Just as It Chapter Two surged into theaters this weekend, a new Stephen King novel is heading to bookstores this week. The Institute focuses on a group of supernaturally powerful children who are abducted from their homes and taken to the titular institute, where the staff will try anything in order to control the kids’ powers — like a nightmare vision of the X-Men in reverse. The novel’s audiobook is narrated by Santino Fontana, who won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his starring role in Broadway’s adaptation of Tootsie. In this exclusive clip, you can hear him discuss his work on the new project.
“It’s great getting to be on Broadway, where I play a man and a woman in Tootsie, which is a very big musical comedy, and then also to be in this dark thriller where I play a bunch of scary characters and creepy characters, as well as children with hope and dreams,” Fontana says in the clip. “That’s why i’m an actor, to get to play different people, so I’m honored that I get the opportunity to do it here.”
Fontana continues by pointing out the differences in performance between recording an audiobook and acting on stage, and the ways in which the former is rather freeing.
“The thing i most enjoy the most about recording an audiobook is getting to be completely free as possible as an actor, and not be limited by anything physical,” Fontana says. “There’s a lot of characters in this book, so what you try to grab onto is as much of the core of the character as you know, and then you just let your imagination run wild. Really, you’re just alone with your imagination, and the writer. That’s a really freeing experience.”
Listen to the clip above, and look for The Institute in bookstores this week.