The emo icon gets candid — from dressing up as Julie Andrews and almost getting kicked out of his Mormon parents' house to opening up about being sexually fluid

By Jeff Nelson
July 05, 2017 06:05 PM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.
Advertisement
Brendon Urie Rehearsals For His Broadway Debut In "Kinky Boots"

This summer, Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie made his Broadway debut in Kinky Boots.

PEOPLE caught up with the pop-punk star, 30, who plays Charlie Price in the Tony-winning musical in New York through Aug. 6.

You just made your Broadway debut in Kinky Boots. Were you a theater nerd in high school?

All my friends were in theater; I was just the stoner that built the sets, backstage smoking a joint, like, “I made your castle wall!”

Brendon Urie Makes His Broadway Debut In "Kinky Boots"

Do you remember your first musical?

I grew up watching my mom’s VHS tapes of musicals. I wanted to be Julie Andrews in Sound of Music. I remember dressing up like her in the ugliest dress I could make out of curtains and singing, “Doe, a deer!”

What was your experience with stilettos before joining this production?

I’ve worn heels since I was, like, 5. The ones I wear in the show are actually so comfy. I have to act like I’m bumbling around, but I’ve never felt more right in my life.

Brendon Urie Kinky BootsCredit: Matthew Murphy/Kinky Boots Broadway
Credit: Matthew Murphy/Kinky Boots Broadway

You’ve opened up about experimenting with your sexuality. Why did you want to speak publicly about sexual fluidity?

It doesn’t freak me out. Why does it matter who I’m f—ing? I’ve gotten so many amazing letters and tweets from fans saying, “I didn’t have the courage to tell my parents, but I had you to fall back on.” I want to create a support system.

Patrick McMullan Archives
Pete Wentz and pal Brendon Urie in 2006.

Your parents are conservative Mormons. What do they think of your rocker life?

When I told them I wasn’t going to college or on a Mormon mission, that I don’t believe in God and I was pursuing music, they were like, “You’ve gotta move out.” They cooled off, and when we made our first Panic! at the Disco album, I got a care package from my family with this beautiful letter: “No matter what, we will always love you.”

cover-2000

For more on Brendon Urie, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands everywhere now.

FROM COINAGE: What Is The Grammy Bounce? (No, It’s Not A Dance Move)

You’ve scored two Grammy nods with Panic! at the Disco, now you’ve found all this success on Broadway — what goals do you still have left?

There’s a lot. One time at brunch, [Kinky Boots songwriter] Cyndi Lauper told me, “So you’ve never done acting before?” “No, not really.” “You’re gonna be a movie star, mark my words.” Well, if Cyndi Lauper says it, I’m gonna pursue that! I would love to act more. I caught the Broadway bug. I’ve gotta try something more in this world because it’s so fun, so crazy.