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5 minutes with a Tony nominee: ‘Merrily We Roll Along’’s Jonathan Groff, Lindsay Mendez and Daniel Radcliffe

The trio of stars from the hit revival shares what drew them to their characters, imparts wisdom from director Maria Friedman and more.

(L-R) Daniel Radcliffe, Lindsay Mendez, and Jonathan Groff attend the 77th Annual Tony Awards Meet the Nominees Press Event at Sofitel New York on May 02, 2024, in New York City. (Credit: Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

When it comes to “Merrily We Roll Along,” stars Jonathan Groff, Lindsay Mendez and Daniel Radcliffe are somehow new friends and old ones. Though Groff and Mendez were friendly before taking on the roles of Franklin and Mary, their bond wasn’t nearly as tight as it is now, and neither really knew Radcliffe. But the way the three actors speak of one another and their little group now, there is a well of love that typically takes years if not decades to fill. Decades or a Broadway show — it turns out.

The intimacy that’s demanded of the three actors turned them into old friends, fast. As composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim famously wrote of old friends in “Merrily”: “One day comes / And they're a part of your lives.”

Groff made his Broadway debut as a swing in the 2005 musical “In My Life.” A year later, he stepped into the role that catapulted him into the theatrical forefront and earned him his first Tony nomination: Melchior Gabor in 2006’s “Spring Awakening.” He originated King George III in Broadway’s “Hamilton,” garnering another Tony nod. “Merrily” marks Groff’s fourth Broadway show and third nomination. 

Mendez first bowed on the Main Stem in 2007’s “Grease.” She steadily worked on Broadway in shows like “Everyday Rapture,” “Godspell,” “Wicked” and “Significant Other” before winning a Tony for her turn as Carrie Pipperidge in 2018’s “Carousel.”

As for Radcliffe, the actor known from the Harry Potter films has done a mix of plays and musicals on Broadway. Making his Broadway debut in the drama “Equus,” Radcliffe then played J. Pierrepont Finch in the 2011 revival of the musical comedy “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” He swung back to plays with “The Cripple of Inishman” and “The Lifespan of a Fact,” but returned for the Sondheim-Furth musical “Merrily.”   

Here, the three offer tidbits about their “Merrily” experience, including how they came on board, the lessons they’ve learned and their inseparable friendship.

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