The Origins of Moulin Rouge!’s Backstage Viral Videos

Interview   The Origins of Moulin Rouge!’s Backstage Viral Videos
Robyn Hurder and Max Clayton are having the time of their lives on and offstage at Moulin Rouge!.
Max Clayton and Robyn Hurder
Max Clayton and Robyn Hurder Marc J. Franklin

Robyn Hurder and Max Clayton share very few moments together on the stage of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, where they’re both wowing audiences nightly in Moulin Rouge!. But that hasn’t stopped them from becoming this season’s hottest social media stars together.

“Fans at the stage door love the two of us together,” Clayton says. “And that makes me so happy because, yeah, we’re laughing and having fun, and if we can share that with someone else, that’s the goal.”

Both Clayton and Hurder delight in sharing their friendship on Instagram, and fans have flocked to the content. But Hurder is quick to point out that, as entertaining as it is, it serves a very real function: to keep them both sane in the midst of eight shows a week.

Robyn Hurder and Ricky Rojas Joseph Marzullo/WENN

“It’s so physically demanding on every single person that’s in it,” says Hurder, who opens Act 2 with a crowd-pleasing tango that comes close to stopping the show. “And there are days when we hit a Saturday night, and it’s rough. And that’s when Max will be like, ‘OK, so tonight we’re going to play Chubby, Chubby, Chubby Chipmunk. And we’ll stuff our faces with marshmallows and go live [on Instagram].’ And I’m like, ‘Yes, this is what I needed!’ And this is apparently what everybody else needed, because we get delivered bags of marshmallows now.”

Their bond is so immediately evident that it comes as a surprise to find out the duo only met two years ago, at a Moulin Rouge! lab. Since then, they’ve performed the musical in Boston and now on Broadway, with a quick stint in A Chorus Line at City Center—Clayton as Don, Hurder as Cassie—sandwiched in between.

Their infectious enthusiasm for each other and the show is buoyant, as is their mutual respect for one another’s talents.

“I wish we could do every show together,” Clayton says. “To just know that there’s a slice of home in the building. The second you walk in it’s like, ‘Oh, Robyn’s here too!’ We get to kind of experience all of it together, which has been so much fun.”

Can we just do every show together? Hurder asks. “Damn Yankees, and I’ll be Lola and Max will be Joe Hardy! I’ve been pretty shameless about that on Instagram.”

Hey, Mr. Producer—there’s an idea for you!

Follow Hurder and Clayton on Instagram @robynhurder and @maxmclayton.

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