Bradley Gibson, is the reigning King of Pride Rock in Disney’s on Broadway, The Lion King. After making his debut in ‘A Bronx Tale’, Bradley chose to make the magical leap to Disney’s Tony winning, ‘The Lion King’ where he took on the mane and the mantle of Simba. Playing Simba, for Gibson, in the long-running production is a life full circle moment. Bradley Gibson truly is a prize amongst the pride, and SOULE got a chance to sit with him to talk Broadway, and his journey as Simba.
SOULE: What was it like for you landing the role of Simba?
BG: I always say Simba was my first superhero, He’s fighting the bad guys, he’s dealing with loss of a parent and trying to heal himself, he’s falling in love but he’s also on a major journey of self-discovery. We see ourselves in Simba’s story, I see myself. ‘The Lion King’ was my first of many things, it was the first movie I ever saw as a child. It was the first Broadway show I ever saw as a teenager. I was on a school trip and I fell in love with it, it feels like a love, like family. It was the first time I ever saw people that looked like me on stage!
What was your process like of preparing for Simba?
It was a four and a half week of learning lines, choreography, and the music. I was slowly integrated into rehearsing with the cast, the entire company. It was about me finding myself in Simba, the nostalgia from my childhood. It goes back to the self-discovery, of dealing with loss of someone important in our lives, what do I truly want, and how do I not disappoint my family? How do I stay true to myself and become the best version of myself? I had to connect to those things within myself authentically in order to connect to Simba.
What are you looking to do next?
Right now I am working on original music and will be dropping a single. It’s a feel good summer vibe that comes from the heart. I feel like we have to constantly push ourselves forward as people. This does not mean that I have plans on leaving the Lion King, because right now it’s family and family is important to me. It is what keeps me confronting myself creatively daily. It has been such a deep part of my journey, it’s home. I am honored to be part of what has become somewhat of a historical landmark in New York City.
Cover photo: Thepilot.com