Imagine playing Carole King on Broadway in NYC night after night. Now, imagine playing the famed music icon night after night after your younger sister won a Tony and Grammy Award for the role in which she originated. Abby Mueller, who currently plays the lead role in Beautiful The Carole King Musical, does just that.
Abby’s sister, Jessie Mueller, originated the title role when the show debuted in NYC in January 2014. She played Carole on the stage until March 2015, and two years later, Abby took over on Broadway after originating the Carole role on the US Tour. However, there was no sister rivalry over Beautiful — in fact, it was quite the opposite. Closer Weekly chatted with Abby in a new exclusive interview, where she gushed about how “supportive” Jessie was about all of it.
“It was obviously unexpected. I’ve talked about not wanting to audition because I didn’t want to encroach on her space,” she shared. “She was great about letting me do my own thing, just like the creative team was for all of us who did the national tour.”
The actress shared that it was actually their father who encouraged her to audition despite Jessie’s success with it. “It was actually my dad who encouraged me. He was like, ‘You know, honey, it’s just an audition, why don’t you go?'” she shared.
And she’s so happy she listened to him! “I’m so glad I did now, looking back. It’s hard to imagine if I hadn’t,” Abby confessed. “It’s obviously been a unique thing of the dynamic like ‘Oh, my sister has played this,’ but I really am grateful that it honestly hasn’t been as weird as you think it might be. That’s the truth!”
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This picture was taken 3 years ago today. @caroleking’s first visit to the First National Tour of @beautifulonbway at gorgeous @broadwayboston. Still pinching myself that I get to wear this hair (again!). 💝 8 more weeks! Come see me at the Sondheim!! . . . . . . #caroleking #livinglegend #icon #tapestry #popicon #musiclegend #somekindofwonderful #beautifulthecarolekingmusical #ifeeltheearthmove #homeagain #beautifulasyoufeel #broadway #broadwaymusical #sofaraway #youvegotafriend #naturalwoman #itstoolate #beautiful #willyoustilllovemetomorrow #takegoodcareofmybaby #nyc #theater #broadwaymusicals #popmusic #music #hitsongs
But Jessie wasn’t the only one who gave Abby the stamp of approval — Carole herself was so supportive as well. “I had Carole embrace me so warmly,” she shared of the singer/songwriter. That said, it was Jessie who gave Abby the helpful advice she keeps in the back of her mind before doing any show. Abby shared, “Jess said, ‘Remember your responsibility is to Carole, it’s not about me or someone else who’s played it, that’s your focus.’ That really helped me.”
Abby will star as Carole King in Beautiful The Carole King Musical at Stephen Sondheim Theatre in NYC until Dec. 30, 2018. You don’t want to miss it!