By Michael Gioia
07 May 2013
Photo by Kevin Berne
"This show, by default, forced me to step out," she said. "I mean, I had to laugh out of nowhere every show [before 'Joy of the Lord'], and I had to pull that from somewhere — anywhere. I pulled from every single person on that truck, and it became a realization for me that I can move through life with that [encouragement] — not just on the truck. It changed who I am."
What changed Settle, exactly? "Well, not to be cheeky or cheesy or anything," she confessed, "but the show… It actually altered who I am as a person in a very, very positive way. I've always been afraid of who I am and not knowing what I can do… There's always doubt and fear. If you're a human being, everybody's got it. If anybody says they're not afraid of themselves, they're lying!"
Following closing night of Hands on a Hardbody, Settle took the stage at (le) Poisson Rouge in Broadway Sings Stevie Wonder to perform "Knocks Me Off My Feet" alongside Hardbody co-star Jay Armstrong Johnson. Johnson and Settle, the show's closing act, brought down the house, but, yet again, Settle's nerves struck.
Settle, beaming from her Tony nomination, could not help but boast about her Hardbody family, explaining, "We know that nothing like this will ever happen to any of us, individually, again. And, that's okay because now we have each other…as a family."
(Playbill.com staff writer Michael Gioia's work appears in the news, feature and video sections of Playbill.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PlaybillMichael.)