Just when you thought Times Square couldn’t possibly squeeze in one more pimply prepubescent pop-music fanatic, what with all of them worshiping in front of MTV’s studios, ‘N Sync’s Joey Fatone goes and lands himself a gig a few blocks away. The Brooklyn native makes his Broadway debut this week in Rent, as wannabe filmmaker Mark. “It’s grueling,” Fatone says. “I’m going to be doing eight shows a week. But it’s been interesting, singing these high notes and all that shit.”
Rent is a modern retelling of La Bohème. Have you ever seen La Bohème?
I have not. I know very little about it.
So how much rent are you paying while you’re in town?
A lot. Regardless of what it is or who it is, it’s a lot.
People assume that because you’re in ‘N Sync, you were just handed the role. Were you?
No. First I auditioned for Roger’s part. I told them it was too high for my range, and they were like, “No big deal, let’s just do it.” So I sang for them, and then they said, “Can you audition for Mark?”
Mamma Mia! is inspired by Abba. Will there be an ‘N Sync musical someday?
Maybe. But it won’t be called Bye Bye Bye.
Do you want to join Lance Bass in space?
Airplanes are the only thing that will take me off the ground. I’m not into it when you start leaving the stratosphere.
Are all your cousins in Brooklyn coming to see you in Rent?
My mother said, “Your aunt and your uncle are coming, and they have 34 people with them,” and I’m like, “Great.”
You’re paying, right?
Hell no. They’re paying for it. I don’t comp nothin’.