7 Minutes in Heaven With: Garrett Clayton, Star of “Hairspray Live!”


Garrett Clayton’s all-American good looks have certainly gotten him plenty, but his real success is thanks to his heaping load of talent.

He shot to fame with starring roles on one of Disney Channel’s smash hit franchises, the Teen Beach movies, as well as a coveted turn on ABC/Freeform’s The Fosters. He recently finished a run in L.A. opposite Al Pacino in God Looked Away, which was such a hit it could be headed to Broadway.

In addition to starring in the James Franco produced gay porn industry murder opus, King Cobra, his biggest project to date might just be his role in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, playing the dashing and sweet character of Link Larkin. This guy clearly has it going on, and nothing is stopping him in 2017.

429 recently grabbed a few minutes of Garrett’s time (seven minutes, in fact!) and got some exclusive behind the scenes goods from his latest projects.

429’s Robbie Imes: Tell us about the moment you got the call that you were going to play Link Larkin in Hairspray Live!

Garrett Clayton: I was at “A Chorus Line” at he Hollywood Bowl, and right as the song “Kiss Today Goodbye” came on I got the call. It was very surreal.

429: Were you a John Waters fan before the role? And if you so, what’s your favorite Waters film?

GC: I love Cry Baby!
Editor’s note: SO DO WE!

429: How’d you prepare for the role – tell me something you haven’t told anyone yet.

GC: Aside from watching not only the movies but the original Broadway cast, I created a fleshed out past for Link. Everything from what his parents do to why he stands and moves the way he does.

429: How nerve-wracking was it working on a live, TV-aired musical?

GC: I’ve always loved doing theater and made a point to do it consistently through out my life, so it actually was more exhilarating than anything.


429: Any funny anecdotes or secret tidbits from the taping of Hairspray Live! that you can share?

GC: The amount of sweat under my suits… Haha! I had asked them to cut the sleeves off my suit and just attach the cuffs to the end of the blazers. After our first press day the other guys saw what I did. So, they all asked for the same thing to be done to their clothes! We were working hard so there was a lot of sweat.

429: Who was funnier on set/during rehearsal, Kristin Chenoweth or Harvey Fierstein?

GC: That’s an impossible answer… They’re both pretty amazing and hilarious in their own ways.

429: Working with James Franco on King Cobra – favorite moment?

GC: Filming the scene with the cheese plate. That was improv. I think they were all just seeing if I would break my diet for the movie. Haha!

429: Working with Christian Slater on King Cobra– favorite moment?

GC: Probably in between takes during the cafe scene in the beginning of the movie when Christian started singing “Mama Rose.” It was great!


429: Why’d you choose to work on a film like King Cobra? What drew you to the story or character?

GC: I had been looking for something more mature to do. I’m always after interesting stories with strong characters, and this was definitely one of them.

429: What was the most challenging aspect of your role in King Cobra?

GC: Staying in the mindset of he character was pretty tough. It was a difficult story. I always kept to my mantra: “It’s my job to tell the story, not to judge it.”

Clayton in King Cobra

NBC will rebroadcast the live presentation December 26th from 8-11 PM, and it is now available on iTunes and VOD.


About The Author

Robbie Imes is FourTwoNine's Director of Content and Social Media

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