BWW Interview: Will Brittain On Travelling Coast-To-Coast To Make It SKINTIGHT
Playwright Josh Harmon's SKINTIGHT receives its west coast premiere at The Geffen Playhouse, already in previews. Daniel Aukin directs this neurotic family drama featuring the original stars of the Broadway production (Idina Menzel, Will Brittain and Eli Gelb), with Harry Groener, Kimberly Jürgen and Jeff Skowron rounding out the cast. SKINTIGHT deals with youth, aging and each individual's not-completely perfect relationships. I was lucky enough that Will Brittain (who plays Trey, the young, hunky boyfriend of patriarch Elliott) was able to squeeze in some time for me in his busy rehearsal schedule to answer just a few of my long list of questions.
Thank you for taking time for this interview, Will!
You will be reprising your role of Trey in SKINTIGHT. Any tweaking or major edits to your character for Geffen's west coast premiere?
Some, yeah. Josh (the playwright) has been in the room making edits to the text, and Daniel (our director) and I are always trying to push the boundaries of what the role can be, so it's been really exciting to bring it around another time and explore new things.
Were you familiar with Joshua Harmon's other works (BAD JEWS, SIGNIFICANT OTHER)?
Not at the time I was cast, no. I thought Josh MUST be a country boy from Oklahoma, based on how well he wrote Trey. I was shocked to find out he was from New York. He's magical, that one.
How did you initially land the role of Trey in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production last year? Lengthy auditions? A fortuitous referral? Being in the right place at the right time?
I sent in a self-tape from Los Angeles and thought, well that's that. And then I was in Maine filming an indie, (Blow The Man Down - a film I'm really excited about!) and I got a callback notice from my agent and was like,"No way!" So, I drove overnight from Harpswell, Maine to New York, slept in my car, and went in the next day and - That was that, I guess, hah!
What was more exciting to you - the moment you found out you were cast as Trey? Or getting ready to make your first entrance on the stage opening night June 21, 2018?
Eeesh! Hard to say. Different things.
I guess you could say that SKINTIGHT's your first 'exposure' on stage, right?
Yeah, we did the first run at the Laura Pels with Roundabout (who were amazing), it was pretty awesome... being in New York, City... Times Square... It was an incredible way to dip my toe in, so to speak.
Idina's character Jodi doesn't take too kindly to your character Trey. She's not one to stay in her hostile character with you offstage, does she?
No! Idina Menzel is one of the kindest, most gracious people I've ever met. She's been a wonderful mentor and friend to me. I feel lucky to work with her.
Any Will Brittain projects in the near future you can disclose to us?
I'm developing a project, an independent film that I wrote with a few close friends and very talented filmmakers that I'm really excited about.
Also set to direct a short based on another film I wrote, and - maybe some other stuff - we'll see!
What reaction from the Geffen audience post-curtain call would make you the most satisfied?
Oh, I don't know. Hopefully, we can all just do justice to the play and do a decent job of telling this story. I think it's pretty special, I hope they feel the same.
Thank you again, Will! I look forward to checking out all the revealing details of SKINTIGHT.
For ticket availability and show schedule through October 6, 2019; log onto www.geffenplayhouse.org