Aaron De Jesus on His Emotional Return to Playing Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys has returned to New World Stages, starring Jonathan Cable as Nick Massi, John Rochette as Tommy DeVito, CJ Pawlikowski as Bob Gaudio and Aaron De Jesus as Frankie Valli. De Jesus sat down with Broadway.com correspondent Charlie Cooper at the Renaissance Hotel in New York City to talk about returning to the Tony-winning show.
De Jesus previously appeared in Jersey Boys in both Las Vegas and on the second national tour, and he spoke about playing the care he takes in playing a real person. “To play someone like Frankie Valli, who’s living and breathing and who has literally sat in the audience on multiple occasions and watched me play him—there’s pressure. You want to impress the person that you’re playing,” De Jesus said. “As an actor, we always bring part of ourselves to the roles that we play.”
As Jersey Boys returned to live performance, De Jesus found himself moved as the cast rehearsed. “For me, there were a couple of moments where it was a little emotional. We finally worked through the entire show and started singing ‘Who Loves You,’ which is the finale. Everybody comes in at the end. No one could tell because I had the mask covering my face, but I got a little emotional,” he said. “It’s great to be back. Our show always brings so much joy to audiences. It’s what we need.”
Watch the interview below, and head here to check your local listings for The Broadway Show. Hosted by Emmy-winning anchor Tamsen Fadal, it is the only nationally syndicated weekly theater news program.