Maxwell Caulfield on his media mogul role in Singing in the Rain
Updated 10:30am Thursday 10th July 2014 in Theatre By Alexandra Womack, senior reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury
FROM a debonair English student who wooed Michelle Pfeiffer to a bigamist in Emmerdale, Maxwell Caulfield knows a thing or two about winning over an audience.
But his latest role as a ‘cigar-chomping’ movie boss in the musical version of iconic 1952 film Singing in the Rain is far more fun, says the long-time theatre actor who is looking forward to performing in Bristol later this month.
Speaking to the Gazette, Maxwell said his character, RF Simpson, is portrayed as unassailable in the film.
“That is not my style,” said the actor, who won fame as clean cut T-Bird wannabe Michael Carrington in cult teen film Grease 2. “I have made him more of a cigar-chomping mogul.
“He is a fun character and the whole show has the right balance of humour, romance and music.
“I get to kickstart the second half, then I swan around with a lot of pretty chorus girls and come out for the big finale.
“I have not been in a show that has received such rapturous applause. It is a splendid adaptation which follows the film closely but goes a level higher.”
Maxwell, who was born in Derbyshire but lives in America with wife Juliet Mills, daughter of the late actor Sir John Mills, said the stage brings the infamous story of Don Lockwood and Kathy Selden (played unforgettably on screen by Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds) to life.
“When you have an all-singing, all-dancing ensemble, there is that collective energy that hopefully creates a different world,” he said.
“And then there is the live band, you can’t underestimate that, and even though there is only 10 of them it sounds like 20 and although we are only a cast of 30 but we look like 60.”
The show, which with Singin’ in the Rain and Good Morning includes some of the most loved dance routines of all time, features 12,000 litres of water with two downpours in every performance.
“Everybody gets wet,” Maxwell added. “We are in Milton Keynes at the moment and are issuing plastic macs to the audience.
“It makes people giddy but it is a joyous experience.
“We are a happy company and that translates on stage. A lot of people have said how much fun the actors seems to be having on stage.”
For Maxwell, the tour’s two-week stop at the Bristol Hippodrome will be a welcome return to the city he knows well.
“I spent one-and-a-half years in Bristol filming Casualty,” he said. “It is almost like a homecoming for me and I came to watch a production of Whistle Down the Wind with my wife in 2003.
“We love playing the big old theatres and I am really looking forward to it.”
Singing in the Rain starring Maxwell Caulfield comes to the Bristol Hippodrome from July 22 to August 9.