Five Burning Questions with Chicago's New Headliner NeNe Leakes
December 2nd, 2015
by Josh Ferri
NeNe Leakes (the breakout star of Bravo's The Real Housewives franchise, a former Apprentice contestant, and the perpetual scene-stealer on the sitcom The New Normal) returns to Broadway this winter as Matron Mama Morton in Chicago, and it's one of the highlights of the month. BroadwayBox caught up with the Cinderella alum to chat about the record-breaking hit, RHOA, and the Broadway role she wants to tackle next.
1. Having done Broadway now before, what's something you need to have backstage with you in your dressing room?
You know, I don't need anything special back there; I'm not like that. But I have learned that it's hot over at Chicago so I'm going to get a humidifier for my dressing room.
2. How has your experience in Cinderella and Chicago changed the way you approach acting?
Broadway has taught me patience. I'm always ready to go, go, go but here you have to be on and in the moment and actually listen.
3. In "Class" Mama and Velma are singing about all the new things that drive them crazy. What trend do the children do now that drives you insane?
My teenager is 16 and the one thing he does (and all the teenagers do) that drives me nuts is that they have their cellphones connected to their head. Then my son has everything—I don't understand why if you have the iPhone why you need the laptop, the iPad, the Apple watch. Well damn, they all about do the same thing so I don't understand why you need every. single. one. of. them. These kids today have all the electronics.
4. Was there a musical theatre album or movie musical you absolutely loved growing up?
I have to tell you, we loved The Wiz. I know they are coming out with it, and I am just dying to see it. I hope that they become a Broadway show, they should. I've been hearing they might and that would be really, really interesting.
Is that something you'd want to be in next?
Yes, I would love, love, love to be in The Wiz. They have that wicked witch; I would love to do that.
5. If you could keep only one scene of the Real Housewives of Atlanta on your reel, which one would make the cut?
My wedding. It was really beautiful and it was a great time for Gregg and I. But another one would be when I revealed my little glambaby on Housewives. She's so sweet; I never had a daughter and this is my little girl.
See NeNe Leakes on Broadway in 'Chicago' now through December 20.