Frankie McNellis is set to showcase her extensive entertainment background as Lucy Hallman in the Netflix adaptation of 13: The Musical. Originally a Broadway production, Netflix’s 13: The Musical will feature a cast that includes Debra Messing, Josh Peck, and Rhea Pearlman. 13: The Musical is sure to be an exciting adaptation of the Broadway musical for theatre lovers and fans of the original production.
We spoke to Frankie McNellis about what viewers can expect from this new adaptation, following in the footsteps of Ariana Grande and Elizabeth Gillies, preparing for her breakout role in 13: The Musical, and her experience working alongside the cast.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Frankie McNellis below:
Can you talk a little about what initially inspired you to pursue acting as a career?
When I was 5, my parents signed me up for singing and dancing lessons. When I was 8, I competed in a talent competition where I met my manager, Mattie from Mattie Management. I told her that I wanted to be like all the kids I saw on TV and she suggested I try acting. I received and booked my first audition and the rest is history!
Would you say that there is anyone that inspired or influenced you? Is there anyone you would love to work with someday?
My family inspires me the most because they have always supported and believed in me. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. It would be a dream to work with Liz Gillies, Zendaya, and Ariana Grande. They are huge inspirations to me.
We are so excited for the release of 13: The Musical! Can you share a little bit about your character and what attracted you to the role? Would you say you are like your character at all?
I am so excited for fans of the Broadway version and newcomers to get to see the film. I play Lucy Hallman, a popular cheerleader that is determined to get what she wants. I have always been a fan of 13: The Musical, so when I first found out that Netflix was making it a movie, I immediately knew I wanted to be Lucy. I just love how Lucy isn’t just a boring “mean girl,” but there is the reasoning behind her actions and she changes throughout the film. I would say that Lucy and I have a few similar traits, however, I wouldn’t steal my best friend’s boyfriend!
Did you have to do anything special to prepare for your role in 13: The Musical?
We went through 3 months of music, dance, and scene rehearsals before filming. I even dyed my hair for the role! Lucy has a song in the musical, “Opportunity”, that requires a lot of stamina, and we spent most of our rehearsals working on that number.
The cast of 13: The Musical is such a talented group of performers including Debra Messing, Rhea Pearlman, and Josh Peck. What was that experience like filming with the cast? Are there any fun memories that stick out to you from filming?
I’m so grateful to have worked with such a talented and diverse cast. We spent almost 6 months together, so we have many memories with each other. I remember when we first officially met each other on a group facetime, I knew that they were going to be my best friends and we started face-timing every day for hours.
What can you tease about what viewers can expect from the film? What are you most excited for them to see?
The film has changed a bit since it was on Broadway in 2008, however it is still connected to its roots. I am so excited for fans to see what songs have made it back into the story and what brand new songs have been written for the film.
You also have an extensive background in dance and music. What do you love about both when comparing them to acting? Is there one you prefer over the other?
I don’t think I could choose one over the other. Music, acting, and dancing are all a part of what makes me an artist and I wouldn’t be who I am without them.
Would you ever consider pursuing a career in music or the theatre?
My dream is to be a pop star and go on tours with sold-out stadiums, win Grammys, be number 1 on the charts, etc. I grew up doing a lot of musical theatres, so I would absolutely love to go on Broadway. Some of my dream Broadway roles include Regina George, Elphaba, and Éponine. Basically powerhouse roles!
What’s next for you? What can your fans look forward to from you next?
I am not allowed to say much, but I will say I am working on music and I have a few exciting things coming soon!
Thank you so much to Frankie McNellis for taking the time to speak with us!
Don’t forget to check out 13: The Musical when it releases on August 12th on Netflix!
Be sure to keep up to date with Frankie McNellis by following her on social media on Instagram.
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