Mike Faust is not sure about this whole act

Tall and slim, seeing that he was born wearing the Wranglers, Mike Fast cut off a very attractive figure in the Amazon Prime Series “Panic”: His character, Dodge Mason, is a Stetson-wearing rodeo dude who breaks unstoppable horses, then looks spiritually into his eyes.

However, this is not at all how the character was written in the Lauren Oliver young adult novel that inspired the show while debuting on Friday, with a series of daunting challenges to Dodge and a dozen other small-town teenage lives. Let’s face it – think of a natural “Hunger Games” with more class warfare.

After shooting a pilot in 2018 in upstate New York (where the book is set), production resumed completely in Austin, Tex., A year later, and to better fit Dodge’s back story into the new locale Changed for Suddenly, the school’s wimp, interested in playing cards and magic, was transformed into a Western ideal: a strong, well-to-do bachelor who doesn’t say much. Faist went with the flow.

“Ciphers can be really boring,” said Oliver, who also wrote the screenplay, “but he manages to capture the power inherent in a certain level of invisibility.”

Quite a departure for the Dodge Faust, which is best known for him Tony Nominee Performance Victims in Broadway musical, as eccentric Connor Murphy “Dear Evan Hansen.” Blessed with a colorful charisma and a bone structure, seemingly carved with a scythe, the actor, now 29, could easily coast into “panic”. But their sensitivity is close to such unusual leading men Adam driver, And he modernizes a possible boilerplate part.

“Mike didn’t really want to be a caricature, but I don’t think he ever could be,” said Jessica Sula, who plays the role of Natalie, Dodge’s love interest in “Panic”. She recalled that when shooting resumed in Texas following a halt by Kovid-19, Faust opted to live in a trailer on a plot of land with his rescue dog, Austin.

“He’s so freaking ridiculously funny and amazing,” she said of Faust, laughing.

Since leaving acting school at the age of 18, Faust has grown his course, and his role in Steven Spielberg’s much-awaited role “Story of the West” As the leader of the Jets, Riff should put him on Hollywood speed dial when he debuted in December. (Shooting was completed in September 2019.)

And yet the actor spent much of the recent conversation explicitly acknowledging ambiguity and uncertainty. He spent something Driving and writing scripts across the country with Austin over the past year. He is turning down offers and is now selling his Brooklyn apartment and moving back to Ohio.

Faust was hot and laid back in Park Slope on a recent sunny morning, and he laughed a lot as a protective self-deprecation considering his future, professional and otherwise. These are edited excerpts of the conversation.

How did they dodge a new dodge on you?

It still had the same element, “Oh, here is the new man,” but instead, like a strange wizard, he is now a … shepherd? I was like, “What do you mean, I’m a shepherd now?” He was like: “Yes, yes, you’ll be fine. Maybe try an accent. “

You seem quite comfortable playing in the whispers of the horse.

I had never worked with a horse before in a production. There were two of them: a very quiet, gentle horse and a miser. We ended up working with this skittish horse because it was actually doing stuff. The scene where the horse moves towards me was not planned or choreographed. They are, you know, unpredictable.

It may not be any less intimidating than a sex scene. Is your first as an actor with Jessica Sula?

It is possible. I don’t know

Won’t you remember

You will think I did the romantic scene [onstage] In “A Month in the Country” with Taylor Schilling. I remember Pretty [expletive] review. [Laughs.]

Since the fall of 2018, you’ve moved back and forth between “panic” and “west side story”. How did you handle these physical projects?

For “West Side”, I found this Bruce Davidson photos of the Brooklyn gang from the late 50s. If you look at their pictures, these people are emaciated, they have tattoos, and they look stark. Whatever money they had, they would pool and buy cheap liquor and perhaps they would have French fries or something. Then they were doing drugs. So I was like, “I need to lose some weight.” But my body was breaking down completely. Then I tried to bulk up as much as possible for “panic” – just eating potatoes.

Have you taken any special training?

I started going to the Mendez Boxing Gym in Manhattan for the “West Side”. I was working with John Rosado, who was raised in New York, Puerto Rican, Badass. He was like, “I can’t believe I’m training a jet!”

Your first major work was in the Broadway musical “Newsies”, which is quite a heavy dance. Still, was it difficult to audition for “West Side Story”?

I put a tape together, and then they said, “We want you to come back and dance.” I was like, “Is there a way you can do this” No Have I danced? “They were like:” What are you talking about? This is ‘West Side Story’! ” The only saving grace is that Justin Peck [the choreographer] And my body types are the same: tall, nothing but hands and feet. They had cut their work for them to smell me.

Why are you not in the future “Dear Evan Hansen” movie With his former co-star Ben Platt?

I feel like I couldn’t do it. I started it when I was 21 years old, and lived with it for five or six years. When you are doing eight shows a week, it depends on your technique and its work. And the show was such an upbeat thing. It really snatched a lot from me, and I didn’t really have it anymore.

With “Panic” and “West Side Story” behind you, what are you doing?

Perhaps it is such a spectacle, but the “West Side” was everything I ever expected as an actor. It’s really crazy, but it was parochial: either I didn’t feel like I am myself, or I was the most authentic version of myself. I really can’t tell which one. With no money, I only want to be a working actor – I don’t want to be a working actor anymore. I had that experience. Ito [expletive] Me up.

What did you do?

“West Side,” in the best of ways. I cannot ignore what I have seen. The epidemic almost killed us and – what, I just want to be an actor? This is ridiculous. [Laughs.] I do not care enough. This is a strange thing: I can’t tell if I hate acting or I like it very much. It’s not that I’m not planning to do it. I do not want to follow the path of what the industry wants me to do.

who who?

Apply cape and apply mask. I need to get more agency because no one is going to do it for me. It is difficult, but it is interesting and quite exciting. I’m going to hang out with my family in Ohio and then start figuring out where I need to go. I ultimately want to be of service and use; That’s when I feel my best.

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