‘Kimmy Schmidt’s’ Tituss Burgess explains ‘Lemonade-ing’ and reveals the one thing that transforms him into Titus Andromedon
Tituss Burgess talks about his love of ‘Shameless,’ Eva Green on ‘Penny Dreadful’ and more.
For those who’ve come across Tituss Burgess in person and were gravely disappointed that he didn’t go full throttle Titus Andromedon — just know that he’s sorry.
Burgess, who plays the larger-than life drama queen on Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” has repeatedly had fans eagerly approach him, only to be deflated by the actor’s real-life savoir faire.
“There’s a bizarre familiarity that a lot of people have for who they think I am when they meet me... on some level, I feel bad for them. [I think], ‘You won’t see him today, but I do play him. Nice to meet you!’” Burgess said when he visited The Times’ video studio ahead of the comedy’s Season 3 premiere May 19.
Though the Broadway veteran and Kimmy’s roommate share similar first names and biographies, Burgess essentially has to re-watch the previous season to get back into character and retrieve his Titus-isms.
“I tell you, the one thing that truly does assist me in dropping into him is the wardrobe. Suddenly, he shows up and he starts and he can’t wait to come out of there,” Burgess said, later adding, “It is fun to be unapologetically that outlandish — he just blurts it out and it is refreshing, [but] after Episode 13, it is time for him to take a break.”
Burgess admitted consistently breaking character and bursting into fits of laughter with costar Ellie Kemper, whose titular character is a mole woman exploring the world after being rescued from an underground bunker. But for all the humor and wacky shenanigans they act out, it’s especially satisfying for the actors to experience flashes of deep emotion that explain their characters’ fears and vulnerabilities.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be this lucky, ever again. And I really mean that. A great role, if you are one of the lucky ones, comes once in a lifetime. It’s not to say that I’m not going to have good material ever again, but to be able to wear someone who is so close to me and to be able to live out parts of myself that have otherwise laid dormant that I now am able to give voice to — there’s nothing [like it]. I’m forever indebted to [creators] Tina [Fey] and Robert [Carlock] for this wonderful opportunity.”
The Season 3 trailer features Burgess paying homage to Beyoncé’s visual album “Lemonade,” which Titus takes very seriously, after things get hairy between him and his love interest Mikey [Mike Carlsen].
“Lemonade-ing seems to be the height of how you exercise your demons if someone’s broken your heart. What better way than to put on a yellow dress and get a bat and go and bash some windows?” the actor quipped.
In the Season 2 finale, viewers saw the thirsty “Kimono You Didn’t” star getting on a Miami-bound bus to join Dionne Warwick’s production of “Mahogany” on a cruise ship.
“He comes back prematurely and, of course in true Titus Andromedon fashion, mayhem has followed him back to dry land,” Burgess teased of the new season. “And he’s keeping a big old secret that we don’t know about but we find out later in the season and it’s as ridiculous as you can probably imagine.”
Watch Burgess’ full interview below:
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s” Tituss Burgess talks about the new season, paying tribute to Beyonce and more.
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