Michael Arden Takes On 7 Questions All About Quasimodo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Disney Cartoons
March 13th, 2015
by Michael Arden
Stage and screen star Michael Arden is giving you award-winning-worthy, heartbreaking leading man as Quasimodo in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Paper Mill Playhouse. If you can get your hands on a ticket, you have to go. Below, he takes on seven questions about the show, his character, growing up Disney and his real-life prince.
1. My go-to “I’m alone and I’m belting Disney” song is:
At the moment, I’d have to say “Out There.” It’s one of the best and I can’t seem to get it out of my head. The melody and lyrics never seem to get old.
2. The most humanizing thing I’ve discovered about Quasimodo:
Quasimodo is a man in search of love, even though he might not realize it. He longs to have a life outside of his bell-tower, and when he ventures away from everything he has known, he realizes that what he really desires most of all is human connection. I think this feeling and need is universal.
3. Outside of Hunchback, desert island Alan Menken score and desert island Stephen Schwartz score:
I’d have to say Beauty and the Beast and Pippin.
4. The Disney cartoon character I most identified with growing up:
I think I secretly always identified with Ariel the most. Growing up gay in a small town in West Texas, I always felt like I was living on the outside or underneath. This is a theme that runs through many Disney films. I feel very blessed to have found my Prince and my voice.
5. Job I’ve had that’s almost as bad as being in a bell-tower:
I moved office furniture for a summer in San Diego. It was really hard work, but I was with some pretty wonderful people, so it wasn’t so bad. Poor Quasi had to talk to statues.
6. My biggest “I feel like an outcast” moment has been:
I think it may have been immediately following the closing of The Times They Are A-Changin’ on Broadway. I was very proud of the work we as a company had done, but the community turned against us a bit and made fun of us. In particular, we were publicly made fun of at that year’s “Gypsy of the Year” competition several times. It made me realize that it’s very important to be as supportive as possible to our fellow artists. No one sets out to create a flop. It’s a very difficult thing to create a new work, and I think the effort alone should be supported by the community.
Photo by Bruce Glikas
7. My perfect Parisian day would have to include:
Sitting near the Seine with a bottle of wine, bread, cheese and my beautiful fiancé, Andy Mientus.
Get your tickets ASAP to see Michael Arden in Disney’s 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' at the Paper Mill Playhouse before it sells out.