Schmigadoon: Dove Cameron & Aaron Tveit on the Apple TV+ Musical - VRGyani News and Media

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Saturday, August 7, 2021

Schmigadoon: Dove Cameron & Aaron Tveit on the Apple TV+ Musical

From executive producer Lorne Michaels and co-creators Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, who also wrote all of the songs and serves as showrunner, the Apple TV+ original musical comedy series Schmigadoon! follows Melissa (Cicely Strong) and Josh (Keegan-Michael Key), who embark on a backpacking trip meant to help bring the spark back to their relationship. However, their journey takes a rather unusual turn when they find themselves trapped in a magical town in which the residents are living in a 1940s musical and they learn they can’t actually leave until they find true love, whether that ultimately turns out to be with each other or someone else.

During this interview with Collider, co-stars Dove Cameron (who plays the super innocent Betsy) and Aaron Tveit (who plays town bad boy Danny Bailey) talked about what makes this show special, why they loved this world, finding their characters, and whether they’d be game to do another season. Tveit also talked about what it means to him to have gotten to do this show at a time when Broadway was shut down due to COVID, and Cameron talked about learning that they’d be reshooting the Powerpuff pilot for The CW.

Collider: I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started watching this show, but by the end of it, I loved it so much. Did you know what you were getting yourselves into with this?

AARON TVEIT: We had an idea. We knew the people involved, starting with Barry [Sonnenfeld], Cinco [Paul] and Lorne [Michaels], and then Cicely [Strong] and Keegan[-Michael Key] and this murderer’s row of musical talent, so you know you have a chance to do something really special. And then, when I started reading it, I was like, “Oh, this is trying to take these classic, traditional, one-dimensional people and smack them up against sarcastic, contemporary comedians. That is something I’ve never seen before and it’s really difficult, but hopefully if we get it right, it’s gonna be something really special.” I’m very proud and I think we were on the right path with it.

DOVE CAMERON: I live in a world where I personally think that every single TV show should look like Pushing Daisies. That is my brand. That is my genre. I’m not joking. That’s my number one thing. That’s how I see the world. I see the world as this over-the-top, animated, romantic, scenic, sweeping kind of thing. I was always walking around the world being like, “Where are the rest of my people? What are we doing because this isn’t it.” And so, when I knew that this was happening and I saw how much care they were bringing to it, and I knew how niche it was gonna be, I was like, “Oh, I really, really need to be a part of this.” All the best things are made for the sake of themselves, rather than to be generic and big and for the broadest audience. I knew that this has been done with care and with the highest caliber of people, so I was very excited to be part of it.

Dove, it seems like there’s something so tricky about your character because she is so sweet and pure. How did you approach finding her and finding those levels of innocence and purity while still making her a relatable character?

CAMERON: “While you’re such a crazy person, Dove.” Yeah, she’s a weird combination. We were constantly walking that line between wanting her to be overly sexual and suggestive while also playing this game of, is she aware of what she’s doing or does she just exist in a world where this is who she is. Thank you, I’m glad that you think that she’s likable. I think the key to any likable character is playing them earnestly and also playing them with a certain joy behind the eyes. If you’re having fun, everybody wants to go where you’re going. You can make almost any character likable, even unlikeable, villainous, and one-dimensional characters, by just bringing a certain element of joy. And then, the innocence is just in her purity of the belief of the love story between her and Keegan. She really believes it’s love and she really believes it’s meant to be and he’s all she sees. For her, her efforts are quite pure.

RELATED: 'Schmigadoon!' Showrunner Cinco Paul on Fusing Musical Theater Sincerity With Modern Self-Awareness

Aaron, your character is very specifically labeled as the town rascal and bad boy. Where did you draw inspiration from, for him?

TVEIT: This is my lifelong dream, to play Billy Bigelow somewhere and just be this misunderstood, seemingly rough and tumble guy who, at his core, probably just wants somebody to give him a hug or something. I really leaned into that. I like playing people that are a little off-center and where you get to mess around with the other characters a little bit. This guy just really got to spin his web to trap Cecily’s character a little bit. And actually, Dove’s character gets to do that too. Where these people might seemingly be a little one-dimensional, it was really complex to approach it, which is always what you want as an actor. I like the challenge and complexity.

You guys got to get your musical on with this, at a time when theaters were shut and you couldn’t be on stage doing musicals. Aaron, how does it feel now to know that you’ll be returning to Broadway with Moulin Rouge?

TVEIT: I never imagined that, when this show aired, Broadway wouldn’t have already come back. It’s wild to think about that. But the [Bruce] Springsteen show has opened and the rest of the shows are opening in September, so there’s hope. We’re finally here, with live theater in New York returning and around the world. Shows are open in London right now. Theaters is coming back, finally. It’s always been something that’s been so meaningful to me, but through all of this time, you really realize how important and how necessary certain things are. For the theater industry, in particular, live music and live performance have really been things that have been the hardest hit, to a certain degree. So, to get to do this during this time is really, really special.

Dove, you’re involved with Powerpuff, and there’s been discussion about the pilot for that being re-shot. What’s it like to get that phone call, that you have this pilot for a show, but now they’re going to reshoot it all and tweak it? What is it like to learn about and then process?

CAMERON: The very first thing I ever really did, as a lead, was for Disney, and the process of that was actually the same. We shot an entire pilot, we went away and went on hold for nine months, which is a long time, and then they were like, “Hey, we love it. We’re keeping the cast, but we’re like scrapping the whole idea and starting over.” But because obviously nobody knew about it, it was like, “Okay, great.” That’s the process. But because Powerpuff has such a magnifying glass on it and it has so many fans, this seems highly out of the ordinary when it’s actually not that out of the ordinary, especially when it comes to something with such a classic IP. You really want to get it right. There have been a number of shows, like Game of Thrones, that have shot a pilot and then started over. So, it’s just really about getting it right and making sure that tonally it’s exactly what you want. The pilot is what you work off of forever. When you go forward, you always have to stick to the bible that you create with the pilot, and you don’t wanna do that with something that you’re not fully behind. The phone call was actually something where I was like, “Great. All right. Let me know what we’re doing now.”

Are you guys game for another season of Schmigadoon!, so that you can find out what happens to these characters?

CAMERON: Yeah.

TVEIT: Oh, yeah. We talked about it on set, all the time. We don’t wanna give away what we think it should be, but absolutely. If we could all assemble back together, it would be a dream to do another season. This was really such a great thing to work on.

Schmigadoon! is available to stream at Apple TV+.

KEEP READING: Cecily Strong on the Joys of 'Schmigadoon!' and Deciding About 'Saturday Night Live'



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