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Actor Spotlight: Jack DiFalco of ‘Marvin’s Room’

Category Starring on Broadway

|by Jeryl Brunner |

Jack DiFalco takes us behind the scenes of ‘Marvin’s Room’ on Broadway

Jack DiFalco makes his Broadway debut as Hank, the troubled and misunderstood teen in The Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Marvin’s Room. Part comedy, part drama, DiFalco  stars alongside Lili Taylor, Janeane Garofalo and Celia Weston in Scott McPherson’s moving play about family and the loyalties we have toward each other – and ourselves. 

Jack DiFalco and Janeane Garofalo in 'Marvin’s Room' (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Jack DiFalco and Janeane Garofalo in 'Marvin’s Room' (Photo: Joan Marcus)

What do you love about doing Marvin’s Room
Jack DiFalco:
I read the play in high school and thought, this is brilliant. It’s one of those scripts you can’t put down. I was doing a play at MCC called Yen and remember getting the audition.  I also loved the movie. The different characters, storyline and concept blew my mind. 

How did you react when you learned you were cast as Hank? 
I cried. I got the call an hour after my final audition. I was walking past the theater and burst into tears. Since the 5th grade it has been a dream of mine to be on a Broadway stage, working with Broadway professionals and doing one of the greatest plays. 

Hank is very complex and you make him so lovable.  
One of the things that really drove me to him is his complexity and his relatability, not just to teenagers but to everybody. He is someone who is constantly fighting to be heard. He is eager to learn and figure himself out, but he’s in a situation with a family where that is not available to him. All these events keep impeding his process to grow. The complexity of him fighting to be happy, but also the hopelessness of trying to find a home, is really intriguing. 

What is the joy of working with your stellar cast? 
It is a gift to be able to work with such brilliant minds on a project that is very, very close to me. I learn constantly, every day — about my own character, the storyline and how to portray certain aspects of a personality. Celia is the queen of comedy and drama. Janeane is just a naturally funny and moving person. Lily does everything with her eyes. They are all incredible.

When did you know you had to be an actor? 
My father passed away from cancer and I was constantly looking for somewhere to put all of my emotions and figure myself out through some form of art.  When I was in the 5th grade I found theater. My music teacher introduced me to the musical The Pied Piper and I played the Pied Piper. It opened up a new world to me, a whole new aspect of being able to find myself.

When I stepped on stage as the Pied Piper I knew from that moment on what I wanted to do with my life. I felt a mixture of feeling absolutely terrified and completely free. It was a very emotional place for me, but it was also a gift to be able to step into somebody else’s shoes and figure out a world that had passed through somebody else’s eyes. It changed my life so incredibly and was a gift.

What is your ideal day off? 
I love to sleep. Sleeping and bingeing on House of Cards are my two favorite things in the world. Turning off my phone and doing nothing is my ideal "me" day. And I love to go upstate and chill by a pool or just to be out of the circle. It’s nice to have the chance to reset. 

If someone asked you, why should I see Marvin’s Room, what would you say? 
It’s a dark story which is matched very well with a comedic balance. You learn a lot and laugh a lot at the same time. You get introduced to a world that a lot of people deal with or have no idea about it. The show helps you sympathize with many different people in a lot of age groups. We have basically every age group in the entire show. So there is somebody for everybody to relate to. 

How has doing Marvin’s Room changed you? 
I have grown so much as a person and actor doing this play. To watch these beautiful women put on these incomparable performances every night is profound. And to step into the shoes of someone who is so troubled and lost is very humbling. It teaches you to be grateful for what you have every day. 

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