Broadway actress Mallory Bechtel arrived at amNewYork’s midtown office Friday afternoon ready to answer fan questions during her first Reddit Ask Me Anything.
For one hour, the 19-year-old put to paper (well, to social media) her inner thoughts about what it’s been like to go from high school to the Broadway stage in the Tony-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” She connected with fans (a sister duo who previously gifted her with a custom bracelet), revealed details of a recent injury (she’s OK), and divulged her favorite “Evan Hansen” moments.
Mallory has been playing Zoe Murphy in the musical since July 2018, but she first tried out for the role four years ago when she was only 15. Originally from The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, Texas, she moved to New York City one year ago to step in as an understudy in "Evan Hansen" a few weeks after graduating high school.
Mallory stars in the production eight nights a week as Evan’s (Andrew Barth Feldman) crush, and the sister of a teen named Connor whose death launches the plot. But, her experience isn’t limited to the stage. She appeared in the 2018 thriller flick "Hereditary" and had a guest role on NBC’s "Law & Order: SVU."
Here’s what we learned about the Broadway star during our Reddit AMA. Read the full AMA here.
1. Her first-ever role in theater was in “Twinderella.”
She played a trumpeter.
2. She was scouted by a manager on YouTube at age 11.
“I started singing when I was 5, and my mom was cool/smart enough to post videos of me. I have a pretty unique story because I was able to get my manager through my YouTube account, which made it possible for me to audition for things like ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’ Of course, it took a very, very long time for me to finally land a role. I’ve been auditioning for Broadway shows since I was 9. I think my biggest piece of advice, as cliché as it is, is to always believe in yourself and never let audition outcomes dissuade you. Because there will always be more rejections than acceptions, unfortunately! But one day, the right role will come along and boom! It will be amazing!”
3. She kept her role in “Dear Evan Hansen” secret for six months.
When she found out she was cast as Zoe, she “cried and cried and hugged my mom and cried some more. And then, kept it a big old secret for half a year!”
4. Her dream co-star is Gavin Creel.
“I would die if I ever got to sing” with him, she says.
5. After playing Zoe in “Evan Hansen,” she’d love to step into the role of Heidi Hansen.
“She’s got killer songs, for one, and has such a wide range of moments. One moment she’s screaming, and then "So Big, So Small" is happening and everyone’s crying. One day, I hope the show will still be on Broadway and I can come back and play her.”
6. A recent injury switched up her stage wardrobe ever so slightly. (She’ll be OK, aside from a handful of ankle bandages).
Mallory and her sister “work out together every Thursday, and I, of course, try to eat as healthy as possible and drink lots of water! (Yesterday, on our Thursday workout, I fell on a treadmill, though … I had to wear pants where I would usually wear shorts for "Requiem." Lol)”
7. A special item from her Noni stays in her dressing room.
“For my 19th birthday, my Noni (my grandma) sent me a book she put together. It’s called ‘Mallory’s Journey to Broadway,’ and it has pictures of me in shows since I was 5 years old, along with some personal anecdotes from her. I treasure it and it’s the centerpiece of my dressing room.”
8. She played Elle Woods "Legally Blonde” in high school.
“I was a hobo in ‘Little Shop’ as a freshman. Then, I was the fairy godmother in ‘Cinderella.’ My junior year I played Madame Dubonnet in ‘The Boy Friend’ (if you’ve heard of this musical, props to you … I certainly hadn’t). And my senior year, my favorite year, I got to play Elle Woods in ‘Legally Blonde.’ “
9. Her favorite “Evan Hansen” scene leads up to “For Forever.”
“I love doing the scene before ‘For Forever.’ It’s probably my most dramatic moment, and I love yelling at everyone. And, I love to sing, ‘Only Us.’ “
10. She can’t whistle.
“And I have the worst sense of direction you could possibly imagine. I get out of a car, or a building, and have no idea where I am.”