Harvey Morton had the pleasure of chatting to Daniel Bravo, he plays Aaron in ‘Mean Girls The Musical’ at The Savoy Theatre in London. Daniel’s journey from a passionate young performer at The Oxford School Of Drama to a leading actor in one of the West End’s hottest shows is nothing short of inspiring. In this interview, Daniel opens up about his experiences, challenges, and triumphs as a gay actor.

 

Daniel plays Aaron Samuels in ‘Mean Girls The Musical’, a character who is central to the show’s narrative. He shares, “Mean Girls The Musical is based on the iconic 2004 film written by Tina Fey. It’s kind of an updated version. So rather than being set in the early noughties, it’s now set today. So these teenagers exist in the world with mobile phones, social media, but it still has the same story of a girl called Cady who moves from Kenya to the US and has to navigate her way through the high school system and hierarchies.”

He continues, “my character is the kind of love interest. Aaron Samuels is like the nice guy that she falls in love with. But he is the ex of Regina George, who is like the head plastic. And, you know, he kind of gets caught in between the two of them being manipulated by Regina but still kind of falling in love with Cady in the process.”

 

 

 

Daniel plays Aaron Samuels in 'Mean Girls The Musical'.

Daniel Bravo as Aaron Summers in ‘Mean Girls The Musical’ at the Savoy Theatre

Reflecting on his casting experience, Daniel describes it as surreal. “I was in tech rehearsals for ‘Cruel Intentions’, which was the last show I was in. It was kind of January time, I think. So I was so, like, within that process of rehearsing for that show that I almost didn’t have the capacity to even process the offer. I was like, what? I had to step outside, take the call from my agent, and then go straight back on stage and do rehearsals.”

Daniel’s previous role in ‘Cruel Intentions’ at The Other Palace Theatre was a significant learning experience. He admits, “It was a huge learning curve for me because I’d never done a musical before. I trained in kind of straight acting at drama school. And although I’ve always loved to sing, I’m not like a musical theatre trained actor. So getting this job was so exciting, but also incredibly daunting.”

He further elaborates on the challenges and growth during ‘Cruel Intentions’: “It was a huge learning experience just in terms of vocal health, how to stay healthy singing eight shows a week. And I suppose storytelling through song, it’s not an easy thing to marry up acting and singing.”

Daniel Bravo in 'Cruel Intentions' at The Other Palace Theatre

Daniel Bravo in ‘Cruel Intentions’ at The Other Palace Theatre

Daniel’s passion for performing began when he was a child. “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to perform in some capacity. Like even when I was five or six years old, I was in front of the telly watching ‘Cats’… I’d dance around my living room. So I almost don’t know if there’s anything that inspired it, but just like it’s always something that I’ve been drawn to.”

Graduating during the pandemic brought unique challenges for Daniel. “I graduated in 2020, so I was fully a pandemic graduate. My full last term, which was meant to be our kind of London season, we all moved down from Oxford to London to do kind of our final productions and showcases”. He recalls the struggle of finding work during this period but remains grateful for the resilience it built in him.

As an openly gay actor, Daniel feels fortunate to be part of an accepting industry. He shares heartfelt advice for others: “I’m an openly gay actor and it’s a lovely industry to be queer. It’s a very accepting industry. People in this industry welcome queer people with open arms, which I love. And I suppose my message is just like, there are people out there who will love and celebrate you no matter what context you’re currently in and how hard it is”.

Daniel Bravo’s story is one of passion, perseverance, and pride. His journey from a young boy dancing in his living room to starring in a major West End production is an inspiring one for aspiring performers everywhere. Tune in to our latest podcast episode to hear more from Daniel about his incredible journey, the challenges he’s overcome, and the wisdom he’s gained along the way.

Mean Girls is at the Savoy Theatre. Book Mean Girls tickets here. Listen to the full interview on Queerly’s Stage and Screen Podcast below: