For those who have known or watched Grease, Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies will premiere on April 6th. But before the show’s release, we have an exclusive interview with Nicholas McDonough, who portrays Gil in the show! We can’t wait to talk to Nicholas about his role as Gil, his thoughts and experience with the show and cast members, and more. The show has yet to be released, but this interview will contain some information related to its predecessor, Grease. We highly recommend watching Grease first as it’s relevant to Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, and this article will avoid extensive spoilers for those who haven’t watched the film and the show. And now, onto this interview and its refresher.
If you grew up in the 90s, Grease would be one of the first, if not iconic, musicals of all time in that era. This musical rom-com film was released in 1978 and starred the talented John Travolta (who starred as the greaser Danny Zuko) and Olivia Newton-John (who starred as the new transfer student, Sandy Olsson). The film was a magnanimous success from a commercial and critical view and eventually became one of the most highly acclaimed (and highest-grossing) musicals at the time. What’s even better is that its soundtrack became the second, most-best-selling album in 1978. This praise doesn’t stop there, as there were several nominations dedicated to this musical, including the songs. The song “Hopelessly Devoted to You” was nominated for the 51st Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Meanwhile, the film has received five nominations at the 36th Golden Globe Awards and was selected to be preserved in the National Film Registry for being significant in U.S. History. Pretty interesting, huh?
Directed by Randal Kleiser with its screenplay by Bronté Woodard, this movie would eventually create a sequel called Grease 2, which was released in 1982 with cast members Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Now, you might be wondering where what inspired this film’s creation. Well, Grease was originally an actual musical, written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. With music and lyrics written by the two writers, including John Farrar, this musical would release several productions from the 1970s to 2022. Grease, the musical version, is a bit more aggressive when compared to its movie counterparts. The musical version has more mention of social issues such as gang violence and peer pressure and even crosses more mature themes such as sexual exploration and teenage rebellion. Jacobs mentions that the musical is supposed to serve as a means of subverting cinema tropes in the 1950s. Instead of the leading male character changing to someone more sympathetic and sensitive, the female character would be influenced by the man to become what appears to be a wild, rouge-like fantasy.
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies serves as a prequel to the film, and stars four, misfit students who band together to change Rydell High forever. The four students would eventually form a certain group, becoming the found mothers of a clique known as the “Pink Ladies“.
Here’s a small refresher on Nicholas McDonough! In this interview, you’ll be able to learn more about who he is, and what he does! For those who might recognize him, he’s known for his appearance as Bobby from Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin!
We start by asking Nicholas what his first introduction to Grease was, whether through his own time or a different means. Nicholas talks about his childhood in the 90s, when he grew up with two sisters, musicals like Grease were the biggest go-to for his sisters. Nicholas mentions that he watched Grease a lot when he was growing up, and when he went to school for musical theatre, the subject of Grease was touched on a lot. When asked where Nicholas went for musical theatre, he went to Point Park University, to which Nicholas then explained that he pursued an acting career in New York. We then ask how Nicholas would best describe his character, Gil, and how he fits into the story. Nicholas briefly talks about how Gil is: one of the founding members of a familiar group, he’s scrappy, weird, and an equal mixture of a goofball and a “leather-wearing cool guy” in the show. Nicholas also talks about the influence that the Pink Ladies have created and how it affected another familiar group, and it’s one that you’ll recognize if you have watched Grease. If you’re eager to hear more about Nicholas’ input, be sure to watch the interview below!
Thank you, Nicholas, for spending some time with us! You can follow him on his Instagram @njmcdonough. Please also watch the interview below, where we ask Nicholas even more questions about his time on the show, his character Gil, and a few other things about the show. While you’re there, be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to our channel for the latest news in young entertainment!