Fynsworth Alley: Interview with Susan Egan

Originally published on Fynsworth Alley.

Susan Egan

When you look up the word “multitalented” in the dictionary, you might just find Susan Egan’s picture. Sure, she sings, she dances, she acts, but in addition to her work on Broadway (which includes her Tony-nominated debut as Belle in Beauty and the Beast, the starring role of Princess Leonid in Triumph of Love, and a year-long stint as Sally Bowles in Cabaret), Susan has appeared in film, television, books-on-tape, cabaret, and symphony concerts, and she’s even been known to take on the role of producer every now and then. You can currently catch Susan every Sunday night at 9:00 on the WB on Nikki, and you can find her in cyberspace at http://www.SusanEgan.net.
DL:You’ve made the leap from musical theatre into just about every medium possible, including film, TV, books on tape, concerts… Is musical theatre still your favorite?

SE: No. I don’t really have a favorite. I knew musical theatre would be my foot in the door in the industry, because it was something that came really naturally to me. But it’s a bit of a smaller world, and I have a unique take on it, and I knew a lot of people aren’t going to hire me because I make ingénues very funny and a little off-center. I’m not your typical ingénue, I’m generally quirky. But I knew the people that liked that would get it and hire me. I still think I got Belle because I made them laugh, and I don’t think they knew Belle could be funny. I mean, I just think I had a different take on it that didn’t betray what people think of as Belle, it just added another dimension to her. And I think it’s because the ingénue roles never really interested me when I was growing up listening to musical theatre. You know, I would fast forward through those songs; I couldn’t wait to get to Miss Adelaide! Sarah Brown was boring, but then I grew up looking like Sarah Brown. To make it interesting for me, I really make them off-the-wall, and I started working a lot with that, from the moment I was sixteen. I figured out for myself that’s what I can do that’s different and unique. Not a lot of people do that, and that’s what gave me the clue. I knew I would go to New York, I knew I would work in New York, and that would be my foot in the door in the industry. And then from there I could do other things, and that’s precisely what happened.
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