Even though the TV series “Graceland” sounds like it should have music in it, there is no real connection to Elvis Presley’s Memphis-based home in the show. Rather, it is a cop drama about a joint task force—FBI, DEA and Customs—working undercover at a beachfront mansion in Southern California. The house is named Graceland because it was seized from a drug king who was a Presley fan.
But Tveit, 29, who most recently sang in his role as the student revolutionary Enjolras in “Les Miserables,” saves his vocal talents to belt out Motown tunes between takes on the Florida set—the Sunshine State is doubling for California—of the series.
“I think it adds an extra amount of focus to the work that we’re doing because we’re not distracted by where we’re living,” says the actor, who up to now has been best known for his theater work. “We’re not in Los Angeles, where I feel like so much of the entertainment industry lives, and we’re not in New York, that’s so fastpaced. We get to go somewhere, and our sole focus there is to shoot this television show.”
Tveit’s Broadway musical credits include originating the role of Frank Abagnale Jr. in “Catch Me If You Can,” portrayed in the Spielberg film by Leonardo DiCaprio. Additionally he created the role of Gabe in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical “Next to Normal.”
Born in Middletown, N.Y., Tveit graduated from Middleton High School, where he combined his love of theater with sports, including golf, soccer and basketball. He attended Ithaca College for two years before leaving to launch his professional career, which he did in a national tour of “Rent.”
Tveit also can be seen in the films “Premium Rush,” “Howl” and “Ghost Town” as well as on TV in “The Good Wife,” “Body of Proof,” “Ugly Betty,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and as Trip Van der Bilt on “Gossip Girl.”
“I really, really am enjoying my time working on a television show,” he says. “It’s nice to, instead of just spend time with one script eight times a week, get a brandnew story to tell every week.”