In 2006, he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his role as Frankie Valli in Broadway's Jersey Boys.
He is the only American actor to date to have received a Lead Actor in a Musical Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Award for a Broadway debut.
Hollywood studios were vying for the film rights.”So heated did the bidding get that Young, then only 20, was buttoned-holed by a studio chief asking for his help.
“I was at a film premiere in New York and one of the heads of a studio came up to me, a mere neophyte making his Broadway debut, saying: ‘You absolutely have to tell them to give the movie to us.’ There was a lot of excitement.”Still, it took years for the film to come together by which time Young owned the part, even if he was on the cusp of becoming too old (Valli is 16 in the story’s early stages).
Eastwood saw him perform on Broadway last year.“I met Clint very briefly afterwards on stage,” says Young who by then had performed the show more than 1,200 times.
“He keeps things very close to this chest and I have the same kind of personality so we had very short words with each other of admiration and the next time I met him was on the set of the movie.”If John Lloyd Young is Frankie Valli, what has he learned about the singer who still performs and was closely involved in the stage show and film production?
“I come from a military family so we moved around a lot.
Young reprised his role as Frankie Valli in Warner Brothers' film adaptation of Jersey Boys, directed by Clint Eastwood and released June 20, 2014.During his tenure at Jersey Boys, which now has several companies playing worldwide, Young performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, the New York City Marathon, New Year's Eve in Times Square, Yankee Stadium and Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.Young's run with Jersey Boys concluded on November 9, 2007, followed shortly thereafter by a sold-out-in-a-day solo concert debut at Lincoln Center.It’s an interesting way to look at life and it makes for a very interesting character.I have never shied away from showing that fatalism.”Does Valli have regrets, I wonder?