it is late at night and i am tired enough that my filter is gone so i feel the need to clarify my opinion about aaron tveit because i snark blog about him a lot and i feel like people might not fully understand my feelings.
i love aaron tveit. I love his timbre and his classical training (dat opera training yo) and his head voice is gorgeous. I think it was amazing in a lot of his roles when he was younger, because he naturally has a child/young adult’s timbre, and so he could really play that to his advantage in his young twenties, allowing him to play the teenage roles really well. it’s why his gabe (next to normal) is so great, it’s because he’s a high tenor with a young timbre, so perfect for playing a 17 almost 18 year old. and it’s not like he’s trying to sound young, he just does. it works to his advantage and he took relentless advantage of it, playing a bunch of young adult/teenager roles.
but, i think he was a horrible enjolras. I’ve hinted at this in several other text posts. I legitimately loathe aaron tveit in les mis, which is unfortunate because i feel like that is one of his breakout roles and it’s what most people have seen of him. I wish he wasn’t enjolras. I don’t begrudge him for it (if you get offered a part in a movie with russell crowe and anne hathaway and hugh jackman, you snap up that job), but i absolutely loathe listening to his enjolras. musically, les mis sets up enjolras and marius to have a call-and-response in almost every one of their interactions, and marius’ part suits a young timbre (just look at the lyrics), whereas enjolras’ part is supposed to reflect somebody who is leading people to revolution (which would require a darker timbre to contrast with marius’ naivete). casting aaron tveit as enjolras was, imo, the worst move. I wish i could say that it would have been better if he was marius, but i think eddie redmayne was an amazing marius. but eddie redmayne deserved a dark timbre enjolras to match him.
for a while i thought aaron tveit had auditioned for enjolras and it made me gnash my teeth because what a horrible idea why, but then i read somewhere that he auditioned for marius which made me feel better because his timbre suits marius and he would have done it very well (vocally, i don’t really know about acting-wise how well it would have been, and mario is very good), and well, you can’t get angry at somebody who gets offered a part different from what they auditioned for and taking it when it’s clearly going to be a madly successful movie.
as aaron tveit gets older, he will have to start transitioning to older roles, which doesn’t suit his timbre at all. I say he has to, because while he looks young and sounds young, producers and directors won’t cast somebody who’s pushing 35 and 40 in kids/young adult roles. It’s because of marketing, and the fact that he would be targeting teens, pre-teens, and young adults, and it gets creepy to cast somebody who’s almost 40 in a role that is designed to get teenage girls to fall in love with that character. so his marketability and his value will decrease as he gets older unless he can successfully transition into somebody who is capable of playing older characters. taking john wilkes booth in assassins was a brilliant move in terms of marketability, because he got to grow a beard and show that yes, in fact, when he does grow a beard he can successfully look older. unfortunately, his timbre is still young, and the reviews reflected that. i didn’t hear him, but from what reviews i’ve read, he sounded young and dainty and it probably worked very well with how he portrayed his character, but i don’t doubt that he chose to protray john wilkes booth in that manner because he had a young timbre, and so he wanted to use that to his advantage.
imo, in order for aaron tveit to last a long time in show business (musical theatre or acting), he will have to start to very aggressively pursue older roles, possibly diversifying his timbre (always hard) so he can play older roles in musicals, especially since he seems to consider that his preferred acting medium. if you look at roles on broadway, older roles tend to require darker timbres. it’s a matter of contrasts: your jean valjean cannot sound younger than your marius. that would be really creepy. if he cannot diversify his timbre, then it means he would probably have to focus on acting, because his speaking timbre is still young, but does sound more mature than his singing timbre. i mean, it’s all his voice, so it’s not like it changes, but when he speaks, the nuance and the way he expresses himself allows him to appear older than his vocal timbre, which helps him.
i really enjoy aaron tveit’s voice because he sounds young. I have a very high-pitched, young voice. I call it dainty fairy princess voice, because i’m a soprano and i sound 12. if you rummage around you can probably find one of those voice memes i did, and i sound like i’m in high school. aaron tveit’s voice, to me, is a reflection of my own. not only do i find it pleasing to listen to (opera training yo), but i also find it something i can identify with and relate to. my voice is nowhere as nice as aaron tveit’s, or as low (i’m a squeaky barely trained soprano), but i relate to it nonetheless.
it doesn’t hurt that he’s classically attractive, tall(ish. always remember to take 2 inches off of their lies), and clearly intelligent. he’s attractive enough in a very generic way, which lets him get cast more easily (he doesn’t have any distinctive features, so he’s actually not very memorable. his smile is probably the most memorable? i’m pretty faceblind so it’s hard for me to make these judgments), and he’s clearly making very smart choices about which roles he takes and aggressively pursuing very diverse roles. you can see what he started out with (all a bunch of pretty-boy roles), but then he started to expand and look for roles that weren’t “attractive love interest” (or in the case of rent, [former] “pretty boy front-man”). next to normal, for example, is less “attractive boy” and more “creeper”, and catch me if you can is a clear example of being more than just a pretty boy, since he has to pretend to be a bunch of different people. now, maybe this isn’t him making the decision, but his manager, but either way, it shows great foresight and he’s setting himself up well for when he gets older and he’s no longer so much of a pretty boy or can’t get cast for those roles anymore. also he should probably start keeping a beard because it makes him look much older and that will probably help him transition well into mid-age roles.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that i like aaron tveit a lot. and even though i think he’s much more attractive without the beard, he should probably keep it for marketing purposes.