Age: 41. “My Wikipedia ‘pop age’ is 37. When you go into pop music, you’re told, ‘This is your age,’ and it’s totally aboveboard.”
Hometown: North Shields, Newcastle, England
Current Role: A Broadway debut as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys, after more than six years as the show’s Olivier Award-nominated original West End star.
Stage Cred: Molloy’s extensive London stage credits include Taboo, Jerry Springer the Opera, Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice, plus U.K. tours of Godspell and the Rod Stewart tuner Tonight’s the Night. As a pop artist, he won a 2004 competition to step in as lead singer of Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
“Newcastle is totally Billy Elliot land. There wasn’t a lot of opportunity, and if you said you wanted to be a singer or actor, people looked at you like you were crazy. But my parents were always supportive—it’s very special for my mother to fly to New York and see me on a Broadway stage.”
“I was obsessed with John Hughes movies as a kid, so when my sister moved to Los Angeles, I went over at 19. I got involved in the R&B culture in South Central L.A., doing karaoke competitions for a free meal. I loved it there, but I went back to London when I got a record deal with RCA.”
“Writing pop songs was a great adventure but acting has always been my main passion, and musical theater helped me get back on that track. Musicals are all about focus and concentration, and it’s fantastic for someone like me to have something that’s so regimented.”
“Frankie Valli and I grew up in tough neighborhoods. I really understand what he went through to get out. I’ve hung out with him a few times now, and he’s still very grounded. He and Bob Gaudio haven’t allowed their success to change them as people.”
“I’m riding solo in New York, and they put me in this amazing apartment overlooking Times Square. Everything is pristine, and there’s a gym downstairs with no one there. I feel like Patrick Bateman [of American Psycho], working out by myself in an eye mask.”
“You need a loose tongue to sing like Frankie. I’ve always had the ability to go from falsetto to chest voice without a break; you have to stay loose to sing so many songs without getting jammed up. It’s kind of like being a ballerina. There’s a ballerina on my tongue!”
“I’m Irish, so we like to get a party on, a couple of Guinness to get going in the morning, but there’s none of that with this show. It’s hardcore: sleep, eat, show, repeat. It’s a hell of a challenge to go from age 16 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Every scene, every moment, you’ve got to hit a home run.”