Backstage with: Francis Jue

Backstage with: Francis Jue

Posted by: at 10/09/2014 02:30 PM

Francis Jue plays a variety of roles in The World of Extreme Happiness including Mr. Destiny, an eccentric self-help guru who inspires his followers to find inspiration through their “personal power position.” Jue, a New York-based actor whose taking full advantage of his time in Chicago, took a break from motivating his co-stars to reveal some of the things that make him happy. Check out his answer to our backstage questionnaire below! 

(L to R) Jo Mei (Ming-Ming), Jennifer Lim (Sunny) and Francis Jue (Mr. Destiny) in the world-premiere production of The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig.


1. Place of birth and/or hometown: 

Born and raised in San Francisco.  I'm a real Northern CA boy, but I live in NYC now.

2. Current obsession (music, TV show, book etc.):

Chicago is my new obsession.  I'm in the middle of reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  I love the public pride, the muscular theatre scene, the easy living (thank you, Goodman Theatre!).

3. Favorite Chicago spot (newly discovered or old favorite):

Aside from the Goodman Theatre itself, I think I'm in love with Little Goat, the restaurant created by Stephanie Izzard.  I was a fan of hers on Top Chef.  And now I'm a huge fan of her sophisticated, yet down-home food.  The biscuits alone are totally worth it!

4. What drew you to The World of Extreme Happiness?

I'm drawn to The World of Extreme Happiness for so many reasons!  First, it's a brutal, deeply felt, sophisticated play, a contemporary tragedy.  It's set in modern China, but it resonates with so many cultural, political and human stories from around the world.  It's a real challenge to play with such extremes in a variety of characters, and to make each moment believable, since it would be so much easier to think of what happens in the play as fantasy.  But it's all happening, and I feel a great responsibility to honor the people in this play.  

5. What would/does your power pose look like? 

Ha!  I've actually worked out a "personal power position" for each of my 4 characters -- Old Lao, Mr. Destiny, Officer Gao Chen, and stylist Gunther.  But for my own personal power position, I'd probably sit in prayer.  I'd love to be able to find strength in quiet -- I'm not there yet, but I'm trying!

6. If you could tell an audience member one thing before seeing The World of Extreme Happiness, what would it be? 

You wanna see the world as it is, and not as we wish?  Then come see The World of Extreme Happiness and strap in.  It's going to be a wild ride!

(L to R) Jennifer Lim (Sunny) and Francis Jue (Old Lao) in the world-premiere production of The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig.



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