Zoolander's Nathan Lee Graham Gives Show-Score Fans a Peek Inside His Life and The View UpStairs

Show-Score | By Steve Schonberg | Mar 21, 2017

The performer, known for "Absolutely Fabulous," "Zoolander" and "The Comeback" talks about taking on "Willie" in Off-Broadway's "The View UpStairs," and gives Show-Score fans a look inside his life out of the limelight. 

TV/film and stage performer, Nathan Lee Graham currently co-stars in the new ensemble-driven musical, "The View UpStairs" at the Lynn Redgrave Theater. The show is based on real-life events that happened at the  "UpStairs Lounge," a New Orleans gay bar that was the focal point of a horrendous hate crime in 1973.
"The View UpStairs" tells its story in a semi-immersive theater setting with a creative flashback. It connects past history with the present and places a modern day character inside the UpStairs Lounge during its final days. It's a scene full of vibrant characters, with Graham as a sassy former dancer named "Willie," joined by Taylor Frey ("How to Succeed...," "South Pacific"), Frenchie Davis ("Rent," "The Voice") and Michael Longoria ("Jersey Boys," "Hairspray"), among others. 

Graham is giving a master performance in "The View UpStairs" that's not to be missed. Recently, he also gave Show-Score a view inside his life, career, and commitment to this important story of friendship, acceptance, community and the ongoing battle against hatred.

Check out the interview and some of Graham's personal photos, below! 

Nathan Lee Graham in "The View UpStairs" / Photo credit: Kurt Sneddon

1) What do you want audiences to take away from "The View UpStairs"? Is it particularly poignant at this point in time and our history?

NLG: "The View UpStairs" is so important right now! The show is about the power of love and community. I don't think anyone can deny that's just what we need right now more than ever!

Nathan Lee Graham in costume backstage at "The View UpStairs"

2) How did you get involved with the project?

NLG: Well, this is a very simple question to answer. Max Vernon, our brilliant creator, wrote the part of Willie for me! I'm very honored and over the moon to say the very least.

Nathan Lee Graham and Max Vernon with legendary female impersonator, Tony Award nominee Charles Busch

3) The music is fantastic. What do you think of the score and what should fans expect?

NLG: Max has done something with this score that is very rare. He has made it sound like a modern classic. Songs that sound familiar but that are completely new. Needless to say, the songs are plot driven and move the story forward. And yet, they songs can also stand alone. Brilliant!

Nathan Lee Graham being silly at a recent rehearsal  

4) We LOVED seeing you in "Absolutely Fabulous.” What was it like being a part of such a celebrated show? Do you keep in touch with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley? 

NLG: Just imagine watching "I Love Lucy" and then getting the opportunity to be a part of it! I mean just incredible! And the ladies are so wonderfully collaborative and, of course, absolute gems. Now obviously, they're in London and I'm in NYC but whenever the opportunity arises, we will connect!

Nathan Lee Graham with the "Absolutely Fabulous" Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders

5) You seem so fabulous off-screen as well! What is your life like off-screen/off-stage and out of the limelight? Any favorite activities?

NLG: Well, I certainly hate to ruin anyone's preconceived notion of one's demeanor but I'm pretty boring, LOL. And there's a reason for that. When your life's full of events, red carpets, opening nights, premieres and dress up...one needs a break. So I love to walk in Central Park, have tea and get my queue down on the DVR. I also love going to the movies alone in the morning...the only opinion I want is my own, haha!

6) Ok, dish! You're so put together and always look so radiant. Got any personal care/beauty secrets you're willing to share?

NLG: Okay first and foremost I have excellent genes...so thank you gene pool! I also do take care of myself with the gym and my diet, nothing fancy, just the basics. My secret is consistency. Also, I've never had a cigarette and I drink tea (all kinds) without fail, daily.

Love Nathan as much as we do? Tell us all about it in the comments below!