Spending Time with a Prince: Interview with Disney Frozen‘s Santino FontanaLauren Jimeson
The newest Disney animation film, Frozen, opened Thanksgiving week and broke all kinds of records for Disney. The film had the best opening of a Disney animated film since The Lion King.
Santino Fontana, an actor known for his many roles on Broadway, plays Hans in Frozen. Hans is the prince of a neighboring country of Arendelle, who plays Anna’s love interest. With 12 older brothers, Hans can relate to Anna’s feeling of being invisible at times to her older sister. The two quickly fall in love and can’t wait to see what kind of journey love takes them on. I had the opportunity to sit down for with Fontana to chat about his role in the film and what it’s like to play a prince.
Fontana started his career on stage, and it was something he knew he wanted to do since childhood.
“I forced my family to do a Thanksgiving play in our garage, and I was the turkey in pre-school,” admitted Fontana. “I always liked bringing people together and telling a story that kind of united them. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be an actor.”
Fontana didn’t have to do much research of what it’s like to be a prince, as he is currently playing the role of the prince in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway. But don’t think that just because he plays a prince on the stage and on the big screen that he and Hans are anything alike.
“Like any role, it’s kind of a match of your imagination and your experience. Hans doesn’t have a huge sense of humor. I like to think that I have a good sense of humor,” admitted Fontana. “I like to keep people laughing or myself laughing, because life is too hard otherwise. He’s not really that, so I’d say we’re pretty different. There’s not a lot that’s similar.”
But his inability to personally identify with Hans didn’t take away from excitement he felt while playing the character. “When I wanted to be an actor, I always think of like trying to get to that feeling of like you’re a little kid. If I can get to that place of finding like here’s what I’m playing like a kid, it’s pretty thrilling. And the great thing about animation is you’re not limited by anything physical or even logical,” explained Fontana.
And without those limitations, Fontana’s character, Hans, evolves quite a bit throughout the movie in ways that might surprise you. But you will have to see Frozen to find out just how he does it!
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