Michael Lomenda stars in the feature film Jersey Boys directed by Clint Eastwood. Lomenda reprises the role of Nick Massi which he played in the Toronto production and the first national company of Jersey Boys. The spring of 2016 sees Lomenda bring the role to Broadway.
Michael Lomenda will find it hard to top his last birthday. He celebrated it on the set of the upcoming Jersey Boys movie with a chorus of people singing “Happy Birthday” that included legendary director Clint Eastwood.
Lomenda is one of the stars of the highly anticipated film version of the Broadway musical, based on the story of 1960s singing group The Four Seasons. Directed by Eastwood, it opens in theatres on June 20.
“That day was also my character’s birthday and I was filming my biggest scene in the movie,” recalls Lomenda, a 2001 Music Theatre Performance graduate. “It was just a wealth of amazing circumstances converging on my birthday – one I won’t ever forget.”
Lomenda reprises the role of Nick Massi which he played in the Toronto production and the first national company of Jersey Boys that toured across North America for over six years. Cast in the movie not long before shooting began in late summer 2013, Lomenda stressed about “becoming an Eastwood-worthy film actor in less than a month.”
But he couldn’t have been in better hands, Lomenda says. “As a director, Mr. Eastwood was everything that an actor needed to reach their potential. He was respectful, concise, patient and trusting.” Not to mention fun. “He was always in the mix, still very much a kid at 83, with a killer sense of humour.”
I still can’t believe that for two months I woke up, had breakfast and went to work with Clint Eastwood in Hollywood!
Some of Lomenda’s most memorable moments with Eastwood occurred on set between scenes. “We sang a bit of a Chet Baker song on stage together once while chatting about music, the mechanics of singing and the reality of getting older.”
It was all pretty heady stuff for Lomenda, who hails from the small town of Stettler, Alberta. But his rural roots are never far from his mind. “I’m most successful when my work unabashedly reflects who I am,” he says.
“I feel a great sense of responsibility to represent a Prairie voice and to have an opportunity to do that on such a large scale is something I could never have imagined. I’m so very grateful for it all.”
Learn more about Sheridan’s Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program.