Hailey Kilgore earned a dream opportunity and her Broadway debut when—after an international casting search—the team behind the current revival of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Once On This Island cast the 18-year-old actor as Ti Moune.
Commanding the stage with a maturity beyond her years, the powerful talent says there is one person behind the scenes without whom she couldn’t be successful onstage: None other than original company member of Broadway’s Come From Away and Rent Rodney Hicks. “He’s a family friend and mentor of mine,” says Kilgore in the video above. “He always keeps me going and keeps me grounded and centered. He always gets me to remember the joy.”
In addition to radiating that joy, Kilgore captured the eyes of the Tony nominating committee with one characteristic: “Honesty,” she says of the root of her performance. “When you’re doing a show and you're taking on a role, you have to take in the elements of the script. You take in the elements of the environment. For me I always wanted it to be rooted in a place of truth. The beautiful thing about Ti Moune is that she’s young and she will not be silenced and she’s so giving, and I hope that I carry all of those traits myself.”
Watch the full interview in the video above.