SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical star Ethan Slater stopped to chat with Billboard’s Paul Costabile on the red carpet at the Tony Awards on Sunday (Jun 10), discussing how he perfected his character’s iconic high-pitched giggle, what the nominations mean to him and the fact that he’s been practicing his impressions of the other characters in the cast.
Asked how he has managed to master SpongeBob’s laugh, Slater says, “It’s hard. I would say the most important thing about the laugh is to think of something that makes you laugh.”
The actor also discusses why it feels so special that the show received several nominations, explaining, “We have a really amazing community backstage at the Palace Theatre and we have all of these artists who are working at the top of their game with a lot of passion to make this thing happen, and to make it not what you’d expect.”
“SpongeBob is not what you’d expect from a SpongeBob musical and that’s because of the hard work of all these people,” he continues, “And it really feels like a celebration of our company as a whole, and we get to celebrate that together, so that feels really special.
“Sure, I’m the title character, but it really is like an ensemble piece and I feel incredibly supported and I hope they feel supported by me. It feels like a real community.”
Slater also reveals, after showcasing his impersonation of his co-star character Patrick Star, that he has several videos saved on his phone that “no one’s ever gonna see” of him doing the show’s entire opening number as all of the characters, adding, “I can’t believe I just said that, actually.”
You can check out the full video above.