Baring It All with Call Me Adam Podcast Interview
Season 4: Episode 2
Erik Christopher Peterson
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway
Alakazam! Alakazoo! I get to interview Scorpius Malfoy from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child woo hoo!
Erik Christopher Peterson is currently starring on Broadway in the Tony Award winning play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as Scorpius Malfoy (the son of Harry Potter's fiercest rival, Draco Malfoy).
In this interview Erik is Baring It All to reveal:
- Magic Spells
- Being on Broadway
- Stage Mishaps
- How he guards his energy/time
- So much more
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child plays at the Lyric Theatre in NYC. Click here for tickets!
Erik Christopher Peterson in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway
More on Erik Christopher Peterson:
Erik Christopher Peterson is a NYC based actor/creator with a mission to use storytelling as a catalyst for increasing empathy within his audience, and himself. Currently he can be seen as Scorpius Malfoy in the Broadway Production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Erik holds a BFA in Acting from Webster Conservatory where he studied contemporary acting for the stage and screen, as well as a wide array of classical styles including his personal favorite: Shakespeare.
Erik is also a huge baseball fan: Go Rockies!
Transcription of Interview
Bobby Cronin: Hey everybody, it's Adam, live and in person for you. Hey everybody, it's Adam. Wonder who he'll interview. Call Me Adam dot com
Adam Rothenberg: Alakazam! Alakazoo! I get to interview Scorpius Malfoy from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Woohoo! I am so excited today to talk to Erik Christopher Peterson, who is starring in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, and the show is in the midst of celebrating its 5th anniversary.
In case you don't know me, my name is Adam Rothenberg, and for the past 14 years I have been cooking up the secret sauce to a memorable interview. With over 1500 interviews under my belt, I have been serving this recipe over and over again by pulling back the curtain to reveal the secrets of my guest lives and career.
So without further ado, please welcome Erik Christopher Peterson. Hi, Erik.
Erik Christopher Peterson: Hello. Thank you for having me Adam.
Adam Rothenberg: You're Welcome. Thank you for being here. So, like I just said, the show is celebrating its 5th anniversary on Broadway. What is it like to be part of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?
Erik Christopher Peterson: It's a dream come true in so many ways. I grew up with Harry Potter and I grew up loving the theatre and now I get to combine those two loves professionally, which is amazing. And to get to be around celebrating the 5th anniversary on Broadway has been really special. The fans love the show and the people that come to the show and don't necessarily consider themselves a fan to begin with, walk away a fan and it's really special to to get to hear how people are impacted and how people love going on this adventure with us.
Adam Rothenberg: And you play Scorpius Malfoy for, for everyone who doesn't know. So he is the son of Harry Potter's arch nemesis, who Harry Potter's son befriends in the show.
Erik Christopher Peterson: Yeah, yeah, totally. Yeah, I play Scorpius. He's Draco's son.
Adam Rothenberg: How did you prepare for the role and how do you get into character each night?
Erik Christopher Peterson: Preparation for me really comes back to the script. I, I have read that script over and over and over again, all through the auditions, all through the rehearsal process, and, uh, still is, is we're up and running. I come back to it and, and just looking for the nuggets in, in the, the beautiful words that, Jack Thorne have, have, scripted and exploring, exploring those, those options is what it, what it really comes down to for me is, is finding, finding where the text can take me and, and where my scene partners can take me.
And, and then every night it's, a fun process of warming up and getting into the costume piece by piece and my, my blonde wig that makes my hair even more blonde. And, seeing myself in the mirror as Scorpius just helps to start the, start that transformation.
Adam Rothenberg: The show is three and a half hours in length. So how do you keep your energy up? How do you guard your energy? If friends say, "Hey, let's go out over the weekend or on a day off from the show, how do you guard your energy because you need a certain amount for the show?
Erik Christopher Peterson: Totally. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think it's, it's really about balance because, I, I do have to be really smart and specific about how I use my energy and what kinds of foods I'm eating and making sure I get enough sleep because the show is, is an epic adventure, and it requires it requires a lot of presence and, at the same time, you need to feel like you're living a life and I, I need to go see, I need to go see other plays when I can, because that really fills me up creatively.
But, but, yeah, it comes down to just taking care of yourself and listening to listening to my body.
Adam Rothenberg: And now, when did you come into the show? Cause you didn't, you didn't start with the show five years ago. You came in later in the run.
Erik Christopher Peterson: I had my first performance on November 15th of 2023. So I've been with the show for about six months now in performances.
And then obviously a little bit of rehearsal time before that.
Adam Rothenberg: So what is it like to come into the show here? It's been running for, for five years. And, and, and so at the time you came in, if you came in in November, So that was in the middle of its fourth year. So how, how is it to come into, a cast that's already established? How did you get acclimated?
Erik Christopher Peterson: It was a unique experience because it was not something I'd ever done before. I'd only ever worked with a show where I'd been with it from the beginning and so it was new to me, but it was so easy and the company was so wonderfully welcoming.
And I came in with five other new cast members at the same time, Joel Myers, who is Albus and Imani Jade Powers, who plays Delphi, coming in also. So the three of us kind of got to build, our, our version. And then the, the company, the people from the San Francisco cast and the people from the New York cast that, had already been with the show, really just welcomed us right in and, and folded us into, into the production and, it was, it was really fun and seamless.
Adam Rothenberg: Let's take a quick break and we'll be right back after this word from our sponsors.
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And you mentioned earlier in the interview that there are people who come see the show who are huge fans of Harry Potter and then there are other people who come see the show who maybe never saw the movies or haven't read the books.
