In January, Taran Killam took over the part of King George in a little show called Hamilton. When EW sat down for some drinks with the SNL alum and his wife, actress Cobie Smulders, who’s currently making her own Broadway debut in the revival of Noël Coward’s Present Laughter — read more of our Three Rounds with them in the latest issue of EW, on stands now or available here — we asked what it’s like to take over a part in the world’s hottest musical and got a rather surprising, tearful response.
“I do get nervous,” Killam says. “SNL was so much easier than this. There’s just something about singing in earnest in front of 1,300 people. But it’s exhilarating. I love it.”
Killam says that while every performance he’s done feels a little different, there was one show that was particularly special.
“The most meaningful audience experience I’ve had happened when I was watching the first or second row from on stage, and there was this family with a daughter who was probably 6 or 7. She was clearly affected. Her dad kept checking on her, looking over to make sure she was okay,” he says. “And there was chin quivering, and she had her hands up over her mouth and she was just locked in. Her mother was holding her, her dad was looking at her, and I was just so touched. I’m already pretty emotionally affected from the show — even 40 shows in.
“And then I went out the stage door and they were there! And I lost my mind,” he adds with a laugh. “I literally broke down to this family — I told them they were such wonderful audience members and how it meant so much to me. I started crying. I mean, I lost it. And then they sent me a card! The little girl drew a picture of me and said, ‘I loved coming to the show.'” Killam stops talking briefly, eyes suddenly quite wet, before laughing again. “Oh, I can’t even handle it.”
After our interview, Killam tweeted the card to share with the world:
“Here’s the card that made (makes) me cry,” he said.