Glass interviews American actor Nico Greetham

NICO Greetham, who currently stars in Netflix’s The Prom, twirled into almost every form of entertainment and it seems like nothing can stop this 25-year-old actor from Virginia. Greetham, a former gymnast, pivoted into dance, which may be partially due to a head injury, but is incomparable to the abundance of talent this versatile performer holds.

Greetham then scored as a contestant on season 10 of the show So You Think You Can Dance, after which he played Jojo and Darcy in the Broadway production of Newsies. By 2016, Greetham was roped to play the Yellow Power Ranger in the action filled TV show Power Rangers Ninja Steel.

Is there anything he still wants to do? Is anything even left? “Well it’s no secret to my team that I want to play a serial killer. There’s a possibility for a typecast, and I would like to play against [it]” Greetham continues on to discuss his journey into acting and why his independent film projects that all released this year were so important to him.

Although fairly far from a serial killer, Greetham maintains the negativity as Nick Boomer in the musical The Prom, directed by Ryan Murphy. Greetham plays a close-minded teenager in this screen adaptation of the Broadway musical in which Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman) wants to take her girlfriend to prom at her high school in Indiana.

Nico Greentham, The Prom actor

Nico Greetham. Photograph: Hernan Rodriguez

Before we talk about your upcoming movie, The Prom, let’s talk about your venture into acting. As a trained dancer, you were on So You Think You Can Dance, then on Broadway, before starring in Power Rangers and now The Prom. Can you talk about how that journey’s been for you and when you knew you wanted to begin acting in TV and film?
I realise that my career has been so lovely and diverse now and I’m so grateful for that. As far as wanting to act, it had been since I could speak. Dance just kind of happened to me. My older sister danced and so I got into dance because of her and then I just rode the wave of dance.

I grew up in Virginia, so I guess the opportunity of acting was in my mind, not realistic until I moved to LA. So You Think You Can Dance brought me to LA and gave me the foot in the door.

Was there a specific movie that you saw that inspired you to begin acting?
When I was young, I would watch kids who were my age at the time, and just be inspired by the fact that they’re doing it. I used to watch Josh Hutcherson in Bridge to Terabithia, even like Disney Channel Kids. It was just anyone on the screen who I guess I could like resemble.

Nico Greentham, The Prom actor

Nico Greetham. Photograph: Jerry Maetas

The year 2020 marked your transition from TV to Film and prior to that, an even bigger transition from performing live on Broadway to performing in front of a camera for indie films such as Dinner in America, First Lady, and Dramarama. What was that change like and what challenges did you face?
I think there is nothing like performing for a live audience because there’s the instant gratification and the immediate reaction, [with] the pressure of one chance to get it right. Film’s also exciting [since] you have multiple chances to find different routes to get to what you and the director are trying to accomplish.

The challenges I would face when I first started acting was in class: as a dancer on stage I was going as big as possible so that the mezzanine could see me and for film you got to be as still as possible [to be understood] so my teachers would strap me to a chair and would just be like “Sit still! Stop moving!”

What were some specific things you learnt through dance and performing live that helped you make that transition?
I think dancers are taught a certain discipline that becomes part of their human character. Working as a professional dancer, unfortunately, you find yourself at the bottom of the short stick regardless of being one of the hardest working [people] in the industry. [It’s] very sad but it’s also very grounding and humbling.


Nico Greetham. Photograph: Netflix

Coming to the film The Prom, how did you get connected with the project and what drew you to this role of Nick Boomer?
First, I love Ryan Murphy’s universe that he’s created over the past decade, that anything to be a part of what he does is exciting. I’m obsessed with American Horror Story. The second one, is a character who doesn’t share the same mentality as me and is opposite in morals and that’s a bit more challenging. [Which] is attractive and excites me.

There is a stellar cast-list in this movie that includes Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Kerry Washington and more. What was that set experience like and if you were able to interact with them either on screen or behind the scenes, what were able to learn from them?
I mean first of all that list is just absurd. The first day we saw them was in a rehearsal and they made it a point to introduce themselves to everyone. They set the grounds for respect and they’re so humble and talented. On my offlines, when the camera was on them, not on my character, I would just sit there and watch them. They were so alive at all times even when they didn’t have their lines being said and it just ignited this fire.

Nico Greentham, The Prom actor

Nico Greetham. Photograph: Hernan Rodriguez

What advice do you have for aspiring actors or what piece of advice have you received that you’re grateful for?
I would say to an aspiring actor, and I’m still working on this, is to not rush it. To realise that your path and experience is so specific to just you, and in this industry, it’s so easy to compare yourself to everyone else. But, if you train, and surround yourself with people who inspire you and believe in you, and then if you just believe it’s going to happen, it will.

What has been the highpoint of your career so far?
I feel like I’m always on a high, which I’m so grateful for and I think that’s why I do this. I would say also, finding my identity, with my career too. My biggest nightmare was to be a dancer who was trying to act. I want those to be separate: actor and a dancer. It took me a long time to really feel that validation. Sure, Prom has dance, but I have other projects that don’t involve dance and I’ve finally been like, “People see me as an actor.” That’s definitely a highlight.

by Chandana Kamaraj

Photographer: Hernan Rodriguez

Stylist: Luke Funtecha

Grooming: Jenna Nelson

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