Tucker performing at Hampton Court Palace in 2009
|Born||Rachel Kelly Tucker
29 May 1981
Belfast, Northern Ireland
When my dad, Tommy Tucker Kelly, was about six, he started out with his dad on 'The Black and White Minstrel' Shows.
'We Will Rock You' is one of my favorite shows. I first saw it when I was a student at the Royal Academy and loved it.
All you would hear every night on the news was that somebody had been shot dead in a certain part of Belfast. We lived opposite a judge, and there were always soldiers crouched down in our garden. We'd sit and talk to them, and I even used to sing to them!
We used to have front-row seats for the Grand Opera House pantomime every year, and once the dame May McFettridge got me up on-stage.
I am glad and thankful that my husband forced me to start reading for pleasure, as it took me years to listen to him and pick up a book!
I like surprising my audiences, and it's compulsory to have fun and be silly; I never take myself quite too seriously.
I did a reality TV show in London called 'I'd Do Anything,' and when I got put in the program, they said, 'What is your ultimate dream?' and I said, 'Broadway.'
I started singing in pubs and clubs around Belfast when I was 10. My dad is a musician, and he took me 'round; I impersonated Tina Turner and Shirley Bassey, and the crowd couldn't believe what was coming out of this little girl.
When I was in the running for the role of Elphaba, I knew it was important to research and study as much background information as I could, so I got my head stuck into 'Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West' by Gregory Maguire, and I believe I lost many days, weeks, and months reading it – I was captivated!
I pride myself on not being run of the mill. I don't want to be your umpteenth Fantine in 'Les Miz.'
I read books for exams at school, but only because I had to read them, and really didn't enjoy it one little bit! The only time I did enjoy it was when I was asked to read out loud in front of the class, as I then used it as an acting exercise!
My mum was no pushy parent. She would drop me off for auditions when I was in my teens at the Lyric Theatre, then give me my bus fare and say she would see me later at home. She wasn't hanging around in the wings geeing me on. I had to do it on my own; it was up to me.
We lived in Manhattan, which was unbearable sometimes because it was so noisy. There were sirens blaring, construction sites going, people shouting and swearing at each other.
It's such a relief to see Catholic and Protestant ministers getting on – that's so rare. And in 'I'd Do Anything,' I've had so much support from folks back home, no matter what side they're on.
Living in New York for 10 months was incredible; it was everything I thought it was going to be and more.
It had to be a book that held my attention and kept me wanting to read it; when my husband finished 'The Road', I started it straight away and didn't put it down until I finished – it was such an achievement and relief to know that I could read, comprehend and, most importantly, enjoy a book!
'The Last Ship,' which is a beautifully written piece, is about a love triangle and young men working in a shipyard. Audiences may prefer to see a show that allows them to forget about their worries for an evening.
I'd been brought up on musicals. Instead of cartoons, we watched videocassettes of musicals at home.
If I thought about it before I went on, I would have never went on. So, therefore, you don't think about it; you have to talk yourself then into, 'Listen, this is it. This is the gig. Broadway or no Broadway, you've got to do your job.'