Interview with Tony nominee Eva Noblezada
ny nominee Eva Noblezada is currently making her Broadway debut as leading lady Kim in Schönberg and Boublil's Miss Saigon at the Broadway Theatre.
Eva, a Filipino-American born in San Diego, CA, rose to fame by securing the role of Kim for Cameron Mackintosh's West End revival of Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre in 2014. She then went on to assume the role of Éponine in Mackintosh's long-running London production of Les Misérables.
We caught up with Eva to talk about getting that all-important Tony nomination, comparing London to New York and if Saigon can really "make America great again"...
Thomas Hayden Millward: Congratulations on your Tony nomination, Eva! I’ve had the privilege of seeing you as Kim on both the West End and Broadway stages now. How do your London and New York experiences compare?
Eva Noblezada: There are so many different comparisons. I miss London more as a homefront, but New York has a lot of sassy people and you don’t really get that in London as much.
THM: People tend to feel that the audiences are more raucous in New York. Would you agree?
EN: Yes! It’s like being at a football match! That’s how I describe it to my British friends. They’re so vocal here. They’ll cry out in the middle of a song. In England, they don’t really do that and they don’t tend to go to the stage door because they don’t want to bother you. But it’s equally fun to perform there. The Brits are a little reserved and then I seem like the weirdo, who’s all over the place!
THM: Where were you when you first heard about your Tony nomination and who did you first speak to?
EN: I was in bed. I slept through it. I didn’t want to watch it and then my publicist rang me and was screaming in my ear: “You got it! You got it! You got it!” and I was like: “Who is this?” It was so early in the morning for me. I did laundry first because I didn’t really know how to process the information and then I called my boyfriend.
THM: And what did the young man have to say?
EN: He started freaking out! He said he’d been trying to load the page for ten minutes.
THM: Miss Saigon is almost 30 years old now and still such a spectacle on stage. Why do you think people are still flocking to see it after all these years?
EN: The music, the show and the story will always be legendary. I’ve said this so many times but it’s so relevant now. The refugee scene and the sacrifice the mother makes for her child – they’re so relevant. I’m glad people are flocking – not only to see our performances but to see how we can have open discussion about the themes of this show.
THM: Would you say it’s making Broadway great again and is it even – as The Engineer puts it – “making America great again”?
EN: Well, duh! (Laughs) No. I think the diversity wave is making Broadway great again. It’s about damn time people started realising that minorities have as much right to be on stage as everyone else does. Let’s cross our fingers for America! Good luck!