NSYNC Member On Broadway

Joey Fatone
CBS
Joey Fatone achieved international stardom as one of the members of the pop superstar group, NSYNC.

But this summer, while the group is on hiatus, Fatone, 25, is trying his hand at Broadway, debuting in Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winning musical, "Rent."

Fatone dedicated much of this year to his acting career. Along with his role in "Rent," he appears in several movies including "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and in the upcoming, "The Bros." He's starred in last years "On The Line," and he's in an upcoming movie called, "The Cooler."

Fatone made his Broadway debut on Aug.5, 2002, when he stepped into the lead role of Mark, a struggling filmmaker who represents the collective moral conscience among an eclectic group of 20-somethings living in Manhattan's East Village.

For NSYNC fans, "Rent" may be a far departure from the boy-band's arena concerts.

"This is obviously a little different because there's characters involved. There's acting involved. It's not NSYNC performing," said Fatone. "Here, it's like you're laughing and crying with the people on stage. I think it's going to open a lot of people's eyes up, as far as the generation that listens to our music."

Fatone first auditioned for another role in "Rent" (Roger) but found that the vocal range required was too high.

"That was a bit humbling, but they had this other part open, so I auditioned for Mark," Fatone said. He admits that taking on such a large role is somewhat intimidating, "but I'm looking forward to bringing my own interpretation to the character."

Fatone is from Brooklyn, N.Y., and says he's seen "Rent" three times in the six years it's been running on Broadway.

"It's just that it inspired me," said Fatone. "It's not your typical musical. It's more of a rock kind of thing. It's based on a Lo Bohem, an opera that not many people know about. It has a lot of reality."

According to Fatone the whole cast were supportive and helpful and he believes his role is important in setting the tone of the musical.

"It's very different. There's no really big musical opening number," said Fatone. "I start out, walk right out. I'm the first person that says a line. I'm the first person that sets the scene for them ,so it's like in my mind, 'don't screw up.' Let them know what the story's about, and what journey we're gonna take you guys on."

How does his character compare with the real Joey Fatone? "He's very sheltered, always on the outside looking in, which is totally different from me. And his girlfriend left him for another woman. Fortunately that's never happened to me."

Fatone is scheduled to be on stage eight times a week through Dec. 22, 2002, with one night off a week.

According to Fatone, NSYNC is taking a small break but, according to their publicist, they're still "as strong a group as ever." Fatone says he has started to write and will probably work on a new NSYNC album to come out in the middle of next year.

Other members of NSYNC have been busy as well. Justin Timberlake is planning a solo album and Lance Bass is at the Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia, preparing to make a trip into space.