Cast of “Cursed Child” Broadway on Understanding Their Characters
Much like the rest of the wizarding world, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is full of complex characters. When watching the play, audiences connect with the characters they see in front of them through actors’ performances. But how do the actors develop a connection with the characters they are portraying?
In an exclusive interview, Jonno Roberts spoke about Draco Malfoy, the character he’s been playing onstage at the Lyric Theatre for just over three months. Roberts revealed that his understanding of Draco is formed in a mirror image of the series lead, Harry Potter.
Draco is Harry’s double, his mirror. Harry is tormented by his darkness; he has this little bit of darkness in him that is the intense danger of the series. Draco is tormented by his light, and certainly, as a performer, it gives me everything.
For Roberts, the complexity and humanness of Draco have created a character he’s interested in playing night after night.
With Draco, it was connecting to the lightness in him that made me able to commit completely [and] imaginatively to the darkness in his past. It made him not a cipher but actually someone deeply human, and that’s all I’m interested in playing, deeply human people.
While Draco’s “lightness” is sometimes hinted at in the Potter series, Roberts gets to truly explore this side to the Slytherin by stepping into his shoes (and blond wig) for each performance of Cursed Child.
Nicholas Podany also delved into the depths of his character, Albus Potter, during an interview with Broadway.com. As well as talking about his love of Potter and telling the story of how he found out he had won the part of Albus, Podany also revealed how he developed a connection to his character.
When asked “What was the most interesting realization you had about Albus as you were creating your own version of the character?”, Podany stated that it was exploring Albus through his relationship with Ginny, rather than Harry, that led to an understanding of his character.
Albus is often depicted as an angsty, angry, upset guy, which [is] fair. But I started looking more into his Weasley roots, into Ginny, who’s one of my favorite characters of all time. […] They don’t have many interactions in the play, but that’s his mom. And I think the silence between the two of them speaks miles more than the dialogue between Harry and Albus have because I think that goes to show that she actually knows that Albus needs that.
Referring to Albus as “an introvert born into an extroverted family,” Podany went on to use a memorable Ginny moment from the Potter films to explain Albus’s relationship with his dad.
But it’s as though it’s that moment in the second film [when] Ginny runs down the stairs and she goes, ‘Mom have you seen my jumper?’ and then sees Harry and goes wide-eyed and slowly backs up and runs back up the stairs. It’s as though Albus is in that moment of going wide-eyed at his dad, but everyone has locked the doors, isn’t letting him leave, and is asking him questions and is demanding that he expresses what he already knows.
Delving into Albus and Harry’s relationship in relation to that of Albus and Ginny allowed Podany to fundamentally understand his character.
I think every scene, the only thing Albus wants to say is ‘I love you.’ I think that’s the biggest part of him, but he can’t. And that’s been so much fun to play.
You can watch the full Broadway.com interview with Podany below (the interview starts eight minutes into the video).
What do you think of Podany’s and Roberts’ approaches to their characters?