Attention theatre/fashion people! The Prom comes out on Netflix today with Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and James Corden in leading roles alongside a cast of talented newcomers such as Nico Greetham, who plays a high school bully in Ryan Murphy’s flick based on the Broadway show. (MINI REVIEW: It’s soooooo good!) Greetham, the polar opposite of his jerky character, tells The Daily how he stayed cool on set working alongside MERYL (!!), why The Prom is an important film to watch, and what’s ahead.
How did this part come to you?
I remember getting the audition and being over the moon about it because of Ryan Murphy’s universe and everything he’s built in the last decade. I’m so obsessed with American Horror Story and I loved Glee. We actually started rewatching Glee in my household. So I saw that it was his project, and I saw that it was a Broadway show that I hadn’t seen before. But I had listened to the album and I just fell in love with the music. And to be able to dance, sing, and act all in one was just this big old journey and checklist. I was just so thrilled about the audition. It’s a dream!
Was it a long audition process or was it pretty easy?
You know, it was pretty long. We did our first initial audition in August of 2019, and then the callback was early October. And then we didn’t find out for another month. We found out on Halloween that we booked it. Yeah, it was pretty drawn out, but it wasn’t grueling in any capacity. It was fun. We all got there and we were singing and dancing, and, you know, that’s never really too upsetting to do!
Tell us about Nick. He’s a bad boy.
I really enjoyed playing Nick and discovering his mentality. You know, characters when their moral compass is just so the opposite of mine. I’m so drawn to and excited to research what would validate those thoughts. I grew up in Virginia, which is pretty split between conservatives and liberals. The conservative ideals I knew, and I had grown up around. It’s definitely not me, but I understand where he’s coming from. And just having to validate him kind of being not the nicest guy was super fun and was super fun to play.
The “Love Thy Neighbor” scene is one of the best numbers and a turning point for your character. Where did you shoot that scene and how long did it take?
I love “Love Thy Neighbor.” Andrew Rannells is just about the greatest, greatest guy to walk the earth. He was so kind and so welcoming to us. That was the first thing that we shot. And when I saw ‘We,’ I’m clumping me and, you know, the group of bad kids. It was the first thing that we shot and “Love Thy Neighbor” took, I want to say, four days of filming total, with the big dance number and then the little cafeteria acting bit at the beginning of it. We filmed it all in Northridge, California.
I figured it was a real mall. It looked like one.
Yeah, it totally was. There were real shoppers who would just watch and they would clap at the end of our numbers. It was super sweet. It felt like we were on Broadway.
I can’t believe they had the mall open when you were filming. The cast in this production is so crazy good. Were you intimidated by Meryl Streep or Nicole Kidman or any of the actors?
I don’t think ‘intimated’ is the right word. I don’t usually get starstruck with anybody. Of course, Meryl and Nicole are the people to get starstruck by. But they were so kind, humble, grounded, and so human that, when we first met them in the dance rehearsals back in November  before filming, they all made it a point to walk up to every single one of us and introduce themselves. They were so, so gentle. To see them in real life, you’re like, ‘Wow! They look even better.’ They were so nice that it was so disarming from the beginning. They would stay at some rehearsals to watch our group in dances that they weren’t a part of. They would sit in the front of the monitors while we were performing, and they would cheer for us. They were so sweet.
You sit there with all those cast chairs and you see all those names next to yours and you’re like, ‘What!? Someone needs to pinch me constantly.’
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Why do you think The Prom (which focuses on two teenage lesbians who want to go to the prom together in Indiana) is an important film for people to see?
Oh my gosh. This message is so, so important, and I really believe that. Even if it gets to one person─even if it opens the eyes of one parent, or one friend, or one person who doesn’t necessarily understand their children or friends or peers, and allows them to take a step back and realize that it’s all OK to love. The world is moving this way anyway, so just get on board because you’re going to be left behind. We’re moving into such a beautiful ideal of inclusivity and I’m just so excited that this movie sends that message in such a beautiful, fun, exciting way that I think will get to people.
Tell me about your background. I know you were on So You Think You Can Dance at 18, which is super young. What was that experience like at that age?
