Corbin Bleu is used to going on a “rollercoaster-like” journey as his character on Broadway. From playing Usnavi in In the Heights to playing Jesus in Godspell, he’s grown accustomed to big ups and downs. But with Holiday Inn, he’s enjoying a simpler pace onstage as Ted Hanover. “My character wants to go out to Hollywood and he wants to get this girl, but that’s about as deep as it goes,” Bleu says. “It’s not a really torturous role—it’s just more making sure that every day I’m going out there and giving everyone a good time.”
But that doesn’t mean that performing the show isn’t taxing. Fred Astaire played Hanover in the 1942 film of the Irving Berlin tuner, and Bleu has his tap shoes throughout the show. “It’s the most physical show that I have done!” he adds. “So as far as taking care of my body, that’s a different approach in terms of the amount that I need to warm up my body every day.”
The show, produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company, is currently running through the new year at Studio 54, and Broadway Style Guide chatted with Bleu about his High School Musical days, his dream vacation, and what it means to be the perfect gentleman.
Pick one: New York or L.A.?
New York. Everyone has their own stuff going on, and I love that you can walk down the street and everyone is kind enough to give you directions if you ask for it but at the same time, if anyone notices me walking down the street they usually don’t come up and make a big deal of it. They just kinda go, “Hey there’s Corbin Bleu,” and then they keep walking. They have stuff to do!
If you had to live your High School Musical days over again, what would you do differently?
Wow. I think I would have taken more personal pictures and videos. I have a bunch from those days but not enough. It really was so surreal. A lot of the things we got to do as far as the traveling and the concerts and just everything. It was definitely an amazing time in life. But I have some great videos! Stuff like when we flew the Disney jet around to different countries, just us, a bunch of teenagers, living this crazy life.
What does being the perfect gentleman mean to you?
There’s just a respect level for everything. A perfect gentleman isn’t just someone who has respect for women, he’s someone who has respect for himself, everybody else around him, and respect for what he does—and treats everything as such.
You have two brand new cars in front of you: an Aston Martin and a Tesla. Which one do you choose?
Tesla. Right now I drive a Camaro and I’m so sick of the gas prices, so that’s why I would say a Tesla.
Gym, or “Netflix and chill”?
Oh, come on! Netflix and chill!!
Who is the most famous person in your cell phone?
Oh god, maybe, Zac [Ephron]? [Laughs]
Who was the last person you texted?
My wife—she’s really who I text mostly on the daily. Anybody else would be my cast.
What place on Earth are you most content?
Italy, my motherland hands down. I’m Italian—best food in the world and it just reminds me of my family. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful country.
You have a one-way ticket to Capri and you can only bring four things. What do you bring?
My cell phone, my wife…I mean I guess, I could cap it off at two. That’s all you need these days, your cell phone and some company.
So you need no clothes?
I said I have my wife! So we’re good!