Dancing With the Stars winner Jordan Fisher is one of the stars of FOX's Rent: Live special Sunday night, playing the role of Mark Cohen in the seminal Broadway musical. Fisher discussed the importance of the role in a preview he shared on Instagram early Sunday.
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"Mark, he is kind of the caretaker of the group," Fisher said. "He is the glue that tries his best to keep everybody together as much as possible. He needs that. He loves his people and I'm naturally that way as well. I love the people that I love and I love to keep them around me. So much of the show is based on community and friendship and looking out for one another. We are all in a place now where we're doing that naturally because we all love each other."
Fisher continued, "The connection with anybody you're sharing a stage with is the breath and the pulse of the material. It's vital for the piece and our own humanity as well, which is something that is challenged in this show. We're immersed in this thing and it's going to be really special for everybody that's going to be in this space that day, as well as people at home."
Mark was originally played by Anthony Rapp during the show's first Broadway production in 1996, and reprised the role in the 2005 movie.
The rest of the cast features Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson, Mario as Benjamin Coffin III, Kiersey Clemons as Joanne Jefferson, Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins, Tinashe as Mimi Marquez, Brennin Hunt as Roger Davis and Valentina as Angel Durmott Schunard.
Rent was written by Jonathan Larson, and centers on a group of young artists living in Manhattan's East Village during the outbreak of HIV/AIDS. The original production ran 12 years and received four Tony Awards and the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
As for Fisher, he is best known for his roles on Teen Wolf and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. He won Dancing With the Stars Season 25 with Lindsay Arnold, and released an EP in 2016. He appeared on Broadway in Hamilton and played Doody in Fox's Grease: Live.
In an interview with TV Insider, Fisher said playing Mark on Broadway was always his dream.
"Fourteen years ago, I was at a dinner with a mentor of mine, and he said, 'What is a very specific dream that you have in your life? A very specific pipe dream?' I said, 'I want to be the first ethnic Mark Cohen on Broadway,'" the actor recalled. "And here we are. I've never done the show, but I've known it for forever."
Rent: Live airs on FOX at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.
Photo credit: Pamela Littky/FOX