Matthew Morrison channels inner ‘Grinch’ for NBC special

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Matthew Morrison’s impressive theatrical resume didn’t quite prepare him for his funky wardrobe in “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!”

“It’s definitely the weirdest outfit I’ve ever worn,” says Morrison, 42, who plays the titular role in NBC’s telecast, airing Dec. 9 from 8 to 10 p.m. “At one point I turned to [co-star] Booboo [Stewart] and said, ‘This is probably the closest we’re ever going to get to working at a theme park.’

“But, in a lot of ways, the Grinch is not comfortable in his own skin — so that helped.”

NBC’s version of the iconic Dr. Seuss book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” was filmed over two days at the Troubadour Theatre in northwest London (Wembley) — following a month of rehearsals — and utilized supporting talent from London’s renowned West End theatre district. It followed stringent COVID protocols (including testing) so that Morrison et al. could interact on the stage once filming began with a socially distanced camera crew and stagehands.

Matthew Morrison
Matthew Morrison
Getty Images

In addition to Morrison and Stewart — who plays the young version of the Grinch’s dog, Max — “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!” also stars Denis O’Hare as the older version of Max and newcomer Amelia Minto as Cindy Lou-Who.


“It follows the book, but the biggest change in this retelling is that Max speaks, so he has a much bigger role,” says Morrison. “Denis, who plays the old Max, is the narrator of the story, harkening beack to when he lived with the Grinch.”

Morrison says it took roughly three-and-a-half hours to don the iconic Grinch makeup and suit.






“I didn’t have to wear it all that much — I was probably in the makeup and suit five times in all,” he says. “In this particular show, the Grinch and his dog are kind of in their own show and everyone else in Who-ville is in their own show [and] there are only a few times where we intermingle.

Booboo Stewart as Young Max and Matthew Morrison as Grinch.
Booboo Stewart as Young Max and Matthew Morrison as Grinch.
David Cotter/NBC

“The most difficult number for me was ‘One of a Kind,’” he says. ” It was challenging to dance in that big suit and to find the body language of the Grinch, who doesn’t walk upright but slouches, since he’s more curmudgeonly.”

Morrison, who memorably played Will Scheuster in Fox’s musical dramedy series “Glee,” says that filming the NBC telecast in a real theater, as opposed to a soundstage, further enhanced the experience.


Francesca Mills as Who 2, Matthew Morrison as Grinch and Booboo Stewart as Young Max.
Francesca Mills as Who 2, Matthew Morrison as Grinch and Booboo Stewart as Young Max.
David Cotter/NBC

“I’ve done a lot of live theater — the energy of a live performance can’t be beat, and I feel like we really had that here,” he says. “It was a bit counter-intuitive to what I love about rehearsing theatrical productions, since we were all wearing masks and were six feet apart and the moment when I hug little Cindy Lou-Who I couldn’t actually hug her. It was the strangest rehearsal process.

“But once the masks came off and we did our final COVID tests and could be in the same sandbox it was beautiful, because I didn’t get to see everyone’s facial expressions [in rehearsals] so I was seeing them for the first time — and, in that sense, it felt very live.”

Booboo Stewart as Young Max, Matthew Morrison as Grinch and Denis O'Hare as Old Max.
Booboo Stewart as Young Max, Matthew Morrison as Grinch and Denis O’Hare as Old Max.
David Cotter/NBC

And, Morrison says, there was another aspect to his accepting the role of the Grinch.

“One reason I wanted to do this is because I love the theater community so much and it’s hurting right now.” he says. “People have an opportunity to get that live theatrical experience from their homes.


“This is a story about isolation and loneliness — something we’re all going through right now.”

https://nypost.com/2020/12/01/matthew-morrison-channels-inner-grinch-for-nbc-special/