February 2, 2006

Jersey Boys’ J. Robert Spencer Reflects on Playing the Late Nick Massi

February 2nd, 2006

J. Robert Spencer, who plays Nick Massi in the smash hit musical Jersey Boys, tells UPI that the script for the Broadway smash musical was based on actual interviews with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Spencer, however, was the only lead in the production who was unable to talk to the real-life guy he portrays in the musical about the chart-topping band. Original member Nick Massi died in 2000.

Spencer said he had to rely on the book writers, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, who had done extensive interviews with Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Frankie Valli and they had also spoken to Massi’s family. Additionally, the actor spent time talking to Massi’s friends and listened to tapes of his later work in an effort to capture the musician’s spirit.

Spencer said Massi’s relatives are extremely supportive of his endeavors:

“To have his family tell me I did their father justice and to have his nephews and niece come up to me after the show and give me a big hug and say, ‘Thanks for bringing our uncle back to life for a couple of hours’ — that’s the highest compliment ever.”

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