Tonys: 13 Things Seen and Heard on the Red Carpet

Laura Linney  Jeremy Pope Jesse Tyler Ferguson Tony Awards Split - Getty - H 2019
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Marisa Tomei, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Laura Linney are coming back to the Great White Way; Broadway actors have been up since 5 a.m.; plus everything we found out on the red carpet.

The Hollywood Reporter was on the Tony Awards red carpet outside of New York's Radio City Music Hall on Sunday night speaking with the nominees and presenters about their performances, upcoming projects and more.

Read on to find out what they had to say.

Jeremy Pope was up at 5 a.m.
The Broadway casts had to wake up at the crack of dawn before Tony rehearsals and a matinee show, but Pope has a historic two nominations, for Ain’t Too Proud and Choir Boy, and performed with both shows on the telecast. “I woke up at 5:15 to my voice teacher Liz Caplan. We did a voice lesson … I went and did the matinee. One eye was open, one eye was closed — they said it was a good show,” Pope said. “It feels so special. I keep trying to tell myself to be in the moment and look out in the house and take it all in, because it’s rare to have this opportunity.”

Kristin Chenoweth would be an extra in The Prom movie.
The Tony winner introduced the performance of The Prom, which Ryan Murphy is adapting for a Netflix movie. The musical follows a young high schooler whose prom is cancelled when she decides to take her girlfriend, and a group of Broadway stars come to town to stand up for her. “It’s a real story. I remember when it happened and that poor girl and everybody said she shouldn’t do it, and now, of course, we have a show about it,” Chenoweth said. Would she be in the movie? “If they asked me! Heck, I’d stand in the back as a group scene,” she said.

Rachel Chavkin is celebrating her baby daddies.
The Tony-winning director is a surrogate for her best friend’s baby, and she spoke about the importance about the red carpet’s theme for World Pride. “I’ve been talking about Jake and Nick, my baby daddies nonstop in response to this,” Chavkin said. “It’s a reminder of how important legal battles are and a reminder of how devastated the Supreme Court is right now. I’m very happy that we’re in a moment and I this won’t go away but it has to be defended. That their rights to be married to raise a child to have a family and the life that they want to persist while we maintain and celebrate queerness.”

Joe Iconis had no idea about the Be More Chill parody song on the Tonys.
After the dress rehearsal, the Tony-nominated composer of Be More Chill received countless texts about James Corden’s tribute to his song “Michael in the Bathroom.” “I’m going to be totally surprised!” Iconis said, adding that he was excited his musical, which is a viral sensation, would get a little airtime. “Thank goodness! I wanted there to be 30 Be More Chill moments on the ceremony. I wanted to do a song on the ceremony. So the fact that there’s a moment, that feels about right.”

Scott Ellis switched the Tootsie Tony Awards number a week ago.
The Tootsie cast was originally going to perform Dorothy’s audition scene in the musical adapted from the 1982 movie. “I realized while I was watching it that moment that he first auditions, you’ve got to understand much more of what he’s at stake on, whereas at the end of the first act, he’s in this fantasy of anything can work,” Ellis said, switching the number to “Unstoppable.”

Eddie Perfect wants to rewrite lyrics every time the Beetlejuice cast performs for TV.
The Beetlejuice composer rewrote the lyrics of “The Whole Being Dead Thing” for the Tony Awards, and he said he’d do it for any live broadcast or event. “It’s one of those things where Beetlejuice is a fourth-wall-breaker and the song ‘The Whole Being Dead Thing’ is a welcome to the theater. It would just feel weird if we pretended we were in the Winter Garden,” Perfect said. “If we ever do a shoe convention, Beetlejuice will be singing about shoes.”

Judith Light celebrates the LGBTQ+ community every day.
ight received the Isabelle Stevenson Award for her service work for the LGBTQ+ community. "I celebrate them always,” she said. “The LGBTQ+ and the HIV/AIDS community have been inspirations to me in ways that I don’t even have time to tell you. They are communities that represent authenticity and courage and bravery and speaking out to a culture that is bigoted and close-minded and doing it anyway.”

Laura Linney is coming back to Broadway in a play next season.
Linney will be back on Broadway next season in the one-woman show My Name Is Lucy Barton, which is transferring from London. She’s excited to be back in the theater community and thinks the Tonys are a celebration of the arts. “We get to show everybody how great the arts are and how they elevate your whole life and surround you with wonderful people. It’s a call out to young artists out there not to be afraid,” the actress said.

Rachel Brosnahan celebrates theater on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  
The Mrs. Maisel star says she’s planning to come back to theater soon. “I miss theater very very dearly. I can’t wait to find the right project to come back to Broadway, off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway,” Brosnahan said. “I’m ready to get back onstage.” In the meantime, she’s enjoying acting with so many theater performers on her series. “It’s been really cool to work with so many of my favorite theater actors in this new medium,” Brosnahan said. “Amy [Sherman-Palladino] and Dan [Palladino] love the theater. I think it’s probably their first true love. They’ve been able to infuse so much about what’s so magical about the theater into The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Marisa Tomei can’t wait to come back to Broadway.
The actress is heading to Broadway next season in a revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo. "It’s a thrill and an honor to be any part of Tennessee Williams’ world,” Tomei said, adding that she loves her character who’s “in the depths of grief and that even when you think your life is over and the script is written, love comes out of nowhere and bites you on the tush and transforms everything.”

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is nervous to fill Denis O’Hare’s shoes.
Ferguson is returning to Broadway next season in the revival of Take Me Out. “I saw this play at the Public Theater like 16 years ago and I adored it. I specifically adored Denis O’Hare’s performance in it and I’ve been given the opportunity to play that part and that terrifies me. He really put a stamp on it,” Ferguson said. “I reached out to him and told him I was offered the role before they announced. He said that if he had auditioned for the role against me when he auditioned years ago he probably wouldn’t have got it, which I think is a very generous and absolutely false thing.”

Aaron Tveit was a Moulin Rouge fanboy and sang from the show when he was in college.
Tveit will take on the role of Christian in the stage adaptation of Moulin Rouge, and he said he was a fan of the movie and actually sang from the show in college. “This is pre-Glee, pre-musicals crossing over into the mainstream. To see something like that in the theater as a young singer and performer was really special,” Tveit said. “I was a voice major and switched to musical theater. I think one of the first songs I ever sang was ‘Come What May’ in a class.”

Cynthia Erivo can’t wait to tell Harriet Tubman’s story onscreen.  
The Tony winner performed “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” during the In Memoriam section, and she spoke on the red carpet about her upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic. “I hope you come and see it, and I hope that it is that it makes you proud, that people garner a lot of hope from it and learn about her,” Erivo said. “I think it’s definitely the time to tell her story. It’s been too long.”