Introduce Yourself(ie): 10 Questions with Tuck Everlasting Star Robert Lenzi
April 11th, 2016
by Robert Lenzi
Robert Lenzi (LCT's South Pacific and M. Night Shyamalan's films The Village, The Happening & The Last Airbender) returns to Broadway as the brooding Miles Tuck in the new musical Tuck Everlasting. Of all the Tucks, Miles has the toughest time being immortal—having lost his wife and child—and often locks horns with his more optimistic brother, Jesse Tuck.
Below, Lenzi talks with BroadwayBox about the Tuck family, working with M. Night Shyamalan, and living forever.
1. If Miles Tuck were my friend, the quality I’d admire most about him is:
He has a deep, strong love for his family.
And the quality that would drive me crazy is:
Let’s just say he can be a little negative sometimes.
2. Given the choice, would I live forever?
I wouldn’t drink. But if I had too, I don’t think I’ve reached the age yet.
3. My favorite fictional pop culture widower has to be:
Has to be Michael Bluth on Arrested Development. Not only is he trying to grieve his wife’s passing and raise George Michael all by himself, but he has to live with some of the craziest people on the planet. Or maybe he’s a crazy as they are?
5. The book that completely rocked my world the first time I read it:
I remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows. It was probably the first thing I ever read that really shook me emotionally.
6. My go-to cry movie or musical is:
Every time I see Sunday In the Park With George I weep. All the time. During transition music. The sounds in the score are overwhelmingly beautiful.
7. Favorite backstage hobby of mine:
Right now we are deep in a game of “Would You Rather?”
8. Most embarrassing TV show on my DVR:
9. My favorite M. Night Shyamalan memory has to be:
I’ve had a working relationship with Night for over 12 years now (wow time flies!) and been lucky enough to be in a few of his movies, but my favorite memory with Night involves a movie I actually wasn’t in. In 2012, I was in Baltimore doing a regional production of Into the Woods, and after a show one night, I get a phone call from a number I don’t recognize. It’s a 215 area code (the Philly area code—where I grew up) so I answer it. It’s Night. He is doing a movie starring Will Smith and his son Jaden (where the play father and son). The production is shooting a big scene where father and son confront each other for the first time about the past and how it has damaged their relationship. An important, emotional scene in the story. But it takes place over a radio transmission. Since Jaden wouldn’t be on camera, they let him fly to L.A. for another commitment he had (those Smith’s are very busy you know). So as they were leaving set the night before, Will asked Night if he could do the scene with an actor instead of the script supervisor to play off of and help him get to where he needed to be for the character. That's when I got a phone call.
“Where are you?” he asks.
“Um I’m doing a play in Baltimore”.
“Well can you get on a train to Philly first thing in the morning? I need you for the day.”
I can’t say no to Night and Will Smith! So, I work out my schedule: I can be in Philly in the morning, but I must make the 4:00PM train back to Baltimore to make my evening performance. And I got to do a really intense scene for a whole day, going toe to toe with Will freakin’ Smith! Mr. Smith was a very generous actor to work with and I certainly learned a lot that day from him. And I got to perform Sondheim that night! An awesome day!
10. I have been known to completely nerd out over:
Musical theater, of course.
Don't miss Robert Lenzi in 'Tuck Everlasting' at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre.