Rory O'Malley Looks Back On His Career With Theatre Firsts

Film & TV Features   Rory O'Malley Looks Back On His Career With Theatre Firsts
The star of the Lifetime series American Princess, premiering June 2, recalls some of his very first theatrical experiences.

Tony nominee Rory O'Malley hasn't been on Broadway since his stint as King George in Hamilton—but he's keeping busy this summer with another British throwback—William Shakespeare. Actually, he's playing an actor playing Shakespeare at a Renaissance Faire in Lifetime's new series American Princess. The show, which premieres June 2, finds Amanda Klein fleeing her wedding and finding a new life as one of the performers in a Ren Faire. O'Malley plays her new confidante, Brian, who is also the Faire's esteemed Bard. Watch a clip from the series above, in which Brian comforts the Faire's Queen Elizabeth.

But theatre fans know and love O'Malley from shows such as Spelling Bee and his Tony-nominated turn in The Book of Mormon, so we asked the new TV star to share some of his first theatrical experiences. See his answers below, and tune in to American Princess on Lifetime.

What was your first audition ever?
My first professional audition was for Kurt in The Sound of Music. I got a callback but didn’t get the job. I was so proud of myself that I put it on my résumé: "Sound of Music—I got a callback!”

What was your first paid acting gig?
My first paid acting gig was in L.A. It was a new musical. I was so excited I quit my restaurant job, but then found out the show only paid $7 a performance. I sheepishly went back to my restaurant and begged for more shifts to cover the cost of gas and parking to do the show.

What was it like to see your name in a Playbill for the first time?
Absolutely glorious. It was for Spelling Bee. I got to thank my mother, who has stood by me at every step of pursuing my dream. Being in Playbill was a real honor.

What was the first fan gift you ever received?
Cookies! Yummy!

Who was your first theatre-celebrity talent crush?
I wanted to be Mandy Patinkin. My friend Nick and I went to see him in concert when he came to Cleveland. We waited at the stage door and sang “Lily’s Eyes,” hoping that he’d come out and want to be friends with us. He did come out to greet his fans and was lovely, despite our creepy singing.

When (and with whom) was your first onstage kiss?
I was in 5th grade in a production of The Snow Queen! I was playing Kai, and he gets kissed by the Queen herself. That’s what puts the ice in his heart. It’s the Hans Christian Anderson tale that later became Frozen. It was my first part and I was very nervous because The Queen was played by a girl in high school! I guess I was a bit of a lady’s man back then...

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