In Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Titus Andromedon is a show-stealing character. Tituss Burgess plays the mostly out-of-work actor who’s black, gay and an endearing friend to the very naive Kimmy Schmidt.
Burgess may share a first name with his over-the-top character, but he says they’re plenty different. Unlike Andromedon, Burgess is a quiet homebody who doesn’t need to be the center of attention. He grew up in small-town Georgia before making his way to Broadway and then TV. It’s a journey that required many leaps of faith, and he credits one woman with giving him the confidence to take those leaps.
“Lena Horne,” he says. “I saw The Wiz when I was in the seventh grade. … The authority with which she sang [’If You Believe’], watching her telling Dorothy, you know, how exactly to get to where she wants to be, and the way she looked down the barrel of the lens — you could not tell me that this woman was not singing to me. … I would go back and forth to the library and rent The Wiz, and this one piece just was so electric and I felt invincible. I felt, for all intents and purposes, that whatever it was I was going to do, there was absolutely nothing anyone could say or do to stop me. And it has proven true.”
Photo: Eric Liebowitz/Netflix