Get to Know Spring Breakout Will Harrison
One way to stay grounded during the craze that comes with being on a hit breakout show? Appearing onstage every night in a Lincoln Center production. Will Harrison is one of spring’s busiest new stars, appearing both in “Daisy Jones and the Six” and in “The Coast Starlight” at Lincoln Center.
“It’s certainly an interesting thing to juggle,” Harrison says of the mix. “But also, I’ve been really grateful that I’ve had this play to focus on during the time when all this new stuff is happening with ‘Daisy’ and doing talk shows and doing interviews with my cast. It’s all very exciting, but also really nice to be able to keep my head down a little bit and focus on performing every night, because I have to conserve my energy for that.”
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Harrison plays Graham Dunne in “Daisy Jones,” which became a success on Amazon thanks to the many diehard fans the book has.
“It’s been really wonderful to know that a lot of fans of the book are really loving it. Because there’s a certain amount of pressure when you’re making a story that already lives in people’s heads,” Harrison says. “And yeah, just to see the reception and to have people finally enjoy this music that I’ve had in my head for nearly three years now is just so satisfying.”
Harrison played music growing up, though it was more out of requirement through the school orchestra than a genuine passion.
“I definitely resisted my formal music training in those areas. But my dad’s a fantastic guitar player. He played guitar since he was about 19 years old, or even younger. So it was always around,” he says. “Classic Rock was super big for me. Springfield’s Classic Rock 101 was always on and we listened to a lot of that stuff growing up.”
His interest in acting developed as he watched his sister start to pursue it and he saw that it was possible. He told his mom his plan was to move to New York after high school and become an actor.
“She said, ‘Well, I’m all about you becoming an actor, but let’s try to get you into a drama school first and see how that goes.’”
“Daisy” was one of his very first auditions out of drama school at Carnegie Mellon. A friend of his was internering with the casting office that was booking the show and, knowing that Harrison could play guitar and “act half decently” (Harrison’s words), he reached out to him and suggested he look into the part.
“I had to go back for another month and a half and finish up my classes and graduate,” he says of landing the job.
The project then was put on hold for a year, but Harrison kept on his manager about the role and eventually it came back around.
“The biggest thing was the music,” he says of what drew him to it. “I’ve definitely encountered a lot of musical auditions and stuff like that for musical theater, which is something that I certainly am interested in doing. But specifically working on guitar [on this] was really interesting to me because I’ve played guitar for a long time, but I’ve never had any sort of formal training in it. So to have that as a bonus to this project was really cool.”
As for what lies ahead? The way Harrison sees it, the world is his oyster.
“Everything is on the table. I’m certainly not ruling anything out. I would love to work more in film as I now have a couple of TV projects and this play under my belt. I’d really like to work on really any type of film,” he says. “I’m not discounting anything that comes across the email, and I’m just looking to the next project that is inspiring and exciting.”
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