, I'm not quite sure. But it's really good. I know I have like four solos in it, which is also amazing. It's a really great production overall.
What is it like playing in a musical on television compare to doing it on the stage?
It was my first time doing a TV musical and we rehearsed it like it was a play. So my numbers are very presentational. They're very straight to camera because solos are all me, alone in my layer, direct to camera. So they literally stuck a camera in front of me on a proscenium and just let me do my solo numbers. So it was very similar to performing on a Broadway stage. The only difference is that we didn't have a live audience and, you know, a live audience is everything. But yeah, in one scene I did in two takes, like I did it twice. And everyone was shocked and they were like, 'Oh my god! Really?' and I was like, 'Yes, really. They're moving on.' So it was cool that we rehearsed it like a musical. Some of the bigger scenes like the opening park scene where there's like 30 people in it, that took six or seven or eight hours to film that day, I don't remember, but I just remember I had to dance full out every single take because even if I wasn't in the shot, if they use it in the background and I'm not dancing full out, of course that's the thing someone's gonna see. So like I, at the end of that day, I was completely shot. I was like, 'Someone drag me home and put me in an ice bath.'
How do you like playing a villain?
It's the best. It's great because there's so much more fun to play because you get to play so many different colors. Frankini is kind of like a frenemy, he started as a villain then they started to come to him with needing help and in this episode, he's just trying to make everyone sing and dance and have a good time. His motivations are completely pure! And then when he finds out no one likes what's going on , then he gets a little upset. But, you know, it's fun to play a villain especially because he's not actually evil. He's not like trying to kill anyone, he's just misguided. Let's just put it that way.
Definitely. So I'm assuming that you would love to go back on "Henry Danger" if they had another musical or just another episode?
Oh, yeah. Yes, I do. I'm ready for the spinoff.
The Frankini Show?
Yeah, I'm ready. Sign me up. Let's go!
So I know you've done a lot of stage work in general and you know, you were in "Cruel Intentions" and you do a lot of cabarets and things like that. But do you have any plans in the future to head back on stage or on Broadway?
Yes. I can't tell you yet, but it's coming.
But we should be looking forward to some kind of an announcement is what you're saying?
Very soon. Very, very soon.