In the movie musical, The Greatest Showman, Keala Settle stars alongside Hugh Jackman as Letty (aka the Bearded Lady). Jackman’s Barnum, pulls Letty, along with several other “oddities” into the spotlight to celebrate what makes them different. Settle’s character leads the charge in a defining scene of the movie with the celebratory song of inclusion and diversity, “This Is Me.” The song, written by Academy Award-winning songwriters and composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul has since won the Golden Globe for Best Song and made it a serious awards season contender. It also put Settle in a well-deserved spotlight.
Settle admits that she has been surprised at the ovation The Greatest Showman has received since its release and how the soundtrack has become a chart-topper on iTunes and Billboard. The music is the crown jewel of the “Big Top” movie and Settle’s powerhouse vocals are pulsating through many of the songs — which shouldn’t be a surprise. Settle started as an R&B singer, but made her way to Broadway in many notable roles including Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Hands on a Hardbody — the latter earning her a Tony Award nomination. She also played the role of Madame Thenardier in the revival of Les Misérables and was in the original cast of the Broadway musical adaptation of the Adrienne Shelly-directed film Waitress.
We sat down with Settle as she talked (and became emotional) about what the song “This Is Me” means to her and how The Greatest Showman is a story that champions the underrepresented and overlooked. Listen to the podcast below.