Talk to us a little bit about your character and what he/she brings to the story.
Claude Frollo is the fiercely devout Archdeacon of Notre Dame who keeps Quasimodo high up in the cathedral’s bell towers. Frollo is a deeply conflicted person. He has spent his life wrapped tightly in his very strict interpretations of the scriptures and his role in the church.
When he becomes infatuated with a gypsy girl, Esmerelda, Frollo begins to feel conflicted about the beliefs he’s always passionately promoted. Frollo’s story is timely and mirrors some of the same issues that are currently going on in our country. It’s amazing that, after all this time, we still struggle with the same prejudices and hate that Victor Hugo wrote about almost two centuries ago.
Were you familiar with The Hunchback of Notre Dame prior to this production? (Disney, Novel, etc.)
Yes, I saw the animated film many years ago, when my children were younger. I wasn’t a big fan of the film but I love this stage version. It’s very different from the film, the changes have really enriched the material. The great songs still exist as well as many more beautiful new ones. I think audiences will be truly surprised and excited with this adaptation. It’s also exciting that we are one of the first companies to do this new Hunchback in CT.
What is the biggest challenge you face in this role?
Finding the humanity in Frollo so that he doesn’t become a stereotypical two dimensional cardboard “villain”. It’s one of the best things about being an actor, getting into another person’s shoes, tracking and trying to understand a character’s journey, what made them who they are at the time the story happens. I like to ask my kids their thoughts on the characters I play. When I asked my youngest son, Ian, his thoughts on Frollo, he told me he was a bad guy. I said, “You really think so, I think maybe he just lost his way…” Ian cut me off saying he refused to discuss this with me anymore because I’m too passionate in my defense of a fictional characters!
What is your favorite line your character says?
“Take pity on me. I have deserted myself!”
What is your favorite song in the show?
“God Help The Outcasts”. It’s a perfect blend of music and lyrics. To me, it’s the soul of the show. And wait until you hear it sung by Alexis, it’s beautiful.