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Ten Hollywood Stars Who Prefer Working On Broadway

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10 Hollywood Stars Who Prefer Working On Broadway
Broadway has gifted moviegoers with some of the best actors Hollywood has to offer.
Feb 4, 2021

Ten Hollywood Stars Who Prefer Working On Broadway
Bette Midler on Broadway

Broadway has gifted moviegoers with some of the best actors Hollywood has to offer.

There is a stark difference between an actor working onscreen and an actor working onstage. Obviously, first and foremost, there’s less pressure to work when a movie is prerecorded, while a Broadway performance is as live as can be. But more than anything else, the Broadway experience comes with a completely different atmosphere than the moviegoing experience.

Broadway has gifted moviegoers some of the best actors Hollywood has had to offer in recent memory, and some of their fans may be shocked to learn that some of these Hollywood actors actually prefer their onstage roots over the glitz and glam of Tinseltown. Some actors have made it painfully obvious that they prefer Broadway over Hollywood without saying a word, while others have flat out expressed which of the two they prefer.

10.. Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton

It shouldn’t be hard to imagine Lin-Manuel Miranda preferring Broadway to Hollywood. After all, his Broadway upbringing through Hamilton is what led to his major Hollywood breakout.

If not for the worldwide mega-success of Hamilton, Miranda would not have his name attached to projects like His Dark Materials or Mary Poppins Returns. It’s likely that he’s always going to have a soft spot for his original roots.

9. Lea Michele

Rachel Berry actor Lea Michele performing on Broadway.Via
According to her infamous reputation, Lea Michele might not be highly favored behind the scenes in Hollywood or Broadway shows if reports from the likes of Fiddler on the Roof co-star Craig Ramsay calling her “a despicable, horrible human being” are to be believed.

In any case, that doesn’t change the fact that Michele has dedicated her singing chops more so to Broadway in more recent years, hinting at her preference.

8. Carly Rae Jepsen

It was in 2014 that pop star Carly Rae Jepsen fulfilled a lifelong dream to reach the Broadway stage, where she starred in a production of Cinderella.

“Coincidentally, it had always been a dream of mine to be on Broadway, even if it was like, Maid Number Three,” she reflected to Elle in 2020. “I was just stoked to be on stage.” Taking note of her undying passion for the stage since adolescence, Jepsen still has yet to make a significant Hollywood movie or TV debut, save for a Fox-televised production of Grease Live! where Jepsen played Frenchy.

7. Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer may have gotten her start in Hollywood movies, but there is a good chance that her heart remains on the stage. After all, her first brush with acting came from auditioning for a part in a production of The Lion King.

She has since went on to become the first African American woman to be cast in a Broadway production of Cinderella. Even if she doesn’t necessarily prefer Broadway to Hollywood, that accomplishment likely means much more to her than most movies she’s starred in as of yet.

6. Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe is another actor who got his start young in Hollywood, due to starring in the title role of the Harry Potter franchise, which spanned over the course of a decade.

However, the first time Radcliffe started to try his hand in more adult acting roles was when he worked on the stage in a production of Equus, where he infamously appeared on stage nude with a horse. It was the first step in helping Radcliffe shed his kid-friendly image. To this day, he still dedicates time to stageplays and Broadway.

5. Ian McKellen

At 81-years old, it would be easy to assume that Ian McKellen would start to slow down the higher he gets in age. However, not only is he still incredibly active in Hollywood, he is even more active on the stage.

Right before COVID hit the world, McKellen was averaging with at least one onstage performance on Broadway each year since 2016.

4. Bette Midler

In recent years, Bette Midler has taken a bit of a backseat away from movies and TV shows, in comparison to how frequently she appeared on the big screen during her prime.

However, she continues to keep the ball rolling on stage and is finding much success with it, too. Over the years, her Broadway career has been incredibly kind to her, recently earning her a Best Actress Tony Award for appearing in a Hello, Dolly! production.

Ten Hollywood Stars Who Prefer Working On Broadway
Bette Midler in Hello Dolly

3. Nathan Lane

Nathan Lane’s last major Hollywood movie production came with the big-screen adaptation of Broadway’s The Producers. The movie itself was a critic and box office flop, but that didn’t deter Lane from continuing his acting career.

Except for a few TV cameos here and there, Lane’s mostly kept his boots planted on the stage over the last few years, and he’s been doing a tremendous job at it.

2. Hugh Jackman

On paper, to the average moviegoer at least, the thought of Hugh Jackman being a Broadway singing musical act is a bizarre concept to wrap around one’s mind. However, little do most of his fans know, Jackman’s earliest breakout roles in acting did not come from clawing up bad guys in the X-Men movies. It came from working on Broadway.

In his Australian homeland, Hugh Jackman became renowned for playing Curly in Oklahoma! Not long after that, he earned a Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Golden Globe nomination for Kate and Leopold. When he snagged the part of Wolverine, people doubted if an Australian singer could pull it off. Boy, were they wrong. Best of all, he still occasionally partakes in the stage world that made him famous.

1. Neil Patrick Harris

As a multi-faceted talent, Neil Patrick Harris has brought his face to the screen (big and small) and now more recently, the stage. Of all of the stage performances that he has been recently showcased in, the most famous is his role starring in a production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Actor.

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