Interview: The Wanted's Tom Parker talks about Grease role at Milton Keynes
When The Wanted's Tom Parker originally auditioned for Grease, he wasn't expecting to land the role of Danny.
Speaking to us ahead of the visit to Milton Keynes Theatre from Monday August 28 to Saturday September 2, he said: “I was originally asked if I was interested in Teen Angel which meant one song and a brief role so I went for the audition.
“I got a phone call a few days later asking if I was interested in playing Danny and after an extra audition, they offered me the part which I was delighted about.”
The original high-school musical, features unforgettable songs including You’re The One That I Want, Grease Is The Word and Summer Nights.
You might think that there wouldn’t be too much of a challenge to go from singer to musical theatre lead but Tom says there has been difficulties.
He said: “It has been a challenge learning the script but there are a lot of transferable skills over from performing in the band. While we weren’t known for lots of dancing in the band, we did a little bit.
“But when we did have some complex choreography in this show, I did go a little bit like, ah yes, I can do this.
“I did watch the film just to get the style of acting that is required in this field. John Travolta had a huge impact playing the film so I have tried to take little things from his performance but not all of it.”
Even the relatively short period of rehearsals didn’t stop Tom from taking the role seriously.
He added: “We only had three weeks of rehearsals before we went out on the tour so I asked for the script a couple of months before we started the rehearsals just so I could get my head in the right place. I wanted to get into the rehearsals and nail it.
“But it is a great show and if you like the film then come along and see it.”
Tom is still best known for his role in the five piece band The Wanted and is proud of his achievements with the band.
He said: “We played some amazing venues when we were in The Wanted and I think when I look back, my biggest memories is meeting people like Michelle Obama. A few years, I was just a lad from Bolton and then I was meeting the first lady of the United States.
“I would hope that we would reform the band, it is something that I would really push for us to do. There was something special that we had between the four of us, and we would love to recreate that experience again.”
He is also in just a small select group of people. Tom is one of the few contestants that hasn’t suffered an injury on The Jump.
Tom laughed before adding: “I was lucky to be probably one of the only people not to be injured in The Jump.
“I initially turned it down as I wasn’t keen on doing television work. However after a couple of months, I regretted the decision so asked if there was a chance to do.
“All of the spaces on the show were full but they put me on the reserve list. And then the injuries happened and I ended up being on it.
“I had done some skiing but not for about 10 years before doing that show. It is quite scary doing those 30/40 foot jumps.”
But it is probably safe to say that another tour isn’t top of Tom’s list to do in the near future.
“I wouldn’t rule out doing more musical theatre but doing a long tour does put a strain, especially as I am due to get married next year, so maybe I wouldn’t do something as intense in the future.”
Tickets cost from £15 and performances take place throughout the week. To book tickets call the box office on 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes.