Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of Harper Lee's iconic novel sees Glick play Dill Harris, the visiting friend of Scout and Jem Finch

By Nigel Smith
June 03, 2019 11:50 AM

After over a decade working on Broadway, Gideon Glick is experiencing a career all-time high as a first-time Tony nominee for his performance in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Glick, 30, made his debut in Spring Awakening (2006), followed by turns in Julie Taymor’s elaborate musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (2011), and his first starring role in the play Significant Other (2015).

Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s iconic novel sees him playing Dill Harris, the visiting friend of Scout and Jem Finch – a role modeled off Lee’s childhood best friend, Truman Capote.

Ahead of Sunday’s Tony Awards, Glick spoke with PEOPLE about his nomination and the challenge of mastering a script written by the West Wing creator.

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Where were you when you learned of your Tony nomination?

I was in bed, because they’re early in the morning. I slept through it, but I strangely woke up a couple minutes before my category was announced, and I got a tweet that said I’m nominated. Then I screamed and then my dog jumped on the bed.

Walter McBride/WireImage

What does it mean to get a Tony nomination for this play in particular?

Well, personally, it means a lot to me. I grew up in the community, I learned how to act through this community. I feel very honored that I was recognized, but also that my character was recognized. That this was a character that is a young queer boy, and he’s not normally taught about in schools, and I’m very excited that he’s kind of entering the conversation — and becoming more entrenched in the themes of To Kill a Mockingbird.

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You’ve played several gay characters on stage. As an out gay man, how important is representation in your work?

I feel very fortunate. I think representation is incredibly important. It was really important for me and my development. I came out at a very young age. I was lucky that I had somebody who gave me many films and television shows that portrayed gay life, and I think it was really instrumental in how I developed as a young gay boy. So I feel really lucky that I get to be that for other people. Because I played many, many different kinds of people, and I think in this industry one can be a little reductive and say, ‘You’re playing gay,’ ‘You’re playing the same thing over and over again.’ Which is just so far from the truth! I feel like I’m part of exemplifying how that’s not true. So I feel very lucky that I get to tell all of these varies and eclectic stories.

To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for "To Kill A Mockingbird"

You got your start in musicals. Where do you feel more comfortable now — onstage singing or speaking the words of Aaron Sorkin?

I feel much more at ease in a play. Its been a long time since I’ve done a musical.

It takes a special muscle to learn Sorkin’s words. How did you manage?

Aaron’s sentences are just… they’re bounty. And they’re really exciting. We have a phrase in rehearsal, that you’ve been Sorkinized. Where your brain just stops computing and you cannot go forward. We definitely reached that many times when we were mounting this piece. Actually, Jeff [Daniels] is the one that brought it into our vernacular, as he’s had more experience with Aaron and in The Newsroom.

It’s amazing to have conversations with him, he writes as he speaks. Just a genius. It’s so exciting just to hear him speak because it’s just as good as his writing.

To Kill a Mockingbird is now playing on Broadway. Click here for tickets.