Tony-nominated actress Cristin Milioti has been bringing heart and soul to the smash hit Broadway musical Once since the show’s tryout run in Boston, and now she’s got even more of a reason to love the Tony-winning tuner. The show took home the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album at the February 10 ceremony, including individual trophies for Milioti and co-star Steve Kazee. Broadway.com caught up with Milioti to find out how she and the cast celebrated the happy news.
Congratulations on winning a Grammy! How did you find out?
The whole cast was rehearsing for a concert we’re doing at 54 Below on Sunday, and we were running through “The Moon” when my stage manager Beth texted me saying, “You just won a f**king Grammy.” So I was like, “Hey guys! We won!”
How did the cast react?
There was some high-fiving, and then we just went right back to playing. I think everyone was really honored and excited, but we were in the middle of doing what we love most, which is why this company is so amazing. We found out that we won a Grammy, we were psyched, and then we just went back to jamming! It was a perfect way to celebrate.
Did you ever dream of winning a Grammy as a kid?
Oh my god, yes! My manager left me a voicemail last night saying, “I just want to remind you that two years ago you were thinking of going to an open mic night because you wanted to start playing piano and singing more. That was two years ago, and look what just happened.” I’ve always wanted to be a musician, or just part of anything to do with music. There’s nothing like it. It’s on par with love.
How will you celebrate with the cast?
I think we did last night. I was sitting there watching everyone play “The Moon,” which is my favorite track on the album, and I just couldn’t stop crying. And I don’t want to say it was necessarily because of the award. Yes, the Grammy is amazing, but we’ve come really far as a band, and this company earned that. They play their hearts out every single night—we all do, and the Grammy was amazing icing on the cake.
And you’re getting to the point where the original cast is going to disperse soon.
I’m leaving soon, actually, which is very difficult. I think that’s really why I was crying. I just kept filming everyone and taking pictures and crying like an absolute idiot. It’s been the most incredible experience, and these people will know my kids. It’s a very strange time, but it was also a great way to come to a close, at least for me.
But you’re moving on to great things, like The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Funny story! On that set, there were a couple of night shoots when they’d pick me up at my house around 2:30 in the morning and I would always listen to “The Moon” on my way there. I was very scared, and it felt like the first day of school. I was excited but nervous, so I would listen to that song on repeat and it would just calm me down. It makes you feel all warm inside [laughs]. I am also a sentimental cow. I get very nostalgic and very sentimental, over this especially!