Music series

Kevin Cahoon Talks Country Music Series MONARCH on FOX

Known for his work in musicals like Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Lion King, Kevin Cahoon takes his talents to television as Earl Clark in the new FOX series, Monarch.

Monarch is a Texas-sized, multi-generational musical drama about America’s leading country music family. An encore presentation of the premiere will air tonight at 9:00 p.m. on FOX ahead of the series films through its premiere period on September 20. New episodes of Monarch air Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. and will stream on Hulu.

In the series, Cahoon is joined by Susan Sarandon, Tracer AdkinsTony-winner prince of faith, Anna Friel, Beth Same, Joshua SasseCallum Kerr, Martha Higareda, etc.

BroadwayWorld caught up with Cahoon to discuss his character, working with Susan Sarandon and prince of faith about the new series, what to expect from the new series, and more.


What can you tell me about your character, Earl?

Monarch is about iconic country music royalty. I play Earl Clark, who is Dottie Roman’s right-hand man, who is played by Susan Sarandon, and I worked for the family for years, and I live on the ranch, which is called The Rambles. I am her makeup artist and hairstylist and also her best friend. I saw the children grow up, who are played by Anna Friel, Beth Same and Joshua Sasseso I know all the secrets and I know where all the bodies are buried, so to speak.

The character was inspired by a gentleman named Earl Cox who lives in Nashville and is an iconic hair and makeup artist for every country artist you can imagine. He did the famous hill of faith Haircut. Do you remember when she cut her hair really short? He did this and Martina McBride And the list goes on and on. He has a living room in Nashville and Melissa London Hilfers, who is the creator of the series, was inspired by his story and his life and, although I don’t represent him, there is a pinch of him in this character . That’s for sure. I haven’t met him, but I want to meet him. So I’m playing him.

You mentioned that your character is very close to Susan Sarandon in the new series. What was it like working with her on set and getting close to her?

It was amazing. And of course that’s Susan and that’s an icon and you’ve seen all the movies that she’s done so the first day in the makeup trailer when we met she was sitting at one end and I walked in and she said, “Are you Kevin?” She made me feel so warm and welcome right away. We had so many scenes together that we really became wonderful, wonderful friends. Since filming wrapped, we’ve had lunch in New York and dinner in New York and we’ve been texting and I consider her a wonderful, wonderful friend.

I know people say that, but I just want to say everyone in this cast, we all lived together in Atlanta for about eight months and we lived in a hotel and it forces you to go to dinner, have a drink , hanging out, watching TV. It really, really connected us all as a family. I like everyone.

And prince of faith is also showing. She plays Dottie Roman’s sister, Nellie Cantrell, uh, who’s so faith playing Susan’s sister and we were living in a hotel together. Faith and I went to every meal. We went to see my dear friend, Brandy Clark, who is a country singer whose tour was through Atlanta. We went to see Brandy Clark, we went to see the Wes Anderson movie that just came out, we went to see Tracer Adkins concert. Like we just had a great time. I made friends on this work that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Monarch is also a musical series. Were you able to show off your singing skills at all?

No. No, I wasn’t. You know, maybe if there’s a season two, I can tweet a bit. But it’s a musical. Faith arrives to sing and Anna Friel gets to sing and be ditto. You are aware Beth Same, the lead singer of Gossip, right? She is spectacular. I can’t wait for America to fall in love with her. Of course, Trace sings. There are two fantastic young actors on the show, Emma Milani and Iñigo Pascual who can also, uh, sing.

Although it’s a drama and there are twists and lies around every corner, I think people will find it just as joyful at the same time that the music is involved. It’s really going to be fun to watch for a lot of people, I pray.

Speaking of yourself and your career, you’ve had experiences with different aspects of acting, directing and acting, but you’ve also worked extensively on screen. So what are your favorite differences between the two mediums?

Oh, well, yes, acting was my first love and it’s what I’ve been doing all my life. Lots of people I’m sure say that, but there’s no such thing as a live audience and it’s such a malleable living organism from night to night. The audience, I consider them, you know, like a character in the play, you don’t know where they are. You have to meet them every night with a new set of given circumstances. So that’s the main difference.

However, cinema is also a great challenge, because you don’t have a lot of rehearsals, that’s for sure. Sometimes you read it once and that’s it. Also, hit your target to focus. I know a lot of people probably don’t see this as a huge thing, but that’s because there are guidelines you have to follow and you say your line you’re like peeking up ground to see, did I hit the mark, didn’t I?

Monarch was truly a giant production. It was shot on this giant ranch just outside of Atlanta, and then we had scenes in Atlanta as well. We were shooting scenes with 300 background actors in concert scenes and horses and a rodeo and it was so huge.

I did not expect this work to appear. As a theater actor, you just hope and dream that maybe a job like this will come along. I did a self tape then got a phone call that said “Hey they want to test, you’re doing a zoom test” nothing was in person with the writer and creator and director and someone from the network. I did and it was three side pages. It wasn’t a ton of material. There were only supposed to be five episodes. It turned out to be every episode, the writers were really creating as we went along. I just thank my lucky stars. I mean, I’m really, really grateful to have been part of it.


Watch the Monarch trailer on FOX here:

Photos courtesy of Dirty Sugar Studios and Fox