GT Stage

Interview: Broadway star Christina Bianco (part two)

In the second half of our interview with Christina Bianco we talk cakes, #ShortyProblems, and Benedict Cumberbatch…

Broadway actress, internet sensation, triple threat; impersonator. Christina Bianco is certainly a talent as well as a charming person. In the first half of our interview with her, she chatted about broadway shows and her guilty pleasures. In this second half we get down to the really important subjects of her impressions, her height, and her love for Benedict Cumberbatch.

Are there any male celebrities/singers that you can do a good impression of?
I can do Owen Wilson speaking and I can do a good Michael Jackson. Oh and if I have enough whiskey I can do great Louie Armstrong.

Who else would you like to add to your repertoire?
Everybody is asking for Kylie at the moment. I absolutely have to do her. I feel so silly not to have included her this time around. It’s going to be my mission to get Kylie incorporated into my show- if not at the Edinburgh festival than at least when I get back to London in September. So Kylie is definitely next on my list by popular demand. And she’s a petite girl like me so I kind of have to honour her

Oh yeah, she’s so tiny - you should definitely pay homage to her.
Hey she’s got an inch in height on me and I’ve got a few inches on her in width. [Laughs]
You’re a bit of a triple threat as an actor, singer and impressionist. We’re wondering how are you at dancing?
I’m a pretty good dancer. I do more than you know the term ‘move well’ but I’m not going to be cast in a chorus line anytime soon – that’s a good way to put it [chuckles]. I studied dance my whole life and when I began I was absolutely terrible – two left feet. My mom blames it on my father; she thought I had absolutely no hope whatsoever but like everything you find what you need. I was a terrible ballet student, I was short and stocky and I had what you might say ‘Italian hips’ [laughs]. But I loved Jazz and tap – I haven’t had much use for tapping nowadays but it helped me now going on Broadway auditions. Recently I’ve been cast to do a lot of ‘Park and Bark’ which involves walking onstage, standing, singing and then exiting so there’s very little dance involved – which is great.

Wow. Thanks for teaching me the technical terminology. Since getting to London have you found yourself picking up any British slang or colloquialisms?
As soon as I get here, I find I can’t stop saying ‘Bloody’. But it’s a bloody good word. [In a comical British accent] It’s bloody awful [giggles]. And I say ‘Rubbish’ too but you can’t say that back home because they don’t know what it means and they look at me like I’m some crazy Mary Poppins-lady. But I love it, it’s not because I love accents, it’s very hard for me to not to try to mimic the people I’m listening too - but I know how horribly tacky that is so I try very hard not to.

Besides, music, singing and acting what else are you passionate about?
If I ever had to pick another career I would have been a sugar artist. I love to make pastries and I love to make cakes using fondant. I’m not particularly good at it as I’ve had no formal training but I practice and I read books and I watch the TV programmes and I try to do it. It’s my favourite thing to do when I have free time”.

You mentioned on YouTube that you would like to do live stream concerts. Could you expand on that?
I heard about people doing concerts on YouTube but I wanted to do something that had a little bit of a wider reach. A friend recommended as it makes it really easy, polished and professional – that said I still wanted having something intimate, something that was specifically for those that tuned in and watched. That way it’s unique every time and it can’t be recorded. So it’s me looking in that camera, no crazy lightning, or effects, no amplification of my voice – it’s just me singing live for the public, answering their questions in real time. I really wanted that live interaction and having people asking questions and it would be wonderful to answer questions from fans all around the world.

Since you popped as an internet sensation what’s the most extravagant thing you’ve bought for yourself?
Well, being an internet sensation doesn’t really pay [laughs]. But, dresses. I’m a girly girl in that way. Some girls have tonnes and tonnes of pairs of shoes but for me its dresses as I get to where them at my shows.

We had a stalk of your Twitter and we know you’re a big fan of Benedict Cumberbatch but we don’t know why. Care to share?
I’m being a little too crazy about my love of Benedict Cumberbatch, because everyone keeps bringing it up and now he’s going to think I’m a horrible stalker or what do they call it? - A ‘Cumberbitch?’ [Laughs] I’m not, but the reason for that is because my husband resembles Benedict Cumberbatch, so really I’m allowed to have a little crush on him because really it’s just honouring my husband. Let me tell you what I would like to do. My dream would be for Benedict Cumberbatch to do an Alan Rickman impression and I would do Keira Knightly and we could recite some poetry together onstage and I don’t think my husband would mind at all.

You’ve embraced your short stature by singing about what it’s like to be short. Have you ever faced any other problems because of your height?
Absolutely I have many, many daily problems because of my height that are unique to short people - both in and out of high heels. I’ve actually just started a little Twitter series documenting some of my problems called #ShortyProblems [giggles]. And it’s amazing to me how many people are shocked by what I’ve mentioned. It could be as easy as been mistaken for someone’s child from behind. It could be that I’m over 21 years old and you think getting carded is a good thing but sometimes it’s not – sometimes you can’t get into venues you’re supposed to get into. The big problems for me are things that people do everyday like if I’m at the drug store and I need something from the pharmacy - I can’t see over the pharmacy counter. I can’t get my luggage into the overhead compartment and I’m constantly forced to ask for help. There are so many little problems and wearing high heels and having some foot is the least of them- but it’s the most relatable.

Christina will be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe from 31 July-21 August and will return to the Hippodrome in London during September. Click here for tickets.

Words Luke Hearfield and Philippa Peall

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