BWW Interviews: Jake Epstein talks Billy Elliot, Degrassi and Dream Roles
One of the unique challenges of BE is working with such a young lead, and one who alternates. How does this affect how you approach your role and what is it like having a different "little brother" every night?

The most unique part of this show is working with a new Billy every night. Every Billy is different. They each bring something interesting and specific to the role. I am a different older brother each night, depending on who's on. Not only does it keep the show fresh, but it makes each night really special. Each Billy only goes on twice a week.

Did you get any advice from Patrick (Mulvey) before he departed for Broadway?

I got to hang out with Patrick a bit before he left for Broadway and the thing he told me was to find a way to make the part fun. He said that it's a really intense and serious part, but the audience will love you if you find a way to have fun on stage, despite the seriousness of the part.

Do you have much of a dance background yourself? Can you identify with Billy's struggles in any way from your own childhood?

I went to an arts school as a kid. We had to take dance every other day, along with drama, music and visual arts. However, wearing black tights was something I dreaded... and still have nightmares about it to this day. I think I was a pretty good dancer. I suppose that training helped me land parts in musicals...or has just given me nightmares!

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Posted on 24 Aug 2011 by Nicole
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