Billboard on Broadway Podcast: Ramin Karimloo on Playing Iconic Roles in 'Phantom' & 'Les Miserables'
publish date: 2017-07-25
Few actors have the vocal and acting chops -- and the pure stamina -- to play Jean Valjean in Les Miserables or the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, let alone both of those landmark leading-man roles. But Ramin Karimloo has played both roles (and then some, in both musicals), a feat that's established him as one of the pre-eminent leading men of his generation. But Karimloo has a musical life away from the Broadway stage as well, playing bluegrass-inflected tunes with his band, and in advance of two recent shows at B.B. King's in New York, he stopped by the on Broadway Podcast to chat about his unique career path.
"To this day, I haven’t seen Wizard of Oz or Sound of Music," Karimloo says of his upbringing in an Iranian family in Canada, where he came to musical theater relatively late. "It wasn’t part of my family DNA." It was on a school trip to see Phantom, starring Broadway legend Colm Wilkinson, that he began to think of musical theater as something he could related to. "He's got such a soulful voice," Karimloo recalls of hearing Wilkinson sing. "It was really a sound of his own. His voice was able to suck your emotion right out of your body. And the part was so cool."