Photo: Joan Marcus

7.8.15 |

If you curious about the buzz in the Broadway world look no further. Considering the past films of Al Pacino and the recent works of Daniel Day Lewis are great sources for an actor to find inspiration, it is no surprise this young man has found himself in the spotlight. With Superman as a favorite hero and a childhood aspiration to become Indiana Jones, Alexander Sharp was destined for greatness. Get to know this Tony recipient in 7 questions.

 

As a child, what was your favorite memory and in what ways did you entertain yourself?

My fifth birthday I got this awesome Aladdin set: Sword. Magic Lamp etc. Very exciting. Set the wheels in motion to becoming an actor for sure.
I spent a great deal of time alone in the first part of my life because my family travelled a lot, so I had no friends when really until I went to school at age 7 in England. But because we travelled and I saw such incredible countries, and was exposed to so many beautiful people from different cultures, I had an incredibly rich education of sorts, that really shaped who I am in many ways. I have always had a crazy imagination, so, that was my best friend for the early years as a little boy. Wasn’t ever into trucks. Was more into building things, amazing vehicles or extensive cities with lego, etc. I didn’t watch much TV, but did watch movies. I loved Free Willy. I love whales. It’s a shame mankind is wiping them out. I don’t love that.

 

Photo: Benedict Evans

Photo: Benedict Evans

 

What is the Alexander Sharp Story, in short? Education? Major? Hometown? Family Life? The moment you knew you wanted to be a performer?

I spent a few years on and off traveling through South and Central America before I attended Juilliard. I started a charity taking literature down to a village school in Belize, which I still run and is about to take some exciting steps in the next weeks, towards starting a fund to send young woman with full scholarship through high school, something often the families of this village cant afford, and if they can, they tend to send the boys before they do the girls…

Before going to Juilliard, I viewed organized education as mundane and something I had to endure… I have always found it not for me. Juilliard was incredible though, profoundly detailed and specific to the art form I want to become a master of one day. I don’t really have a hometown because I travelled so much my whole life, but if I had to name one, it would be Whitford, in southern England. It’s a tiny village. I lived in a Devon long house that’s about 500 years old, with a thatched roof and stables attached, on a dairy farm. Its beautiful and serene.

The first time I said ‘I want to be an actor’ was when I was 7, and I’ve been saying it ever since. Now, I guess, I can say, ‘ I AM an actor.’ That feels good.

 

 

What was your first acting experience, playwrights, and role you would love to play in any piece of theatre?

My family used to stay with friends on a Hopi Indian reservation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and one time, there was this incredible festival, dancing in the streets with incredible costumes and theatricality. That was my first theatrical experience. I was about 4 and I started to dance with them, and they let me. It was dope.

Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Emily Bohanon, Anton Chekov, Billy Shakespeare, Simon Stephens.

Hamlet.

 

Photo: Benedict Evans

Photo: Benedict Evans

Tell us about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and how you landed the role?

I was still at school, had no agent or manager, got a call from a friend who was a reader in the room, said I should go in and give it a shot… so I did!

 

What was it like to work with the cast, director, and to be on Broadway? How has this show changed your life?

The cast of this show are unreal. They are seasoned theater pros. Such a gift to work with them all. Marianne Elliot is amazing… truly a fearless leader and I am honored to have worked and collaborated with her genius.

It has changed in so many ways, its kinda hard to describe. I have learned a great deal about myself and who I want to be this year. It has been insane and overwhelming but also given me a rare clarity about so many things in life.

 

Photo: Joan Marcus

Photo: Joan Marcus

How did you find out you were nominated for a Tony and what was your initial reaction? Nervous? Scared? Excited? What was it like hearing them call your name?

I watched them announce it, on live streaming, on my laptop. I was at this place I stay at when I want to get away and be low key, upstate.

Yes, those three.

My mind went blank, and I said to myself, ‘left, right, left, right’ to get myself up to the stage. I had as much adrenaline running through me as I would imagine primitive man did when he was being chased by bear, 10,000 years ago.

 

A lot of people don’t see the value in theatre and those who spend money and even dedicate their educational paths to pursuing a career in the arts. What do you have to say to those people and more importantly, those that take a chance in the entertainment world?

I have nothing to say to anyone who doesn’t value theater. To those who do… thank you!

 

benedictevans.com_alexsharp_1

Photo: Benedict Evans

 

At the end of the interview, Alex had one piece of advice for all artists:

“I think if young people are serious about acting, and making it their life, they know deep down, exactly what they need to do and what they will need to endure. I always got annoyed when people would say to me, ‘you know it’s going to be hard right’ – I would just think, ‘of course I know!’ If you want something bad enough, you will get it. I can’t say how long it will take, certain things are out of our control, but if you want it, it is yours. All you have to do is want it, more than you want anything else. Stop reading this interview and go get it! You can do it.”