You’ve heard of show-mances? Well, Jason Gotay and Elle McLemore got something more enduring from their year on the road in Bring It On: The Musical: a best friend! On stage, he’s the mild-mannered high school sweetie Randall and she’s the super-charged and ambitious cheerleader Eva. Offstage, the two share jokes, memories and dreams of co-starring in a musical version of Tangled. The adorable newbies gave lengthy and heartfelt answers to our Broadway Besties questionnaire, then happily spent a morning with Broadway.com photographer Jenny Anderson in Washington Square Park before heading to the St. James Theatre.
Check out our exclusive photo gallery of Jason and Elle!
How and when did you meet your BFF?
Jason: We met in rehearsals for the national tour of Bring It On: The Musical in September 2011! Almost a full year ago...insane.
Elle: It was outside New 42nd Street Studios. I went right up to him in his cute little Marymount baseball hat and Converse shoes.
What was your first impression of each other?
Jason: I thought she was adorable, obviously. And she radiated positive energy...happy to be in the room, genuinely sweet and excited to meet everybody. I knew we would be friends.
Elle: I had Googled him already, so this was supposed to be awkward, but it totally wasn't because he was so sweet and welcoming. I kind of felt like we were going to be friends forever!
When was the moment you knew it was BFF material?
Jason: To be honest, I can't remember one particular day when we were SUDDENLY best friends. All I know is that when I think about our tour, I have a specific memory with her in every single city. We got to our last stop and realized we couldn't be without each other for more than a few hours. Does that sound creepy?
Elle: It was a gradual process. We were around each other all day, every day on tour. Being in places outside of our comfort zones formed an unconditional love and friendship between us. From having sushi in Arkansas to practicing our runway walk in a deserted downtown Houston, we know each other like the back of our own hands.
Name three adjectives to describe your BFF.
Jason: Kind, beautiful, socially awkward.
Elle: Honest, dependable, charming.
What do you call each other?
Jason: I call her (you might have to say this out loud in a high-pitched, nasal voice) “ELLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.” The “e” is pretty drawn out. Keep practicing.
Elle: My future husband/stage door boyfriend/prince. Pretty much everything along those lines!
If you formed a band together, what would its name be?
Elle: Gremlin & Cumin
What’s the best gift your BFF ever got you?
Jason: A HOMEMADE house-warming gift that's basically a Jason-Elle shrine. It's a collage of all things Jason and Elle. It's hanging on my wall next to the TV. Is this too much?
Elle: He wrote me the most amazing card that he gave to me the last day on tour. He ended it with "You're just…my girl." Swollen eyes for days.
What should the title of your BFF’s memoir be?
Jason: Elle McLemore: Quest for Salvation. (Just go with it.)
Elle: JGotay: I’ll Write It Down and Tweet It Later
If you could be in any show together what would it be?
Jason: Everyone thinks we need to be in Tangled together when they adapt a stage version of the film, but I'd rather do something awesome that hasn't been created yet. Maybe we'll play a bickering old couple...no performing necessary.
Elle: We are dead set on being in Tangled: The Musical as Rapunzel and Flynn. It does not exist yet, but we’ll most likely begin workshopping it ourselves to make sure it happens.
What annoying habits do you find adorable in your BFF?
Jason: Elle has to know the caloric content of EVERY. THING. SHE. EATS. Once I was on her computer and saw the most recent "search" in her search bar was "are bananas fattening." Needless to say, we laughed for three hours and she hasn't lived it down since.
Elle: Jason can eat an entire jar of peanut butter with a spoon in one sitting. He also loves to eat off of my plate and/or whatever food is in my possession at all times. He also does vocal warm-ups all day long. Love you Jason!
What trait do you admire most about each other?
Jason: Without exaggerating, Elle has the ability to make people happy. Everyone in the cast will back me up on this; it's impossible not to smile when you're in her company. This is a fact. Meet her and try not to.
Elle: How equally dedicated he is to his work, family and friends. He takes such great pride in every one of those aspects of his life and wholeheartedly gives everything he's got to each of them.
Who is your friend’s celebrity equivalent and why?
Jason: Elle McLemore is her own celebrity, but if I HAD to pick an equivalent, I'd have to say Amy Adams circa Enchanted for all the obvious reasons: She's a princess, she's gorgeous, she's an amazing actress...and she's unique! There's something about her that sets her apart from every other beautiful girl her age. Maybe it's the happy thing...
Elle: Enrique from Legally Blonde: "Don't go stomping on your last season Prada shoes at me honey." ;)
What About your BFF makes you jealous?
Jason: She can be socially awkward sometimes and get away with it because she's ELLE! When I'm socially awkward, I'm just...awkward. Not endearing or quirky, just awkward.
Elle: How he can be so sarcastic and endearing at the same time.
I can always count on my BFF to…
Jason:…iMessage me back at 5AM when neither of us can sleep. It’s the little things.
Elle: …catch me when I call. And always make me look great on Instagram!