Q&A with “WICKED” Tour’s Fiyero, Bradley Jaden
Are you counting down the days before Wicked flies back to Manila? If not, then our interview with the gorgeous and talented Bradley Jaden should psych you up! Before his Fiyero makes you swoon in your seats come February, read what he has to say about what it’s like joining the show, touring the world, and what he loves about “Wicked”.
Is it true you only saw “Wicked” recently?
A couple of months ago, actually! (as of September 2016)
Oh wow, and now you’re doing it!
Yeah, I know! It’s amazing.
How’s the experience like so far? Is it intimidating to step into those shoes?
Of course! You know, to be part of this “Wicked” umbrella is an immensely scary opportunity but it’s also an opportunity that can’t be missed. I’m very, very lucky and very, very grateful.
The reason I haven’t seen the show is not for lack of wanting to, because I’ve heard it so much. I’ve heard all the songs, but I also didn’t want to go into– once I got the role, I didn’t want to go and steal any of the little bits or see anyone else, or be inspired by any other actor. I kinda wanted to read the book and make my own journey as Fiyero.
Have you met any of the other Fiyeros?
I know [Oliver Savile], the guy who plays it on the West End.
You guys ever talk about—
No! We haven’t spoken about the role at all. I know that he does a very, very different version. He’s a very, very good looking guy so I know I have to step up to the mark if I have to follow in his shoes in any way. He does an incredible job on the West End, so to then play a role alongside that guy and tour around the world is quite incredible.
Which parts of the show do you absolutely love as an audience member as well as someone who is part of the show?
My favorite bit is Elphaba’s Dance. I love that bit. I just love the pure simplicity of it, and just that emotional connection that anyone can have of just kind of letting go and just, you know… I think everyone’s been in that situation where they’ve felt completely out of their comfort zone, that someone just brought you in and then you just feel that release of anxiety and happiness and all these different emotions and everything’s just flowing in the moment. I love that bit.
Do you have a favorite song from the musical?
My favorite song to listen to I would say is “No Good Deed”. I think it’s just, you know, everything that everyone wants to listen to in a song. But then obviously, you’ve got incredible songs such as “Defying Gravity” and “Popular” which just brings the light in. With the ensemble, “One Short Day” is just, you know— each song has their own— it’s one of those shows that you can just listen to on and on and on because it has little different genres, so the songs are all great.
If you can play any other character in the show, male or female, which one would you want to play?
Oh, you know what? If I wasn’t Fiyero, I’d love to be one of the monkeys! (laughs) I’d love to be Chistery or someone like that. Just flying around, you know? They’ve got their own little journey, which is great. Chistery goes on such a great journey, so I think if I was anyone else, I’d probably be one of the monkeys– just having a swing around and running up and down the stage.
If I was a girl, I’d probably be Glinda. I’d go Glinda. You see such a range of emotions from her–as well as Elphaba, of course. She’s the protagonist of the show. She gets great songs– but Glinda goes on such a huge journey from beginning to end. It’s quite spectacular to watch.
What about your own personality do you bring to Fiyero, and what about Fiyero’s personality do you love?
I love Fiyero’s carefree approach. I feel like I’m quite a relaxed person, so I do bring that ‘step back’ approach and just kind of go with the flow. I relate very much to Fiyero in his honesty and truth, his approach to kind of just going with his gut and even if it’s not right in that particular moment for someone else, it’s right for him. I think that does cause some problems with Glinda and other characters but at the end of the day, he has to be happy. I do relate to that kind of “live everyday like it’s your last” bit. I like that.
How different is the experience of being on the West End to going around the world, taking the show to different audiences across the globe?
It doesn’t change too much on stage and backstage, but the opportunity to see this beautiful world is beyond people’s wildest dreams. I get to do what I love and come into places like Singapore, and then other places in Asia. Most people don’t get those kinds of opportunities, and it’s wonderful to see what makes people laugh in Singapore that didn’t make people laugh in London. The audience react completely differently and we learn as a cast what’s right and what’s wrong and how to adjust.
I think that’s what’s exciting about touring the world, because the show never becomes stale, which it never would anyway because people’s emotions change every night. We just get even more opportunities to see different audiences take in the story as well.
What do you do to keep the show fresh every night?
Obviously it’s all the same structure. You have to hit the same marks every night, but the emotions change daily. Everyone can have a 9 to 5 job but sometimes they love it, sometimes they hate it. With “Wicked”, you can’t not but love it. You never get bored. It’s a beautiful show, you don’t have time to be bored. It’s so fast-paced. You have to give everything to the show because if you don’t give everything in every scene, the audience aren’t gonna come on that journey.
What I’ve learned about “Wicked” is that everyone cares about it. From the artistic team to the technical, to the lighting, to the ensemble and the principals, everyone cares so much about it that if you didn’t care and didn’t invest yourself, then you would look out of place. You can’t drop the ball.
Finally, describe Fiyero in one word.
Oh… one word? Can I say ‘exchange student’? (laughs) He’s an exchange student— carefree! Carefree. I go with carefree.
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