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Interview with Drama Desk Awards Host Michael Urie


Drama Desk Awards

Michael Urie
Michael Urie

Michael Urie is a two-time Drama Desk Award winner and the Host of the 61st Annual Drama Desk Awards ceremony, which will take place this Sunday, June 5th at the Marriott Marquis.

He has appeared on the Great White Way in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and off-Broadway in Buyer & Cellar, Shows For Days, The Cherry Orchard, The Temperamentals and Angels in America. He is also well known for his recurring TV role as Marc St. James on Ugly Betty.

We caught up with Michael to talk about the pressures of hosting an awards ceremony and the highlights of the 2015-2016 Broadway season...

Photo by Kathleen Campion
Michael Urie

Thomas Hayden Millward: So Michael, you have hosting duties at this year’s Drama Desk Awards. I can imagine there is sometimes more pressure on the host than the actual nominees at these sorts of events. Would you agree?

Michael Urie: Maybe. I’m the only one that HAS to do a show. The nominees might have to do a show – if they win, they might have to get up and do a show. But I’ll have to be prepared. And, for me, it doesn’t matter who wins. On the one hand I’ll be nervous that my jokes land and that the show is not boring, but on the other hand, I’ll be happy knowing that I don’t have to go home a loser – no matter what. Even if I suck, I’m not a loser. I still did a show. I still got my picture taken with Frank Langella… even if I suck!

THM: Will you be heavily prepared or do you prefer to just go off-script for the most part?

MU: Both. I will be at times heavily prepared and at times spontaneous. I have asked them to allow me to interject, if something crazy happens. I have a great writer for this – Bill Rosenfield. Who knows what might happen?!

Photo by Joan Marcus
Michael Urie in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Michael Urie in
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

THM: Have you seen a lot of shows during this Broadway season?

MU: I have seen a lot and I’m catching up. Last night, I saw ‘The Crucible,’ which was amazing. I’m seeing ‘The Father’ today and ‘Waitress’ tonight. I can’t wait for ‘Shuffle Along.’ ‘American Psycho’ was insane. ‘Disaster!’ was hysterical. There’s been so many great shows this season. It’s a fun season to be hosting.

THM: I love it that you are seeing ‘The Father’ and ‘Waitress’ on the same day…

MU: And I’m seeing ‘The Father’ first…

THM: That’s just like seeing something psychologically disturbing at the cinema and having to go home and put on a Disney movie before you go to sleep…

MU: Exactly! That order was not unintentional.

Photo by Sandra Coudert
Michael Urie in Buyer & Cellar
Michael Urie in Buyer & Cellar

THM: So, if a tourist is coming to New York right now and they have a week, what should they definitely see?

MU: Well, I’m not sure if I’m qualified yet, but, depending on who it is, I would recommend ‘American Psycho.’ It’s a crazy, good time and there’s nothing else quite like it. It has a great score and Benjamin Walker is unbelievable. I feel like I’m going to love ‘Shuffle Along’ a lot and think that will be one I’ll recommend to people too. That’ll be one of those shows that’s suitable for anyone.

THM: Well, I wish you all the very best at the 2016 Drama Desk Awards and thank you so much for talking to us.

MU: Thank you so much. It’s been my pleasure.

- by Thomas Hayden Millward

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