News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by
Arts & Entertainment

5 questions for 'The Book of Mormon' cast

"Book of Mormon" actors David Larsen and Cody Jamison Strand join Take Two to talk about the show.
Lauren Osen
The cast of "The Book of Mormon" during the curtain call on the opening night of "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway at Eugene O'Neill Theatre on March 24, 2011 in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Listen to story

Download this story 22MB

The hit musical "The Book of Mormon" has won nine Tony Awards, including one for Best Musical, since its debut on Broadway in 2011.

Written by "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the stage show is just as wild, blasphemous and hilarious as their hit animated sitcom. The show is now back at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

Lead actors David Larsen, who plays Elder Price, and Cody Jamison Strand,who plays Elder Cunningham, join Take Two to talk about the show.

Interview Highlights:

On when they met:
Cody Jamison Strand: "It was magic. It love at first sight. Meeting for the fist time was actually really, really awesome experience because we were kind of just thrown right into it with rehearsals and just us getting along and sort of exploring what our relationship was going to be was a lot of fun." 

On performing together for so long:
David Larsen: "It was really easy. I think Cody and I hit it off from day one. He had been doing a show on Broadway when I joined the company, so I rehearsed with him in New York and he fully accepted my difference and my different take on the character. It's still the same lines, the same music, but I tried to bring myself into the role and I think Cody jumped right onboard and was like, 'Oh, this is a fun, new train. Let's ride this one for a little while.'"

On how they prepared for the role:
DL: "My thought on it was that this is the coolest thing that I could ever do...We were talking earlier about the Olympics and I'm very excited about the Olympics and I sort of channeled that into, 'Well, what if I was at the Olympics?' These are my Olympics. This mission is my Olympics and even when I get paired with someone who is not necessarily the person that I saw myself being paired with, nothing is going to detract from me accomplishing this."

CJ: "Tapping into it, I think, really gets me excited when he gets kind of paired with his idol. The person he looks up to the most in the world so for me it's like if I was getting paired up with Joe Pesci or something. I'm in love with Joe Pesci. I really think he's a genius."

On what it takes to do "Book of Mormon" every night:
DL: "It takes some great smiling muscles and it takes some great energy. I don't think we leave the stage for the first 45 minutes of the show. We are out there being thrust into this unbelievable different world from what our two characters grew up in and it's about taking care of your body, taking care of your voice in order to do this eight times a week. I think that's what kind of separates what we do from other folks. Maybe people can sing this show once a week, but to do it eight times a week really takes a dedication and a discipline and a lot of training." 

On their favorite show moments:
CJ: "I really like all the scenes that I have with the female lead, but I think the song 'Baptize Me' is my favorite."

DL: "I love looking into Cody's eyes honestly and figuring out if he's going to make me laugh or if he's just going to deliver the line like I'm expecting. I would say it's about 50/50 as to where that happens. Also, the score of the show is just incredible to sing. It's one of the most difficult and yet one of the most beautiful and I think even the songs that are a little tougher, as far as you expect language wise, the tunes are so damn catchy that you end up singing along even though you don't know if you really should be."