A rite of passage! Filming a movie or TV show is one thing, but taking the Broadway stage is quite another — no reshoots, no edits and a live audience.
Michelle Williams, who played Sally Bowles in a 2014 revival of Cabaret, caught the musical bug after playing Marilyn Monroe in the movie My Week With Marilyn.
“It wasn’t that I felt like I had a natural gift,” she told The New York Times in March 2014. “What I liked is that you can’t be in your head. You can’t sing and dance and think at the same time, and so there’s a joy to it. I don’t have enough joy in my life. Who does? And whenever I can get more of it, that’s where I want to go. I want more of that feeling.”
After making a name for himself in the Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, Orlando Bloom made his Broadway debut in a 2013 production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Despite his many achievements, the U.K. native said he still learned a lot while doing the play.
“That community of Broadway is a wonderful thing, and I hadn’t been prepared for it until I became a part of it,” he told CNN in 2013. “They really support one another, they feel like they are there for one another. The different houses, the different productions and actors see each other for drinks afterwards and it’s a hangout, and it’s not pretentious or uptight in any way. It’s a very accessible world and real and people know what they are doing.”
By the time Tom Hanks made his Broadway debut he had already won two Oscars, but he was still slightly worried about the audience’s reaction to his stage performance in the Nora Ephron play Lucky Guy.
“I’m not afraid of the end result because I think we’ll have a very good production,” he told The New York Times in 2013. “But I am afraid of blowing it myself. I’m afraid of having something being my responsibility, yet not having the wherewithal or lack of self-consciousness or stamina to pull it off. Look, I have just as impressive a track record of movies and projects that didn’t work out.”
Unsurprisingly, he didn’t blow it, and in fact received a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Play. He lost to Tracy Letts, but he did win a Theatre World Award, which recognizes actors for debut performances on Broadway.
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Keep scrolling for a look back at more stars who’ve appeared on Broadway: