Growing up, Perez Hilton was always an Uncle Jesse fan. But now that he’s older and has two children of his own, he can’t wait to invoke his inner Danny Tanner while singing his heart out for Toronto crowds at the premiere of Full House The Musical!
“I’m more like Danny Tanner than Bob Saget, I’m a huge family guy,” Hilton tells The Loop. “I have two children of my own and they’re my everything. I learned so much from them already and I’m trying to teach them and make them and help them be the best people they can.”
When the celebrity blogger announced he was tackling the role in the show, which moves to New York in mid-September, he took many of his fans by surprise. Sure, the personality had made some cameo appearances in things like Glee and Sharknado 2, but he’s better-known for his doodles than his acting skills.
The 37-year-old has an acting degree from NYU — who knew? — and has been working with the same vocal coach as Neil Patrick Harris. When he saw the announcement for Full House the Musical!, he campaigned for the role.
“One of the creators asked if I was serious and I said, ‘Yes, very serious. I’ll even play Mary Kate and Ashley.’ “And then we set up a meeting and ahead of our meeting I sent them some videos of me singing so they knew that I could,” he recalls. “We talked about my acting background and it was a really great meeting. I didn’t even have to audition and they offered me the part. It was almost too easy and too good to be true.”
The parody play is in the same vein as the Saved by the Bell parody, Bayside the Musical! and Showgirls the Musical!. That means it will combine iconic moments from Full House — such as D.J. trying to lose weight — with derived-from-real-life moments, like Stephanie becoming addicted to meth. (Jodie Sweetin, who played the character in the series, battled addiction in the spotlight following the role.)
According to Hilton, the entire thing is all just in good fun and he’s definitely not doing it for the money. If anything, it was the perfect role for him because he could keep doing his day job, and then go out and play at night. Also, it was a chance for him to further his own Dad speeches.
“Oh, I already have Dad speeches. It really is all about being present and honest with your children,” he reveals. “Earlier this year I was battling anxiety and it was something very new for me and unfamiliar, I’d never had anxiety before. And I’m not telling my two-year-old that I was having anxiety, but once I got out of that hole, I started to tell my son that OK, every morning we need to smile and be grateful for all of the things that we have in our life and be really appreciative. Our mornings always start with a lot of laughing and songs and games.”
The play is just the latest in a Full House revival that seems to be going on. There’s the sequel, Fuller House, which is currently filming, and of course there’s also the upcoming Unauthorized Full House Story which looks so bad we’re most definitely going to have to watch.
As for what kind of image treatment Hilton would give himself on his site, if he could doodle himself as Danny Tanner?
“I’d probably just draw lots of hearts because when I think of him I think of a heart and I think of a very loving parent,” Hilton says. “It was something that I enjoyed growing up watching, all the love they had for each other. Maybe it wasn’t the most realistic representation of a family, because you can’t solve every problem in life quickly and by the end of 30 minutes with some speech, but it was great escapism.”
Full House the Musical! opens in Toronto on Aug. 18.