NBC’s freshman drama Rise premieres tonight, and while it will be great to see vets Josh Radnor and Rosie Perez do their thing, watching newcomers shine is just as gratifying. For co-star Damon J. Gillespie, playing high school football player Robbie Thorne strikes a personal chord. Our video of Gillespie (w/ Auli’i Cravalho) is found after the jump.
Set in a blue collar Pennsylvania town, Rise centers on a high school production of the controversial and acclaimed musical Spring Awakening. Like his character, Damon J. Gillespie was a high school football player who found his passion in performing.
“Theater is a great way to become more vulnerable and become more in touch with your emotions” said Gillespie. “Because it helped me to do it, I know it’s going to help Robbie as well.”
Rise, executive produced by Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) premieres tonight on NBC (10 pm et/pt) and will regularly air on Tuesday evenings (9 pm et/pt).