DIVA TALK: Chatting With Tony Winner and The Bodyguard Star Heather Headley

By Andrew Gans
19 Oct 2012

Headley in rehearsal
Photo by Paul Coltas

Question: How old is your son now?
Headley: He's going to be three in December.

Question: How would you say motherhood has affected not only your life, but yourself as a performer?
Headley: You know, everything now surrounds him. What was such a big deal before is slightly trivial. Before it was like, "We have to get this done! Ah!" All of a sudden, you're kind of like, "We'll get it done. It will be fine." You're still on top of things, but there are these bigger people in my life now — husband and baby. You're just kind of like, "Okay." I will tell you this. I remember before I got pregnant, I remember going to my doctor and saying, "Listen. I'm going to get pregnant in February, and I'm going to have the baby in November, and I'm going to be back on stage by Nov. 2. This is how it's going to be." And, I remember her looking at me like, "Okay. Whatever you think." And, it's the truth. These little babies come out, and there is such love just blowing in their direction. You're just like, "Oh, I want to be with you." But the beauty is, he's traveling with me amazingly well. He's very good with everything, and we've now created this balance, so I can do what I do thanks to my husband and nanny. I can do what I do and still go home and be mommy to him. It's tougher, but we have to get our priorities together and do that. He, also, is making a sacrifice for me — our son. He doesn't know it, but you know, where mommy would be home maybe all day, she's not. Women do it, and I have to remember my priorities. The last time I did something like this, I had no husband, I had no child… We've decided to do this. We decided to take a chunk out of our lives and come do this show. I decided to leave my country to do this show — be separated from my husband and move my child to do this show. So, Andrew, I'm saying that I'm not doing this show just because it's an easy show… "Oh, that will be fun to do." We believe in it. We believe in it as a family. And, my aim is to make it a success and people love it and enjoy it because I do believe in it that much to uproot everybody. [Laughs.] Yeah, it's going to be good.

Question: Is there any talk about The Bodyguard coming to Broadway? And, would you want to come to Broadway with it?
Headley: Well, that's what they would like to do, and that's one of the reasons I said I would do it. I didn't think it was something you can do in two months and figure it out. It's one of those things that has to be — especially with the whole Whitney factor — you have to get it into your body. Yes, the ultimate theme is to bring it to Broadway, and I think it will be amazing on Broadway. It's really good. It's just different… It's a story. It's a play with music. It's almost like a concert with a play around it or a play with a concert around it. And, the way they have woven the songs into the show is slightly genius to me. On one end, you're going to sit there and think, "Wait. Did Whitney sing the songs after the musical?" Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which came first, the musical or Whitney's songs? They've woven the songs into the show so well that you will sit there as a music theatre fan, or anybody, and go, "Of course, that song's supposed to be there. Of course, that's what they would sing." They really have done a good job with it. And, I'm not just saying that. I'm telling you. Seriously. That's the only reason I'm here. [Laughs.]