BestFan got the opportunity to attend a round table interview with Perez Hilton while he was in Toronto promoting National Lampoon’s Full House The Musical! A Tanner Family Parody!
The show will star Perez Hilton as Danny Tanner and will be held in Toronto at the Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst Street) from August 18 – September 6 before heading off to Theatre 80 in New York.
Q: Has leaning towards acting always been something you wanted to do?
Perez Hilton: I have wanted to entertain people my whole life. I’ve been doing that since I was a little kid starting off entertaining my grandparents at home by putting on shows for them, then entertaining my classmates in high school by sharing of myself with them. I remember back in high school I would make mix tapes for my friends, so that was a way that I gave them entertainment by sharing of myself with them. In college I actually studied acting, I went to NYU to the Tisch School of the Arts, and got my degree in drama. And then I got side tracked with PerezHilton.com, so this is kind of like a full circle moment for me.
But I have also been doing acting throughout the last few years. In 2012 I did an off broadway musical called Musical which I have so much appreciation for because that show not only brought me back to the stage, but it also brought me back to New York. I had such a good time doing that, that I just knew I have to go back to theatre full time after not living there for like 10 years at that point. What’s great is that I still love what I do, I get to have an awesome day job, and then at night I now get to do this and just entertain people in a different way then maybe theyre used to seeing me.
Q: Are you excited to take on the role of Danny Tanner?
PH: I am excited to take on the role of Danny Tanner and Bob Saget.
Q: Do you think you’re gonna be able to get some one-on-one time with him to kind of hash out the way you’re gonna play the character?
PH: No I don’t think so, I don’t need it! (laughs) I mean I want it just because it would be good publicity, it would be a great photo op and I want that. But it’s not like I need that to play this part. I did reach out to John Stamos who’s an old acquaintance of mine and I wanted to make sure that he was cool with this. But even if he wasn’t, I would have still done it hahaha. But I thought that it would be classy and nice for him to hear it from me before the news broke because not only was he Uncle Jesse, but he’s also the rights holder to the Full House brand. He bought it I don’t know how long ago and he’s responsible for the show going to Netflix now with the revival of it. So he responded back and he was so happy for me and he was very supportive and that was nice to hear.
Q: Amazing! Could you talk a little bit about the decision to start the show in Toronto?
PH: Yes, well that was up to the creators of the show Tobly and Bob McSmith. It happened actually in a very organic way similar to how my involvement with the show came about. My involvement with the show came as a fan. I had seen their previous work in New York, they did these two shows there recently and they were along the same lines of the Full House one. They did the Saved By The Bell musical and Showgirls the musical. I saw both of those shows and I loved it and a friend of mine is the choreographer of one of the shows and the co-director and he posted on Facebook that they were doing Full House. So I left a comment saying “I need to be involved! I’ll even play Mary-Kate and Ashley!” and then Tobly, who is one of the creators, said to my friend, “Is Perez being serious?” and I said, “Yes I’m being very serious.”
So we set up a meeting and ahead of that I sent them some videos of me singing because I have done some performances over the last few years. We talked, flash forward a couple months, and here we are! It was as simple as that. I didn’t audition, and I also didn’t hear any of the songs or read any of the material, because there wasn’t any at the time. I just had faith in them and they had faith in me. Given their track record and them knowing that I’m excited to put the work into this and do the best job possible.
Q: What was it about the show? Was it just about the writers and their previous work? Or was it just Full House that made you say, “I have to do this.”
PH: No it was not about Full House, it was mainly about Tobly and Bob knowing that they would do this well. Because had I done it with someone else who’s work I hadn’t seen, it would be really risky for me because I would not feel confident that it would be executed properly. I know that this is gonna be so fun and the audiences are gonna love it! Even any Perez Hilton haters, they’re gonna love it I guarantee it!
And then also the fact that is was Full House made it extra appealing because I think that that show is even more ripe for parody because it was an even bigger hit than Saved By The Bell and Showgirls. What made Full House so iconic was a) it did extremely well in ratings, b) was on for so long, and c) it appealed to everybody. You watched it, your parents watched it with you and your grandparents watched it with you as well or on their own. So you have all these generations that watched the show that will appreciate this take on the material you’re familiar with and will laugh their pants off at how different it is and how lovingly we’re obscuring the characters and the actors who portrayed them.
Q: Would you be able to give the readers an idea of what the show is about?
PH: Sure! Well the show is about me, Danny Tanner [laughs]. What’s charming about it is that he had this ability to make these speeches that seemed to make everything better always without fail. Once that piano music started, everything would just sort itself out. But something happens in our show where he loses his ability to give these “Dad speeches” and everything starts to go wrong. And then I start to lose my mind and become Bob Saget [laughs].
Q: Is it coincidence that this announcement for the show is just weeks after it was announced that Full House was going to Netflix and getting a revival?
PH: Well no, we announced, well Tobly and Bob announced the show first, then Netflix. But it had been rumored for a long time. So it was just serendipitous I would say.
Q: So you’re starring as Danny Tanner, a Dad role. How do you find that you relate to the character?
PH: Well I have a lot of personal experience to draw from. Being a dad requires a lot of patience and a lot of love. And that’s one of the things that I really enjoyed about watching Full House growing up, seeing how much all of those characters cared for each other. It may not have been grounded in reality, but most TV isn’t and it was really aspirational like, “Oh I wish my family was like theirs.” It’s partly being able to relate to my own life and it’s then also creating this character because he’s not really Danny Tanner, and he’s not really Bob Saget. He is Danny Tanner Bob Saget!
Q: What has training been like for you now that you will be singing in this show?
PH: Yes! I’ve actually been taking voice lessons for three years now, since I was in that off Broadway musical in 2012, with this amazing vocal coach named Liz Caplan who’s Neil Patrick Harris’ voice teacher and she works with a lot of top Broadway talent. So it will be great for that hard work to manifest itself on the stage and also to work hard during the rehearsal process as well. Not just vocally, but also there will be dancing in the show and there are a lot of elements to it like dancing, singing, the body language. You know, body language is very important for that role because he communicated so much with how he stood, how his body interacted with that of the others.
Q: Since I am from BestFan I have to ask you, what are you a best fan of?
PH: I’m the best fan of pop culture. I don’t want to single out one thing out because in many ways I am like the biggest fanboy of many different people and many different things. And that also means that I am a best fan of people who think like me as well, so folks that read my website or listen to me on the radio, or who bought my books. I view them as real special friends.
Make sure to buy your tickets for Full House The Musical! now right HERE. Show runs until September 6!