So, there’s this guy starring in this show that you might have heard of. His name is Benjamin Walker and the show is Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Yeah, you just got a little excited, right? (It’s okay, we did too.) He recently took some time to answer our questions about the show, its now-infamous lap dance sequence, and the stuff on his mind and on his bookcase. (Hint on the latter: It’s appropriately presidential.) Here’s what Broadway’s resident Commander-in-Chief had to say:
What’s your favorite moment in the show?
The opening every night is hugely exciting. We get to meet the audience and literally have a little time to get to know each other off-book before they get their hair blown back.
The guyliner: Is it self-applied? Any suggestions for replicating the look?
We all do our own hair and makeup. My only suggestion is to find a good way to clean it off. It gets caked on after a while, and people give you strange looks on the train home.
Remember that one time you gave The Mick a lap dance during “Rock Star”? Of course you do. Her reaction can be described as positive. What’s the most alarming lap dance reaction you’ve gotten?
Once an elderly woman had fallen asleep, so I nudged her chin with my crotch, and when she screamed, I kid you not, her teeth came loose.
Have any real-life rock stars inspired your performance?
I’m sure they have, whether I like it or not. But we try to make Jackson his own unique brand. He was the first rock star president, so we don’t want him to resemble anyone else in particular. He should be that childhood rock star we all used to pretend to be in front of our bedroom mirrors.
What’s the worst onstage mishap to date?
One time during Rachel’s death, I sang the second verse instead of the first and the band couldn’t follow me. I don’t know what happened, I just drew a blank. I ended up having to stop the show, explain to the audience what had happened, apologize, and just say, “Well, let’s just take it back from where she’s dead…”
Ben or Benjamin?
As long as people aren’t calling me something derogatory, it doesn’t matter.
Did you have a favorite stuffed animal when you were a kid?
My grandmother made me a big red horse that I used to love.
What’s your dream role in a musical? (Besides this one, natch.)
Franklin Shepard in Merrily We Roll Along. I think I could learn a lot from working on that show.
Words you use too often:
Mostly unprintable ones.
Words you don’t use often enough:
Phrases like, “Man, I just got SO much sleep!”
Last book you read:
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Favorite mid-/late-nineties pop song:
Off the top of my head right now? Maybe “Possum Kingdom” by the Toadies.
Last but certainly not least: People keep searching for “shirtless Ben Walker” and landing on our site. Any advice for these intrepid souls?
HA come on, no one is looking for my bare chest.
Any parting thoughts?
I would just say an enormous thank you! Thank you for supporting live theater and for supporting our play. It’s been such a long road to get the show here, and the only consistent part has been the support of people who love and understand the importance of theater. Thank you.