Sutton Foster was ready to walk away from Broadway musical The Music Man if producer Scott Rudin hadn't quit amid allegations of misconduct.
In April, the Hollywood and theatre mogul announced he was taking a step back from all of his projects, including the upcoming Hugh Jackman and Foster musical, to reflect on his past bad behaviour, after he was exposed as a volatile bully in an article in The Hollywood Reporter.
Foster only spoke out publicly about the controversy after Rudin had withdrawn from the production, but behind the scenes, she reveals she had been considering dropping out of the stage revival altogether prior to his exit.
"Obviously, we were dealing with a situation and navigating a very difficult situation, so there were a lot of conversations that were being had," she told Variety about reports suggesting she would depart the show if Rudin remained onboard. "All that I can say is that was definitely part of the conversation. I can say that it was definitely part of the conversation, but it was never a threat - it was always just part of discussions of what I felt comfortable with and what I wanted to be involved with."
The Younger star felt it important to address her concerns with producers before going public with her opinions.
"I am very much excited to be a part of this production and be part of moving Broadway forward and creating a safe and equitable and inclusive environment for everyone involved - not just on our production, but beyond. That is what is important to me, so I needed to have those conversations," Foster said.
"You look at what your values are and what is important to you as you are navigating your career and the choices that you make, and then also, how you put those choices out into the world. So, it was an interesting time because I really had to ask a lot of questions of myself on how I wanted to handle the situation, so there were lots of conversations being had."
Following Rudin's departure, Jackman announced that the producers were in the process of "rebuilding the Music Man team" ahead of the show’s planned opening in February 2022.
Previews at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre are set to begin in December.