Fourteen-year-old Eli Golden is ready to step into the spotlight. Newcomer stars as Evan Goldman in Netflix’s film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s Broadway musical13. To celebrate the film’s premiere, Golden sat down with Broadway.com Editor-in-Chief Paul Wontorek at CitizenM to talk about starring in the film, his musical dreams and more.
The musical follows the story of a Jewish teenager named Evan Goldman, who is forced to cross the country after his parents’ divorce and start a new life. For Golden, Evan’s story wasn’t too far off from his. “I think Evan is a lot like me, it was easy to channel into the character,” he said. “I was transferred from New York to Canada. It was a big change, I was the new kid on the block again. I was able to mix it all up and put it into Evan.”
The Broadway production was the first – and so far only – musical to feature an all-teenage cast and band. Original cast members included Ariana Grande, Graham Phillips, Allie Trimm and Elizabeth Gillies. For Golden, being around other teenagers made the experience all the more exciting. “I’m so excited for everyone to see what me and my cast mates have been up to,” he said. “I remember walking the first day of rehearsals. It was really grueling. When I got on set and we started rehearsals, I felt really out of place, but I learned to being one with everyone. I was like ‘you’re all in the same situation as me. You guys are doing what I’m doing. It opened my eyes, and that was what I really needed need. We’re a family now. I still speak with most of them on a daily basis.”
With a bright future ahead of him, Golden is excited to continue showing off his talents. “I want to keep playing,” he said. “Right now I’m working on a lot of music. I have an EP coming out in the near future and my first song came out, ‘Back To Me’, which I’m super proud of. It was one of my first songs I’ve already written. I also want to do an action movie, something with Tom Cruise.”
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