That was a dream come true. That was what I worked my whole life for. I’d always wanted to be an actor from an early age, but, living in Virginia, I saw it as ‘I’ll pursue it once I move to Los Angeles.’ Dance kind of fell in my lap because my older sister danced, and so I just kind of followed in her footsteps. I took it really seriously and then, when I watched So You Think You Can Dance, I remember being like, ‘That is what I’m doing this for. This is what I want to do. It kind of mixes my dream of being on TV, I can do it for dance.’ And then it happened. You have to be 18-years-old to audition, and I had just turned 18 two days before my audition. I did it and it all pushed forward, and it was fun because every day was a dream. I was not in it to win it by any means. In fact, none of my cast of Season 10 were. We were all just super grateful to be there every day. It was a healthy environment, but it was hard, man. It was very physically and mentally taxing. You know, I feel like I aged five years doing it! But I wouldn’t trade it for a thing. Without it, I don’t know where I would be, truthfully.
And then you did Newsies on Broadway. Did you open Newsies or were you a replacement?
[Laughs] I closed Newsies. I was doing it and then it closed! I only did it for about five months until it closed. That also was an experience that was not on my radar by any means and it fell into my lap in the most glorious way. It changed my life forever, and that experience is so, so big in my heart. I’m in New York right now, I just got in today, and it’s so exciting to me to be here because after that experience it completely opened my eyes to this entirely different world. I didn’t know anything about musical theatre and then that happened, so it was a blessing.
You were also the Yellow Power Ranger in Power Rangers! Do you have a lot of young fans coming up to you all the time?
Sometimes. I’ll go to Disneyland and there will be very cute families of boys and girls who will be super shy to come up to me. But that fanbase is special to me because they are all such big fans. Even the older people who have been fans since the OG days, they’re all such big fans. It’s a very loving community. And the little kids, they think you really are this superhero and they’re like, ‘Where are your morpher and your sword?’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, I left it at home!’ It’s just so sweet.
How have you stayed sane this year?
Oh, man. Sanity, what is that? You know, when it all first started, I was with my roommate. So, when it started, everyone thought it was just a two-week ordeal. So my roommate and I decided we would take a photo every day, just to log every day of quarantine, whatever that meant back then. And, of course, quarantine kept getting pushed back and back, and so we kept taking pictures every day but they got more and more elaborate. It became this production and we had people on Instagram giving us suggestions and costume ideas. We did Tiger King when that was a thing and Schitt’s Creek. We did Disney. There’s an Instagram profile now on it, it’s called @dailyquarantinepics and we did it for 80 full days. Then, all the protests were happening and it felt inappropriate to continue doing that. But yeah, even just doing something so silly and consistent every day! We would plan our days around our photo. It was just a little lighthearted way to pass the time.
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Are you into fashion at all? What designers do you wear?
I am pretty detached from the whole fashion world. I don’t know if my eye is one to be trusted when it comes to fashion! I’m just now learning with my PR team at Slate. I trust them and what they suggest and the stylists that choose my shoes and stuff. I’ve had some really cool suits and, you know, I wore Balenciaga. I don’t even know what that means, but it’s cool and it’s fun to learn this whole new world that I have just never been in. And it’s not even a disinterest, it’s simply just that I am so unaware of how deep it goes. So, unfortunately I don’t have cool names to drop. I see Tom Ford posters and I’m like, ‘That would be cool to do!’
I like that answer so much better than if you had listed 85 designers that you love!
I couldn’t even begin to list three!
That’s refreshing! Do you have anything else in the works coming out this year?
Yeah, this year I had three independent films that had their premieres, which is really exciting. I think that the distribution deals are being settled as we speak. So, look out for those films. They are really dear to me and I really love the films and I believe in them so much. I’m excited for those to come out. One is called Dramarama, and it’s a very sweet LGBTQ story. Another one is called Dinner in America, which premiered at Sundance this past year. It’s like this punk rock, badass movie. It’s cool, it’s fun, it’s crazy and wild, and I’m very grateful. You know, this year has been very strange, but I had a good year nonetheless and I’m very grateful for that.
Congratulations again on The Prom. I loved it. You’re a lot nicer than your character!
Yeah, Nick’s kind of an asshole. Thank you so much!