5 Questions With Corey Cott, Star of Fox's New Series Filthy Rich

Cott, of Broadway’s ”Newsies” and ”Bandstand”, co-stars with Kim Cattrall on the hour-long drama.

Last year, Corey Cott spent a lot of time in New Orleans. Cott, star of Bandstand and Newsies on Broadway, landed the role of Eric Monreaux, scion of a wealthy Southern family, on the new Fox series Filthy Rich. With the soapy drama, which stars Kim Cattrall, having just premiered this week, Cott took some time to discuss the show and his role.

Corey Cott in the "John 3:3" episode of Fox's Filthy Rich.
Corey Cott in the "John 3:3" episode of Fox's Filthy Rich.
(© Skip Bolen/FOX)

What is Filthy Rich about and how does your character, Eric Monreaux, factor into the plot?
My parents run a very successful Christian TV network. It's on the cusp of launching a digital retail arm when my dad goes down in a plane crash. This is all within the first 10 minutes. It comes out that he had three other children with three other women, and they are all heirs to the fortune. So me and my sister are now in a battle with these three other children, and all the secrets of the family start to come out.

What are the differences between creating a character for a 10-episode arc of a series and creating a character for a two-hour musical?
When you're creating a character in a theater piece, especially if it's over the course of a few years, you have so much time to consider all of the details. With Bandstand, it was almost three years. We did Paper Mill Playhouse, and then a few readings, and then we came to Broadway. You have so much time to marinate and research, and you can even have input into keys of songs. With this, it's a much faster pace. You have to bring your A-game to every single scene that you're in. From a technical perspective, I learned a lot and was humbled a lot. I like to be in control, but I couldn't be precious with the work. But getting to play Eric's arc all the way through was really thrilling from episode to episode.

How did the creators of the show adapt the role for your personality?
They actually adapted to everyone's skills. I didn't have to sing for my audition, but I ended up singing in four or five episodes. Abe Sylvia, the show runner, was a Broadway guy. He was in Cats. Jeff Calhoun, who directed me in Newsies, gave him his first job, so we bonded over that. He knew that I was a musical-theater guy, so they wrote that in. And it's not like my character is an aspiring singer. It's just an aspect of who he is. He grew up in the church, and in the South, singing is part of that culture.

Is it refreshing to be part of an ensemble now, as opposed to being the lead like in Newsies and Bandstand?
They both have their merits and their hard parts. The funny thing is, even in Bandstand and Newsies, the core of those shows are the ensemble, even though Donny and Jack Kelly are the biggest speaking parts. But I did enjoy being part of a TV ensemble. It takes the pressure off you. I loved how they just spread the wealth around amongst all of us. And that comes down to [creators] Tate Taylor and Abe Sylvia. They cast it so well, the best actors for these parts, and everyone brought it when they needed to.

What was it like to shoot in New Orleans?
New Orleans is such a wonderful place. It thrives on hospitality, so right now, I can't imagine how the city is dealing with all of this. It's a very inviting group of people. They love to be from there and they are very welcoming to outsiders. We assimilated as much as we could into the vibe down there. I feel like we really got to learn the city pretty well. It's actually a really family friendly city too. Their zoo is incredible; their children's museum is unbelievable. We weren't lacking in things to do. We lived two blocks from the World War II museum, and that is probably the best museum I've ever been to. I really miss New Orleans. It's a great place.

This Q&A has been adapted from a longer conversation, which you can watch in full here.