About the Author:
Rose Hemingway became the envy of teenage girls everywhere when she made her Broadway debut in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, playing sweet secretary Rosemary Pilkington opposite superstar co-star Daniel Radcliffe. This year, Hemingway will share the stage with two more heartthrobs playing J. Pierrepont Finch: Glee star Darren Criss and Jonas Brothers front man Nick Jonas. In addition to making her Main Stem bow, Hemingway enjoyed a blissful first year of marriage with actor Geoffrey Hemingway, whom she met and fell in love with on tour in Mamma Mia! Below, the charming actress recounts late nights with Radcliffe, swoons over her real-life husband, and reveals a secret about a How to Succeed crew member.
2011 was a year of firsts for me. I made my Broadway debut in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and I celebrated my first wedding anniversary with my husband, Geoffrey. As 2012 begins, I’m saying goodbye to my friend and co-star Daniel Radcliffe and hello to two new leading men, Darren Criss and Nick Jonas. It’s been an incredible journey, both personally and professionally.
I got involved in How to Succeed in December 2009, when I participated in the reading of the musical. That’s where I first met Daniel Radcliffe, and we hit it off immediately. After the reading, Dan approached me and said, “Have they offered you the part on Broadway?” I was thrilled to be asked such a thing, but I had to explain to Dan that I would most likely have to audition a few more times, and even then I could be replaced with someone else. I said, “No, not yet. I’m just taking it one step at a time.” His reply was, “Well, I’m going to fight for you because I want you to be my Rosemary.” I truly believe that he did just that, because here I am. I will always be incredibly grateful for his support.
Following the reading, Dan and I became fast friends. Although the Broadway production of How to Succeed was still far off, we began to hang out when he was in town. Geoff and I took him to our favorite soul food place one night, and watched as the line cooks in the back almost fainted at the sight of Harry Potter eating their mac and cheese. Dan returned the favor when he took us to the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I. There, we walked the red carpet with him for the first time, and it was our turn to feel faint! I think my favorite memory of those early days happened one night when Dan came over to hang out at our apartment. We were having a great time, and it got to be pretty late. Finally he said, “Well, I’d better go now, 'cause I’ve gotta wake up early tomorrow and open my theme park.” He’s so down to earth, sometimes you actually forget he’s Harry Potter!
It’s been hard to say goodbye to Dan, but I’ve got two new Finches stepping in. I met Nick Jonas briefly when we did a photo shoot together. Immediately, I was impressed. He was humble and gracious, and he seems so eager and excited for the challenge ahead. He’s been doing this for a long time, and he’s going to be great. Darren Criss is a ball of energy, so excited to make his Broadway debut. He will also make a fantastic Finch. He made a point of telling us how honored he was to join the cast and how much he loved the show and our performances. Glee is such a hit show that fans are clamoring to get tickets for the three short weeks he is here. Even our head carpenter on How to Succeed (who will kill me for telling you all this) was giddy when he found out I get to kiss Darren!
The subject of kissing my three handsome co-stars is one that never fails to come up in conversation about the show. In fact, the number one question I got asked at the stage door this year was, “What is it like to kiss Daniel Radcliffe?” Truth be told, my husband came up with the answer I always used. He said, “Tell them, ‘It’s magical.’”
It’s been interesting to play a character with ambitions to be married when I’m a newlywed in real life. Although my character's old fashioned sensibilities can sometimes be a challenge to connect with, I can understand Rosemary's longing so much more clearly now, because marrying Geoff was the best thing I ever did! We have tattoos of our wedding date on our wrists, but I have to cover mine up for the show. As actors, we wanted to have something that was always there, because we will sometimes have to take our wedding bands off when we're on stage. When I’m performing in How to Succeed, I always hold my hand out when I sing “wearing the wifely uniform,” and I can see the imprint of my actual wedding ring on my finger. It’s such a special moment for me, and it reminds me how lucky I am in real life—and in my wonderful year with How to Succeed.