Romance Language Star Jared Zirilli Counts Down His Five Favorite (And Famous) Guests from Jared's Broadway Boo's
October 26th, 2015
by Jared Zirilli
Photo by Joan Marcus
Italian gigolo aside, Broadway fans might recognize Zirilli from his popular and hilarious webseries Jared's Broadway Boo's, an interview show unlike any other. Below, Zirilli shares with BroadwayBox the stories behind five of his favorite episodes.
Hey Broadway Box! God bless you for liking my weird thing enough to want me to pick my top five! This show began with just me and an iPad backstage at Lysistrata Jones. It was awkward, poorly edited, and lacking a point but enough people (approximately two) told me they thought it was funny so I NEVER STOPPED. I quickly learned, though, that me talking to a camera week after week would be just terrible, so why not bring on people who are more talented and interesting, and ride their fame to glory!? And so I did. And JARED's BROADWAY BOO'S was born. Little known fact: I shoot these on my phone! Scandal! Anywho, I love these things. They are my babies. My odd, aggressive babies. Enjoy!
5. Jeremy Jordan (May 31, 2014):
Holy Heartthrob, Batman. Jeremy Jordan is a star. Jeremy and I went to college together. It took WAY too long for that mofo to come on my show. Haha! In all seriousness, this is a very busy guy. I was in rehearsal for the We Will Rock You tour at New 42 studios and he was kind enough to come and shoot with me on my lunch break! He was perfect. It was funny because a ton of people saw the episode and asked me ‘Why is he such a jerk to you?' And I said ‘No!! That's always how he and I are with each other!!' And it's true. Ever since college, I would say ridiculous and silly things to Jer, and he would just blank face stare, or tell me to shut up. It was perfect. It was like being back in the dorms with this MEGA star! We talk about the old days. We learn his dream jobs. Favorite moment: Asking Jeremy how much tongue he uses when he kisses his wife, and his subsequent squirming!!
4. Wes Taylor (July 9, 2013):
Ah, Wes. This might have been the quickest meet and interview turnover I've ever had. Usually I meet a person, and then there's weeks/months of texting to try and convince them to come on, followed by weeks of scheduling. The courting process, if you will. But this was a unique situation! Wes and I met on a two-week acting gig at the O'Neill in Connecticut. We stepped off the train from NYC and I immediately latched onto him like a puppy. I'd always thought he was super funny, and everyone who talked about him loved him. I MIGHT have been planning to warm him up super fast and interview him while we were there. And we DID! I wore him down nice and quick. We had long days of rehearsal at the O'Neill and they housed us in the equivalent of college dorms. So this interview is the perfect storm of exhaustion, hilarity, and even cast interruptions. Wes was brilliant. I really pressed his general fatigue and temper to their limits. He humored me and he LOVED me! And the best part is, we remain good friends to this day!! Favorite moment: Wes doing accents, and my all-too-easy disapproval of his technique.
3. Colin Hanlon and Max Von Essen (August 11, 2014):
A true feat! My very first TWO-person interview. It had never been done in Broadway Boo history. I never thought it possible. But I had both Colin and Max on separately in the VERY early days of the blog, and they happened to be good friends that I knew would be hilarious together— so we went for it. Shot this at Max's unfairly beautiful home. Complete with snacks, alcohol, and SNARK! It was brilliant. Everyone tormented everyone. 2 on 1 teams were established and then immediately disbanded. We were tipsy, stupid, and HANDSOME, damnit. Their friendship allowed for the best kind of teasing. And so I took great joy in PITTING them against each other and watching the fireworks as I sipped my whiskey. I love them both! Favorite moment: A segment I created just for them entitled ‘Questions To Create Conflict' where I would ask who is more handsome, talented, etc. Their answers do not disappoint!
2. Jerry Mitchell (May 2, 2013):
Broadway legend here! What a guy. Jerry and I had known each other for a few years by this point. He had seen me in a few shows I invited him to. Such a sweet guy, and supportive and fun. Needless to say, he was always busy and didn't have a lot of time to shoot weird blogs. But as always, I annoyed and persisted to the best of my abilities and wore him DOWN! He agreed to a time and we shot at his stunning midtown apartment. He was the perfect guest. Sassy, silly and professional. Fans got to see his humor and also got to learn some background info about this theatre icon! You've never seen such country charm. Favorite moment: Jerry's CONSTANT plugs for Mark Fisher Fitness. You would think they were paying him to mention their name so often!
1. Billy Porter (June 15, 2013):
This one was a god send. I had met Billy a couple of times through friends and at events. At this point in the blog, a Tony-winning actor had never been on. Awards night was approaching and I was texting with Billy about when to do an interview. His Kinky Boots schedule allowed for some time two days after the Tony Awards, so we scheduled it. This of course meant that we didn't know if he would have the award or not when I would interview him. I watched the Tony Awards with baited breath. When they announced his name I pushed a chair over and said 'I'm gonna interview this year's Tony winner for Best Actor!!' The interview was every bit of ridiculous and sweet that I wanted it to be. We shot it at his gorgeous apartment in Harlem. Billy was game for all my nonsense. He was brilliant! He eats a banana, and he steals your heart. My favorite moment: When we broke into spontaneous, subway themed, beatbox freestyle.
See Jared Zirilli in ‘Romance Language’ at Ars Nova’s Theater 511 through November 8.