THE LEADING MEN: Perez Hilton, From Blogging to Off-Broadway in NEWSical the Musical

By Brandon Voss
31 Aug 2012

Perez Hilton
Photo by Hannah Ross

Was acting truly the career path you saw for yourself while at NYU?
PH: Absolutely. I always saw my future in acting. And I was always very aware of my type, how I would get cast, what I was good at, what I wasn't good at. In fact, one of the reasons I moved to L.A. is because I thought I'd have a better chance making it in film and television than being in New York doing Broadway or soap operas. But acting didn't pan out, and I got sidetracked doing the website and other things. Now I have this opportunity, and I'm not going to say no to it. I'm just trying to entertain people, whether I entertain them online, on my radio show, with my books, or now onstage with NEWSical. I'm an entertainer, and I always have been.

NEWSical is your professional theatre debut, but this isn't your first time performing onstage, is it?
PH: I did a couple of shows in high school. I played an old woman in some Edward Albee play, I did The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), I did a Spanish-language play where I played a monkey — a lot of weird stuff. I was also in the International Thespian Society, and I did forensics. I didn't really do any plays at NYU; I mainly focused on doing student films. My dream when I was in high school and in college was to be Sean Hayes in "Will & Grace." I always saw myself in a sitcom, playing the wacky next-door neighbor, the gay best friend, or the crazy cousin. I didn't want or need or think I could be the star of the show, but I would've loved to be in an ensemble or a great supporting cast member.

What was your earliest exposure to live theatre?
PH: I definitely wasn't a musical theatre addict when I was young, because that wasn't really part of my upbringing in Miami. My parents didn't really take me to see shows, so I was never exposed to it that much. But after I moved to New York City to study acting, and I was able to go see shows for cheap or for free, I fell madly in love with theatre. Now I'm so passionate about musical theatre. I've probably seen every major show that's playing. I know a lot about musicals, but I've also been learning so much from my NEWSical castmates like Christine Pedi, who's so knowledgeable about musicals and knows so many people, so it's been fascinating to hear her stories. I'm just so excited to be around people who love theatre as much as I do.