CUE & A: Gigi Star Corey Cott on Pokemon, Borrowing Shoes for a Callback and The "Dog Actor Renaissance"

News   CUE & A: Gigi Star Corey Cott on Pokemon, Borrowing Shoes for a Callback and The "Dog Actor Renaissance"
 
Corey Cott, who stars as handsome Gaston Lachaille in Broadway's Gigi, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Corey Cott
Corey Cott

Cott made his Broadway debut starring as Jack Kelly in Newsies. Other stage credits include university productions of Suddenly Last Summer, Assassins, Sweeney Todd and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

On the small screen, he recently guest starred on "Madam Secretary" and will be seen on the upcoming TNT drama "Public Morals."


Full given name:
Corey Michael Cott

Where you were born/where you were raised:
Born: Columbus, Mississippi, while my dad was flying A-10 fighter jets in the Air Force. You know "Top Gun?" My dad won that award in real life. My dad > Tom Cruise.

Raised:
Spring Arbor, MI, and Chagrin Falls, OH.

What your parents did/do for a living:
My parents are the most gracious, brilliantly compassionate people and I owe them everything. They currently reside in Bonita Springs, FL, where my dad works as a financial advisor and my mom works for a real estate management company. They are my heroes, and taught me most of what I strive for every single day.

Siblings:
Casey Morton Cott and Carly Megan Cott. All "CMC" – my parents are also HILARIOUS.

Who were you main mentors/inspirations when first starting out?
I first started seriously performing at a teen community theatre called "Stagecrafters" in Pepper Pike, OH. The couple who founded that organization are Jamie and Wendy Koeth. I couldn't be more grateful for all the knowledge and experience they gave me throughout my teen years.

Inspirations?
Anthony Rapp, Norbert Leo Butz, Jim Carrey, Ben Fankhauser (not a joke).

Current audition song/monologue:
Song: "I 2 I" from "A Goofy Movie." Monologue: "Prison Mike" from Michael Scott's memoir.

Special skills:
have a powerful spidey-sense for when tourists are about to fall on the subway.

Something you're REALLY bad at:
"Multi-tasking"– my wife.

First Broadway show you ever saw:
Wicked. I was 14, and I cried from the back row of the mezzanine. #NoShame

If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be?
The original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd.

Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends:
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Favorite showtune(s) of all time:
"How Glory Goes" from Floyd Collins "Unexpressed" from John Bucchino's It's Only Life "Being Alive" from Company "Santa Fe" from Newsies

Some favorite modern musicals:
Floyd Collins, Next to Normal, In the Heights, Big River

Some favorite classic musicals:
Carousel, Oklahoma!, South Pac… …the whole R&H rep.

Broadway or screen stars of the past you would have most loved to perform with:
Brando. I just want to act with Brando. T'would be a thrill I imagine.

Your personal vocal idols, living or dead:
David Phelps. YouTube him immediately.

The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:
Mark Rylance in La Bete. A masterclass.

Music that makes you cry, any genre:
Sigur Ros. My wife walked down the aisle to their song "Hoppipolla." Best moment of my life.

Most played song on your iPod:
The "Will and Grace" theme song.

Most-visited websites:
www.homestarrunner.com

Last book you read:
"Wings of Madness: Albert Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight" by Paul Hoffman

Must-see TV show(s):
The entire "One Saturday Morning" lineup, but specifically "Recess." Completely shifted the dynamic of recreational diversity.

Last good movie you saw:
"Birdman." Truly a cinematic masterpiece.

Some films you consider classics:
"Homeward Bound," "Beethoven" and "Air Bud" – I consider the dog acting of the early 90's to be the second renaissance.

Performer you would drop everything to go see:
The Gaither Vocal Band

Pop culture guilty pleasure:
Watching "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" at 1:00 AM and pretending my "Frosted Flakes" are BBQ ribs.

Three favorite cities:
Paris Pittsburgh Sal Tlay Ka Siti

Favorite sport/team/player:
"Basketball is my favorite sport. I like the way they dribble up and down the court." Cleveland Cavaliers all the way.

First CD/Tape/LP you owned:
"The Nu Nation Project" by Kirk Franklin. Also "No Strings Attached" by NSYNC.

First stage kiss:
Playing Sid in The Pajama Game my junior year of high school.

Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager:
Favorite? Curley in Oklahoma! Most memorable? I played Aslan in a production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was 16. We literally used the script from the movie, and the soundtrack from the movie. It was the most illegal play I have ever done. My makeup took two and a half hours and I looked like a non-eq Rumpleteazer.

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
Watching the 2004 Tony Awards. My mind was blown.

Favorite pre-/post- show meal:
Pre: Po-Boy wrap/salad from Chop't Post: DOLLAR PIZZA ANYWHERE IN MIDTOWN

Favorite liquid refreshment:
The red All-Sport

Pre-show rituals or warm-ups:
Prayer. Lip trills. Cookie(s). Repeat.

Most challenging role you have ever played:
Cinnamon. #Punny #Awful

What drew you to this new project and what has been the biggest challenge so far?
Initially I didn't know anything about the musical or movie. So the simple intrigue of a completely fresh story was very exciting. The biggest challenge for me has been discovering the true humanity within Gaston. Gaston could easily be played as a selfish, bored, wealthy bachelor with very little dynamics to him. Thank God for Heidi Thomas because as a group we have been able to elevate his soul to something a bit more interesting and worth watching.

What has been the most fun or fulfilling part of this project?
Singing the title song "Gigi" every night. It's a three act play in itself. Also simply getting to collaborate with the most incredible cast/crew in the world.

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
Funny you should ask. So we are in previews right now. Just the other night during the show – I have this moment at the end of Act 1 where I set down a champagne glass and pick up Vanessa and throw her over my shoulder. As I set down the glass it completely shattered all over the table! I just looked at Vanessa and screamed, "Look what you made me do, Gigi! AHH!" Then the amazing Vicki Clark, the theatre pro that she is, ran offstage to grab a broom to sweep up the glass. Meanwhile I laughed, picked up Vanessa, and yelled "Previews! HA HA!" Then the audience booed and hurled rotten fruit at my face, so I quit acting and I am currently living as a mole person in the abandoned 90th St. subway stop.

Craziest audition story:
My final callback for Wicked was a two part audition. I sang/read, and then they had me come back and dance an hour later. Naturally, I didn't bring any sort of dance shoe. So I went to a Payless 3 blocks down and bought a pair of black sneakers. I did the whole dance audition in the sneaks. When we were done I placed the shoes back into the box, just like they came, walked back to Payless and returned them. As I was walking out of Payless my manager called and told me I booked it.

Leading man role you've been dying to play:
Seaweed in Hairspray

Leading lady role you've been dying to play:
Mrs. Lovett

Something about you that surprises people:
I was very obese as a kid. Like, incredibly fat. I got made fun of all the time and felt very inferior to most of my peers. But now, I am on Broadway, so I feel pretty OK about all of that.

Something you are incredibly proud of:
My holographic Pokemon card collection. Also, my marriage.

Something you're embarrassed to admit:
I still look at my holographic Pokemon card collection.

Career you would want if not a performer:
The guy who brings around breadsticks at Olive Garden.

"I'll never understand why…"
… any woman would actually volunteer to be on "The Bachelor."

Words of advice for aspiring performers:
"You rock. Don't ever change." – Lizzie McGuire

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