So, what does the show offer for that diehard Harry Potter fan and what does the show offer for somebody who's not as familiar with the story?
Erik Christopher Peterson: The show totally offers so much to both of those demographics. I think for the diehard fans, it's this, this world is for you as I'm, as it was for me.
I'm sure it's so vivid in your mind from, from the stories and then from the films. And, to get to immerse yourself in it, in the same room, and it's physically happening in front of you, and these characters are, are breathing the same air as you, I think is, is so special, and it's one of the beautiful pieces about live theatre.
And then for the people that maybe don't know Harry Potter, I think, it is, it's, it's a new story. It has, it has its roots in, the original seven books, but, it is a new story. And, Scorpius and Albus, they, they only pop up in the very epilogue of the last book, which is the jumping off point of our play.
And so I think that, the play totally welcomes you into that magical world, even if you have not experienced it before and, and allows you to go on this new adventure and experience, this incredible magic, in, in the same room as you, uh, I'm on stage with it and it's mind blowing.
Adam Rothenberg: And, and so I know the show does have a lot of special effects with the magic and obviously you can't give away any of the secrets, but what do you feel is like the most mesmerizing moment with the magic and, and how, how do you know, obviously, you know, the behind the scenes because you're in the show, but how is it still, as surprising for you as it is for somebody watching from the audience?
Erik Christopher Peterson: It's hard, it's hard to pinpoint a specific moment because there are so many moments that it's, it's, it's magic. It's totally magic and Scorpius is a real geek about magic. He is such a magic nerd.
He loves it, even though he's grown up around it. Every, every magical thing is just so much fun for him, and it blows his mind, and he loves experiencing it, and I feel the same way. [00:09:00] It's got everything. There are, there are big moments that will blow your mind. And then there are these, these little moments that you have to pay attention to and the attention to detail.
It's, it's like, Whoa, wait, did that just happen?
Adam Rothenberg: And have you had any onstage mishaps or any kind of, you forgot a line or you forgot a prop or something like that that has happened in the time you've been in the show?
Erik Christopher Peterson: Oh, at one point in the show, I wear glasses and I accidentally knocked one of the lenses out of the glasses and I just kind of heard it like skitter off stage.
And then I, and then I only had one, one lens in my glasses. That was kind of a, that was kind of a silly one. And that was, that was only like my second show. I think it hasn't happened again since that one was pretty funny.
Adam Rothenberg: And, I do want to find out if you can do a magic spell for anything, what would you, what would you, who would you put a spell on? Or what would you, what magic would you create yourself?
Erik Christopher Peterson: You know, this question goes back a long ways, Adam. I've, I've been thinking about this since I first read the Harry Potter books as a child. Um, the Accio spell when they, they, and they can make anything, the Accio water bottle and the water bottle flies to them.
I have always thought that that spell was misunderused. I mean, come on, you're sitting on the couch, you're ready to watch some television and you've forgotten to grab the remote? Accio remote. It's, it's so useful. And, I never thought they used it enough, in the books. That's my favorite spell. I wish I could do that one in real life.
Adam Rothenberg: Oh my god, I love it. It takes me back to the days of Bewitched when Samantha was first showing Darren that she was a witch and he would be like, well, what can you do? And he was like, I really would love a cigarette and she whipped up a cigarette or I would love a drink and she whipped up whatever drink he wanted.
So I, yes, I love, I love that it has like a magic trick like that has continued on and, and it comes into its own here in the show. I mean, it's just incredible.
Erik Christopher Peterson: Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes I try it when I'm in private. Accio Chopstick. And it doesn't work. It doesn't work.
Adam Rothenberg: Awww. Maybe one day. You never know. Keep trying.
Erik Christopher Peterson: Yeah, I'll keep trying. I'll keep trying.
Adam Rothenberg: So, my last question for the interview is, For somebody who hasn't seen the show yet, what is one reason you would tell them to come see the show?
Erik Christopher Peterson: I think that live theatre in general is like a transformative experience, and such a beautiful exercise for your empathy muscles.
That, supporting live theatre, first and foremost, is so good for society and so good for the individual. So please go see a show, and I so hope that you will join us at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, because this, this show means the world to me, and I think the adventure it takes you on, is, is truly beautiful.
It's, it's got some incredible laughs, some awe inspiring special effects, and I think it has a lot of heart to it. It's something that I see audience members, children to adults, connecting to deeply every day. And, I would love to share that experience with anyone who wants to come see the show.
Adam Rothenberg: Oh, that's amazing. Well, everybody watching definitely go see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It's at the Lyric Theatre on 42nd Street in Times Square. And the show, like I said at the beginning of the interview, it is celebrating its 5th anniversary, but it has also won, in London it won nine, Olivier Awards, including Best New Play.
And on, for Broadway, it won six Tony Awards, also including Best New Play. And, it also has the distinction of having the the Guinness World Records, as being the highest grossing non musical play in Broadway history. So a lot of [00:13:00] accolades for the show. And everybody has to come see it and you will get to see Erik Christopher Peterson in the show.
And I can't thank you enough for your time today. Thank you so much, Erik.
Erik Christopher Peterson: So lovely to chat, Adam.
Adam Rothenberg: You too. It was great to see you.
Bobby Cronin: He'll get the dirt and the scoop and the story for he happens to be in the know, just ask anybody whose had him, Adam, lives for the business of show. Call Me Adam dot com
- Rachel Jensen, FINN Partners
- Theme Song by Bobby Cronin
- Podcast Logo by Liam O'Donnell
- Edited by Adam Rothenberg