John Cameron Mitchell, who created and starred in the original off-Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, has returned to the role of Hedwig on Broadway for an eight-week limited engagement.
The out actor succeeds Michael C. Hall in the Tony Award-winning musical as Hedwig, a fictional East German rock singer living as a female after botched gender-reassignment surgery. Hall took over the role from Andrew Rannells, who had replaced Tony winner Neil Patrick Harris. But who would Mitchell cast as his dream Hedwig?
"I would love to see Justin Timberlake do it," Mitchell tells Time Out New York. "He's such a good actor and obviously he's an incredible entertainer musically. I originally thought Robert Downey Jr. would be amazing because he's a really good singer and looks great in makeup. Even a woman — I'm open to whatever works. I think it was right to open with a man but it might be interesting to do it with the right woman. Androgyny — I mean, Tilda Swinton would be amazing if she can sing rock & roll."
Mitchell also reveals details of a Hedwig sequel that's in development. "I sort of see it like Olive Kitteridge, like a long miniseries, four to six hours," he says. "It's still a musical; it's very much about her. It's kind of on indefinite hold now because of other projects, but it's been developed a good deal. It's darker. It's about the second half of her life, which is the antithesis of 'It Gets Better' videos — for her, it gets worse. My favorite playwright is probably Samuel Beckett and; he was always laughing at the abyss. When Hedwig returns, it will definitely be about the limitation of life and how absurd that is."
The Broadway premiere of Mitchell and Stephen Trask's 1998 cult rock musical, which won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical, opened April 22 at the Belasco Theatre and has recouped its investment. Directed by Michael Mayer, the production has raised $400K for LGBT youth as part of its charitable partnership with the Hetrick-Martin Institute. The original cast recording is now available.
See more photos of Mitchell as Hedwig on Broadway here.