RENT Star Brennin Hunt Details the Injury That Derailed the Live Show
Brennin Hunt, the young rocker who starred as Roger in FOX's broadcast of RENT chatted with Variety today about the foot injury that derailed the live show and the 'beautiful' result of his most inopportune brush with bad luck.
According to Hunt, the injury took place between scenes as he and co-star Jordan Fisher made a mad dash to complete a quick change for the show's final scene.
"When we finished "What You Own," when we climbed the ladders, Jordan [Fisher, who played Mark] and I had to run, all the way through that commercial break, downstage, across the scaffolding and down two flights of stairs to do our quick change for the finale." Hunt tells Variety, "We made it down one flight and we came around the next flight, and I was jumping off that last step to make a left, and my right foot just rolled over, and I SNAPPED a bone in the arch of my foot. And I immediately dropped and was in a lot of pain, and I knew it wasn't good because even with my in-ear monitors I could hear it snap."
Despite hopes that the injury was a minor sprain, a CAT scan revealed that the actor's foot was broken and would require surgery if Hunt chose to go through with the performance.
With no understudy on hand, the network ultimately chose to air a "mostly taped" broadcast which had been captured at dress rehearsal up until Hunt's injury, just moments before the final curtain.
Choreography was re-worked for the musical's final moments, so that Hunt could join the cast to bring the story to its conclusion and sing a live version of "Seasons Of Love" with Rent's original Broadway cast.
Hunt says of the company reaction, "I was showered by so much love from the producers and the cast, and just everybody on that set gave me so much love and positive energy." he said, "They were just so professional and so loving and I can't thank the producers enough for making me feel comfortable and making everybody else feel comfortable that the show was going to go on, we were going to figure it out."
With support from the company, Hunt made it through the disappointing ordeal and even went on to deliver a live performance for the in-studio audience from his wheelchair.
His unfortunate situation also earned the actor some encouragement from the show's original Roger, Adam Pascal.
Hunt tells Variety, "He actually hugged me and laughed and said, "I know you don't want to hear this right now but," and he pointed at my foot and said, "This is the best thing that ever happened to you. You're trending right now." So we had a good laugh, and he was so sweet and kissed me on the cheek and said I killed it. He was very supportive."
Overall, Hunt remains positive about the way things shook out.
"What happened last night would not have happened if my foot had not been broken, and what happened last night was beautiful," Hunt tells Variety. "It was the essence of 'Rent,' and I'm trying to stay as positive as possible and know maybe my foot broke for a reason."
Read the full interview at Variety.
BroadwayWorld reported last night that Hunt suffered the injury during the show's dress rehearsal.
A statement was released by FOX, stating that the show must go on:
"Last night during a live performance of FOX's production of RENT, one of the actors, Brennin Hunt, was injured. But in the spirit of RENT, everyone - producers and cast, original and current -- is dedicated to ensuring that tonight's broadcast must, and will, go on."
Julie Larson also released a statement:
"The experience of putting together this beautiful new production of my brother's work, while emotional, has been truly joyous for all of us. This new cast has embodied the spirit of the show from day one and they embraced Brennin with positive and uplifting love in his moment of need. RENT has always been about resilience and community. I speak from my heart when I say that we have a spectacular show for you tonight. We can't wait for a new generation to experience Jonathan's legacy."