Michael Berresse plays the wildly acrobatic Bill Calhoun in the current hit Broadway revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate. After an evening of delighting the audience with gravity-defying dancing (you've got to see Berresse climb up the three-story set, both in time to the music and while singing, to understand how breathtaking his big number, "Bianca," is), Berresse took some time to show off his high-flying Quick Wit.
TM: When you were a kid, is this where you thought you'd be in the year 2000?
Michael: I think approximately six minutes in advance. These people who have a ticket around the world in the year 2000 amaze me - who the hell has time for that? I never even think about that. I love working hard and going day by day and enjoying it along the way.
TM: What are your favorite lyrics from a musical?
Michael: "They can't take that away from me."
TM: Who's your personal hero?
Michael: My cousin Ginny, because she was born developmentally disabled. The thing that is most inspiring to me about her is that she is incapable of being dishonest. I think the people who are inspiring to me aren't the ones who are accomplished - but those who live honestly.
TM: Is your cup half-full or half-empty?
Michael: Oh, it's overflowing.
TM: If your character, Bill Calhoun, were running for public office, what would his platform be?
Michael: Oh, he'd definitely go for legalized gambling. Bill Calhoun is a gambler, but he's a nice guy. Actually he's probably not unlike our President.
TM: What role would you like to play that you will never get to play?
Michael: Fanny Brice. I identify with that character. She was a very sincere and very serious person - but she accessed humor, which is what I do. I'd like to think of myself as a comic actor with serious undertones. I look forward to doing more serious work rather than "handsome-guy" kind of stuff.
TM: What's your favorite four-letter word?
Michael: @&%#! (laugh)
TM: When was the last time you opened your mouth, inserted your foot, and chewed thoroughly?
Michael: Oh God! I try for two or three times a day...because you learn a lot from that. I have a tendency to talk excessively...so especially if I've done that, and then try to talk my way out of it.
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