Potatoheads, it’s no secret that we love (nay, are a bit obsessed with) Broadway men. Talented, funny, charming – what more could a person ask for? This week, we sat down with Taran Killam, whom we’ve come to love from his time at SNL, and most recently for his Broadway debut as King George III in Hamilton. We couldn’t wait to talk with the star about his time in Hamilton, his ideal food day, and where to eat in Times Square. Read below for his full interview; we don’t blame you if you fall a little bit in love with him, too…
From start to finish what would be your ideal food day?
I’d start with hazelnut coffee, buttermilk pancakes, scrambled eggs with a little bit of cheddar cheese, home fries and bacon with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. Then roasted turkey, lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese and spicy mustard on a hero roll with shoestring fires, a pickle and a root beer. Next I’d have Wagyu ribeye steak (medium rare), shredded Brussel’s sprout salad, goat cheese mashed potatoes, and some sort of black truffle element with a double Blanton’s on the rocks. I’d wrap with a warm brownie sundae with caramel ice cream.
And now, for lunch….
Are you health-oriented? What are your diet and workout routines like?
I’m a much more conscious eater than ever before in my life. My veggie intake has tripled in the last three to four years. Water has by far become the most important item I consume. Anytime I’m feeling tired, sick or irritated, consuming water seems to be the quickest way to turn things around. Every three months or so I get on an exercise kick and lose ten to fifteen pounds. The longest stretch I ever worked out was about four months of Crossfit. I saw great results, but the second my schedule shifted, I wasn’t able to stick with it.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? What’s the worst?
The best was, “Not only should you not be afraid of failure, you should seek it out. It’s the fastest way to grow.” The worst advice was, “Just wait it out.”
What always makes you laugh no matter what?
The accidental destruction of something that took a long time to build.
What are some restaurants and bars in Times Square that aren’t so square?
How do you prepare every night before the show? How do you unwind after a performance?
Words to both eat and act by?
Try anything once.
Who’s someone you haven’t worked with, that you’d still like to work with and why?
Ben Foster. He’s one of the bravest, most fascinating, versatile actors around.
Who was your favorite host on SNL? Why?
Emma Stone. She helped me get my first sketch on.
We loved you as King George in Hamilton; what resonated most with you about that show?
I think the conflicting concepts of ambition versus satisfaction. At many points throughout his life, Alexander Hamilton could have said, “that’s good. I’ve done enough.” But his drive was inherent to his being. His desire to achieve in many ways became his own undoing.
What’s your favorite aspect of playing King George? The most challenging?
King George is this great amuse bouche in the show. Just when you’re feeling good, he comes and rains on your parade. Or inversely, when it gets too heavy or emotional, he comes and lightens the mood. It’s the relationship with the audience, that no other character has, that I relish in the most. The most challenging aspect is the crown-heels-cape combo. That’s an equilibrium I’m still not 100% comfortable with.
What is the issue you feel most passionately about right now and why?
Certainly protecting the National Endowment for the Arts. A public arts education is entirely responsible for my success, and I feel it’s imperative to developing well-rounded human beings.
Any personal grooming essentials you can’t live without?
What are you always snacking on backstage?
I snack on whatever cookies fans have sent or Doctor Green Juice from Juice Press.
What are the best and worst foods and drinks for your singing voice?
Anything spicy, acidic or carbonated is not good for the throat, and I’ve learned on this show that pineapple is best for fighting inflammation.
What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?
A milkshake with my family.
If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook?
I’d invite Walt Disney, Madeline Kahn, Jimmy Stewart, Howard Ashman, and my wife [Cobie Smulders]. I make a pretty mean flank steak, so I’d serve that.
*Taran Killam, photographed at Blue Smoke in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann