REAL TALK: "I want to test out as many roles as I can and exercise my acting chops," says Johnson, 31.
HAVING just wrapped the Suzanne Beadle dramedy Yours, Truly and now in rehearsals for Father HoLung’s mega-musical Isaiah (opening in September), actor Stephen-Rhae Johnson is busy expanding his body of work and building more ‘muscle.’ TALLAWAH catches up with the superfit leading man.
TALLAWAH: In Yours, Truly, your character Dylan runs a home-based company with his cousin. How does one makes such a business partnership work? What’s the key?
SRJ: You must have mutual trust and be a man or woman of your word. And having a shared goal ensures that you are on the same wavelength.
TALLAWAH: What about in a marriage?
SRJ: You definitely have to be on the same page and have one overall goal so that it doesn’t become a case of you’re going North and she’s going South. I think it’s also important that you learn how to speak, how to communicate with each other, so that nothing gets misconstrued. You want to speak in love.
TALLAWAH: Why does it seem that you have more playing a roguish character like Dylan?
SRJ: I wouldn’t say it’s more fun, but as an actor I want to be exercising my muscles. You don’t want to end up with a big chest and small legs (Laughs). I want to test out as many roles as I can and exercise my acting chops. This role was definitely fun.
TALLAWAH: What would you say has been the single greatest achievement of your life so far?
SRJ: That would be giving my life to Christ. I was just 12 when it happened. But that decision opened a lot of doors for me, because it led me to theatre, for one thing. But it’s also been a confusing slash rewarding decision because there are certain roles I’ve had to turn down.
TALLAWAH: Wow. So if you could change one thing about your past, what would that be?
SRJ: Not learning a foreign language, because I’d love to do theatre in other cultures, like French and Spanish. I stopped doing Spanish in third form, and that’s been my biggest regret. It wasn’t mandatory after third form at Wolmer’s, which is something I think they should change.
>> Review: Yours, Truly tackles trust issues