When The Greatest Showman hit theatres December 20, Broadway fans rejoiced to see a homegrown musical theatre talent shoot to film stardom as Keala Settle burst front and center as the Bearded Lady.
Her big solo, “This Is Me,” was released as the single for the movie’s album (which dropped December 8). The woman who delivered a show-stopping breakout performance in Broadway’s Hands on a Hardbody (who out there remembers “Joy”?) and earned a Tony nomination back in 2013 went on to play the brash Madame Thénardier in the 2014 revival of Les Misérables and then originated the role of the tell-it-like-it-is Becky in 2016’s Waitress. But The Greatest Showman marks her first major role in a feature film.
“Singing that song scared the living daylights out of me because of how well it was written and where it was within the sequence of the film and what I knew it would mean for not only those that were involved on set but for the rest of the world once they saw it,” Settle tells Playbill in the video interview above.
But more surreal for Settle than singing a solo in a major Christmas release was dancing in one. “Ash’s movement was so incredible. I loved dancing,” she says. “That was a dream come true for me.”
Watch her full interview above, and check out the story of how Settle got the part in this behind-the-scenes video:
And listen to Zac Efron and Zendaya’s take on the choreography in The Greatest Showman below: