Tony Nominated Actress Discusses Role in Broadway's Tootsie

In honor of the 2019 Tony® Awards, we’re celebrating with Broadway Week on One-on-One. Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with 2019 Tony®️ nominated actress, Lilli Cooper, who plays the pivotal role of Julie Nichols in Tootsie (Jessica Lange in the 1982 film) to packed houses every night.

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"Excuse me? Yes. Yes, hello. My name is Dorothy Michaels. [music playing] A one... two! Watch me! Fosse! Fosse! [music playing] Julie Taymor! Julie Taymor! [music playing] Ah! This is textbook Broadway people! [music playing] Don't you find being a woman, right now, complicated? Right now. Extremely. Yeah. [laughter] That is from Tootsie. And she is right here. Check her out. That's the talented Lilli Cooper. And she's in Tootsie. You play Julie Nichols? Yes. I do. Tell folks... that's the Jessica Lange part? Yeah. Tell folks where they can see it? They can see it at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway on 46th Street? Yeah. 46th Street. Between 7th and 8th. Is it not a fact that you grew up around the corner from here? It is a fact. And you went to what high school? LaGuardia High School! So... Represent! I'm in the 'hood! So what it is like for you to be playing this role in your neighborhood? It's so special. It's really special. I mean, I was born and raised in Hell's Kitchen, my dad is an actor, you know, I was backstage all the time. It just feels like home. It feels safe, and it feels like home. So it's really awesome to be able to not only live, but work, in the same neighborhood and, you know, feel like I have a family here. Describe your character. Julie Nichols is an actress. She is incredibly passionate about what she does. She's just, sort of giddy and joyous and loves it so much. And she's fiercely independent. And she has sacrificed a lot to do what she loves. And I think that's what she sees in Dorothy, her friend. And that's sort of what makes them connect so deeply. And so fast. You told me, right before we got on the air, that she's a lot like you? Yeah. She is. She is! I think for a lot of reasons. I mean, we're both actors in a Broadway musical. Yeah right? [laughter] So it can be very meta, because I feel... I see a lot of parallels between the story that we're telling and, you know, just sort of like my daily existence. But yeah, she's just a really strong, independent woman, and I like to think of myself that way as well. Were you...? Did you feel any pressure to go into this profession? Or did you say, "This is what I want to do"? I didn't feel any pressure at all. None? I felt that my... that doors were open to whatever I wanted to do. My parents were very supportive of me doing whatever I..."