Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021
12
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

Prince From Brandy’s ‘Cinderella’ Credits Whitney Houston for 1997 Musical’s Diverse Cast

Paolo Montalban can’t wait for fans old and new to watch “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” when it makes its long-awaited debut on Disney+ on Friday.

The 1997 TV musical, which starred Brandy Norwood as the titular princess and Whitney Houston as the fairy godmother, was Montalban’s first major movie role, and it was a bonafide hit, with 60 million people watching it on ABC nearly 25 years ago. What made the film especially notable was the diversity of its leads — something the Filipino American actor is still proud of today.

“Ever since the announcement, I’ve been reading comments on Instagram and Twitter and I’ve been crying tears of grace every single day,” he told TheWrap’s Lawrence Yee just ahead of the film’s Disney+ premiere. “There’s always one or two posts that just hit to the core of what we as a cast and crew wanted. Whitney Houston’s vision was wanting everyone to be included in this production, especially kids of color, and how meaningful it was to us back then and how meaningful it will be to them now and in the future.”

Montalban, who was an understudy on Broadway at the time, admitted he didn’t know how big the production was or who was involved.

“I thought it was going to be some rinky-dink cable station in New York,” he recalled with a laugh. “There was no mention of Whitney’s Houston involvement as a producer. There was no mention of her playing the fairy godmother. Of course, [the studio] knew this because they had originally developed it for her to play Cinderella five years prior and to be released on CBS. But five years later, she said, ‘I’m in a different place in my life, I’m a mother. But I have the perfect person for you: Brandy.’ And so when I got the call, I went in like it was any other musical theater audition.”

Montalban remembered being late for his Friday audition and being the last actor the casting directors saw out of 800 hopefuls. He was called back that Monday to do a reading with Brandy and the director, and the following Friday, he got a message that his agent wanted to reach him. But before his agent returned his call, a costume shop rang up asking for his measurements.

“I thought it was for the Broadway show I was in. I thought they had my measurements already!” he recalled. “And after that, my agent called me and gave me the news. I was jumping and screaming. I auditioned on a Friday, got called back on a Monday, and got the part on a Friday. In one week, my life changed.”

After the breakout success of the “Cinderella” film, Montalban reprised his role onstage opposite Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Deborah Gibson. He also starred on the TV series “Mortal Kombat: Conquest” in 1998 and has been a working actor in the 20-plus years since.

Brandy and Paolo Montalban have a happy ending in “Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” (Photo: Walt Disney Television)

Montalban reflected on being part of such a groundbreaking diverse production and how more shows are using non-traditional and colorblind casting, especially following last year’s racial reckoning in the U.S.

“What it’s about is that diversity reflects what America looks like today. In many places around the world, diversity reflects what their societies look like as well,” he said. “And why is that when you do lean into the diversity and inclusion in your movies, or your plays or TV shows, why is it that those shows do the best? Why is it that those shows make you the most money — the ‘Hamiltons,’ the ‘Bridgertons,’ even the ‘Cobra Kais’ of the world… I finally think the powers that be are paying attention.”

He added, “What I am proud of is the effect it has had on young men, who are now older men, in the Asian community. There’s a masculinizing effect of having a leading man who looks like you on screen. Who doesn’t just end up with any girl; he ends up with the girl … I’m glad that my first foray into the public eye was as a romantic lead who was not punching and kicking his way into everybody’s hearts.”

Watch excerpts from Montalban’s interview above, and stream “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” on Disney+ now.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jazmine Sullivan Paid Tribute to Whitney Houston With Her National Anthem at Super Bowl LV (Video)

Naomi Ackie to Play Whitney Houston in Biopic 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' at TriStar





Read also

US urges Saudis to disband force behind Khashoggi killing

Quick cooking hacks which REALLY work from cooking omelette in a bag to grating rock-hard butter

Ex-Eugene teacher who sexually abused teen sentenced




News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro



Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here
News Every Day

WATCH: Wild scenes in Dagestan as junior judo event descends into mass brawl