Since its Broadway debut in 1996, there have been many iterations of Rent but there's never been a black version of the character Mark Cohen. Until now. Jordan Fisher plays Mark in Rent: Live, and as it turns out, he's dreamed of this for years — and not just because he admires the musical. Fisher opened up about this dream of his during an interview with Access, saying, "The genesis of my wanting to pursue [acting] professionally began with [seeing RENT] 15 years ago." He said that Mark's story just moved him, and Fisher knew that he wanted to play the role someday. The actor also told the Arizona Daily Sun that he could relate to Mark "in a lot of ways," which helped fuel that desire to bring the character to life.
In fact, back in October, he also tweeted about how much the role meant to him, writing:
y’all know I’m always sipping on some tea I’m frankly dying to spill. What y’all don’t know is that fourteen years ago, my ultimate dream I wanted to see manifested was to be the first Mark Cohen of color. That dream is about to be realized. Can’t wait for this journey. 💜— Jordan Fisher (@Jordan_Fisher) October 29, 2018
A year after Fisher saw the play on a bootleg tape (he told the Live! With Kelly and Ryan hosts that he sadly never got to see Rent live on Broadway), he decided to manifest that goal. He told Access that he was at a dinner party 14 years ago when his mentor suggested that Fisher put into the universe one very specific wish. Fisher chose being the first man of color to play Mark Cohen.
And Fisher is more than prepared to take on a live role such as this. He recently participated in Grease: Live on FOX as Doody (where he also worked alongside his Rent co-star Vanessa Hudgens), won Dancing With The Stars in 2017, and was even in Hamilton as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton. If he can handle the pressure of being in one of the most talked about Broadway shows this decade, his Rent: Live stint should be a breeze. Tune in Jan. 27 to see the show where Fisher will be making history while he lives out his biggest dream.