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Jason Schmidt talks about starring in ‘The Outsiders’ musical on Broadway

Actor and musician Jason Schmidt sat down and chatted with this journalist about starring in “The Outsiders” on Broadway.

Jason Schmidt and Brody Grant in 'The Outsiders' on Broadway
Jason Schmidt and Brody Grant in 'The Outsiders' on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
Jason Schmidt and Brody Grant in 'The Outsiders' on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Actor and musician Jason Schmidt sat down and chatted with this journalist about starring in “The Outsiders” on Broadway.

On being a part of “The Outsiders,” Schmidt said, “It feels great. It has been a lifelong dream. To do it with a show like this, which I really believe in is an honor.”

“I don’t think there is a lot of content out there that talks about masculinity or brother or love between men like the show does, and I love that. I think a lot of people need to see that,” he added.

Portraying Sodapop Curtis

On playing Sodapop, he said, “Sodapop is just fun. He has such a beautiful free spirit so playing Sodapop helps me integrate those attributes into my own life. It is such a good time.”

When asked if he did research by watching the Rob Lowe character in the 1983 movie or reading the book, Schmidt responded, “I did a little bit of research. Obviously, I read the book a bunch and I watched the movie.”

“If I am ever playing a role that has been done by somebody before, I try not to pay too much attention to what they’ve done, so I decided to make it my own,” he explained.

Jason Schmidt and the cast of 'The Outsiders' on Broadway
Jason Schmidt and the cast of ‘The Outsiders’ on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Lessons learned from playing this character

Schmidt opened up about the lessons he learned from playing Sodapop. “I don’t take a lot very seriously. Growing up, my dad would joke all the time, and Sodapop taught me that this can be a beautiful thing.”

“There are things to take seriously in life but most of the time, it’s really not that deep,” he said. “You can still have tough conversations and make beautiful connections without taking things personally, and keeping the humor in life.”

Daily motivations as a theatre performer

Regarding his daily motivations as a theatre performer in “The Outsiders,” he said, “My fellow cast members motivate me. I am surrounded by people that I am incredibly inspired by.”

“Literally, every single person in the cast inspires me in some way or another. When I come each day to the theatre, I know I have to bring it because I know that they are going to bring it too,” he said.

Dialogue-heavy

When asked how he handles being dialogue-heavy in a theatre production such as “The Outsiders,” he said, “Handling dialogue is my favorite thing. I can look at a page a few times and know the words already.”

“Adam Rapp’s words are incredible, so it’s not hard to remember at all. I am inspired by the moments, the actions, and the characters. I love getting to say those words each time,” he said.

Working with director Danya Taymor

Schmidt praised Danya Taymor for being the most “inspired artist I’ve ever gotten the opportunity to work with. Danya knows how to build a community, that is the most special part. Obviously, she has terrific vision, and she is just absolutely wonderful.”

Angelina Jolie as a producer

He had great words about Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie serving as a producer on the musical.

“It feels great to have Angelina onboard as a producer,” he said. “Angelina is so well-versed in the industry, and she believes in this project so much. It’s cool to have her around, she really believes in the cast.”

Working with Brody Grant as Ponyboy

On working with Brody Grant, who plays his younger brother Ponyboy, Schmidt said, “Brody is a beautiful human being, and obviously, a world-class talent, and a true brother. I love getting the chance to work with him.”

“Brody is a big inspiration to me, and he makes me want to work harder,” he added.

Brody Grant
Brody Grant. Photo Courtesy of Brody Grant.

Working with Brent Comer

On working with Brent Comer, who plays the older brother Darrel Curtis, he said, “Brent is a sweetheart; he is such a hard worker. There is just nobody that works harder than him.”

“Brent always records himself each night to take notes on what he can improve on his performance, and he has come such a long way with the role, and it is an honor to watch him, and to be his partner on this journey. Our characters are the ‘odd couple’ of the show,” Schmidt elaborated.

Brody Grant, Jason Schmidt, Brent Comer and Sky Lakota-Lynch in 'The Outsiders'
Brody Grant, Jason Schmidt, Brent Comer and Sky Lakota-Lynch in ‘The Outsiders.’ Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Soundtrack album for ‘The Outsiders’

Schmidt is looking forward to the soundtrack album for “The Outsiders,” which will be released digitally on May 22, and it features the new track “Soda’s Letter,” which is sung by Schmidt and Brent Comer, and Brody Grant.

“We just finished recording that, and I cannot wait for people to hear it,” he exclaimed.

“Soda’s Letter” is available for streaming by clicking here.

‘My Ego Loves You’

On his latest single “My Ego Loves You,” Schmidt said, “I got to produce it over the summer. My sister, Tori, did a drawing and that is now the cover art. She wrote ‘my ego loves you’ on the top, and I thought that was an inspiring line.”

“I had looked if anybody had ever used that line in a song, but I didn’t see anything out there, and I had my own opinions about it, so the song came to life,” he said.

“My Ego Loves You” is available on digital service providers by clicking here.

Jason Schmidt
Actor Jason Schmidt. Photo Credit: JSquared

Future plans: New music in the works

Schmidt revealed that he produced six songs himself, all of which are “very true to him.” “I want to release them in the fall if the timing works out,” he said.

Ryan Vasquez

Schmidt also had great words about working with actor Ryan Vasquez, who played the role of Dariel Curtis when “The Outsiders” was performed at La Jolla Playhouse in California (Presently, Vasquez is starring in “The Notebook” on Broadway, and they are literally neighbors since the theaters are next to each other).

“The only reason I cried when we finished in La Jolla was saying goodbye to Ryan, who is an incredible human being and an incredible performer. Ryan is a dear friend, and I simply cannot say enough great things about him,” he acknowledged.

Ryan Vasquez
Ryan Vasquez. Photo Credit: Ben Rivera.

Advice for young and aspiring entertainers

For young and aspiring musicians and performers, he said, “As cliché as it sounds, work really hard. Hone your craft every day. Pick up monologues every day and learn through that process… that is how you become great at something.”

Favorite motto to live by

His favorite motto to live by is “this too shall pass.” “That’s a good one,” he admitted. “If something is bad, have patience, and if it’s good, take it in.”

Stage of his life

On the title of the current chapter of his life, Schmidt said, “The Moment.”

Superpower of choice

If he were to have any superpower, it would be “superspeed.” “Growing up, The Flash was my favorite comic book character,” he said.

In track and field, he would do the 100 meter sprint, if given the chance, while in the sport of swimming, he selected the “breaststroke” as his personal favorite stroke. “That’s a good workout,” he admitted.

Dream acting partner: Timothée Chalamet

Schmidt listed Timothée Chalamet as his dream acting partner in entertainment. “I look up to Timothy a lot; he is incredible. I would love to someday work with him,” he said.

Success

On his definition of the word success, Schmidt said, “I am a very ambitious person, so the real answer is being content and happy with the thing that you get to do for a living. That is success to me.”

Closing thoughts on ‘The Outsiders’

For his fans and viewers, Schmidt concluded about the musical, “Everyone is an outsider, and you can invite people into your spaces instead of keeping them out.”

To learn more about “The Outsiders” musical, check out its official website.

For more information on Jason Schmidt, follow him on Instagram.

Read More: ‘The Outsiders‘ is a new coming-of-age musical on Broadway.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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