Meet Your New Crush: Disgraced Star Danny Ashok
December 8th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Danny Ashok makes his Broadway debut (and a lasting impression) in the explosive and provocative Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced. Ashok, a holdover from the show’s acclaimed London run, plays Abe, a Muslim-American teenager struggling with his identity and politics in a post-9/11 New York. BroadwayBox caught up with Ashok to talk about Disgraced, street art, U.K. telly and his enthusiasm for Vine.
1. What I’ll always remember most about my Broadway debut:
The sense of pride, relief and joy at having accomplished something like this. From day one, it always felt like a collaborative effort with the cast, crew, director and writer, so it was nice to see that hard work pay off. Oh, and also the endless bottles of champagne in my dressing room that were sent to me as gifts.
2. Most surprising thing about the Disgraced company:
The most surprising thing is how much fun we all have doing this show. The show itself can be incredibly tense and hard hitting, but off stage, we laugh like crazy. We all have a distinctive sense of humour; from goofy to intellectual, from sarcastic to zany and it all gels together to provide a great amount of laughter.
3. My favorite piece of art:
Although nowhere near as high-brow as that featured on Disgraced, there are certain street artists whose work I adore. ROA is a guy who did quite a lot of work in London, mainly animal based art. La Pandilla, a duo, also do great animal hybrid work; an elephant with an octopus body for example, or a shark with the face of a bear. Another one I'm learning more about is Faith47, check her out! So talented.
4. Something I’m passionate about in real-life:
I love all types of music, I cannot function without some kind of music drifting into my ears at some point in the day. My pre-show ritual includes music being played and depending on my mood it may be Eminem, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke—the list goes on and on! Also I'm passionate about my food, and thankfully New York is the perfect place to try out all different cuisines. The food here is incredible!
5. Thing I miss most about London while I’m in New York:
My family and friends.
6. British TV show Americans should give a shot:
I would recommend This Is England; both the movie and the following 2 mini-series that followed; This Is England '86 and This is England '88. The accents may be a tad difficult for an American audience to understand but put those subtitles on and watch it, it's as close to a masterpiece on TV as I've seen. Also really enjoyed the BBC series In The Club about the trails and tribulations of a group of expectant mothers, it was hilarious and very moving in equal measures.
7. My desert island album, book and film:
So many albums to choose but I think I'll go for Stevie Wonder's Songs In The Key of Life. Book would probably be The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom. And film? Hmm. I'll go for the entertainment value and say the Back To The Future Trilogy...we can bend the rules and count that as one film right?
8. My favorite thing to do on my day off:
Simply walking around NYC is a joy for me; there's so much energy in this place and so many things going on, it's great to see and take in.
9. In a tweet (140 characters): everyone should see Disgraced because:
It's thought provoking, funny, powerful & in many ways is less of a play and more of an experience. One that will stay with you for awhile!
10. I love the VINE app because:
I love seeing how creative people are with the 6-second limit. It's astounding how much humour, joy or art can be put into a short 6 second clip!
See Danny Ashok at the Lyceum Theatre in the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama 'Disgraced.'