It’s From Japan! ‘Be More Chill’ Cast Shares Who Their Squips Would Be
In “Be More Chill,” uncool high schooler Jeremy swallows a Japanese supercomputer, also known as a squip, which tells him what to do to become popular, with some speed bumps along the way. Jeremy’s squip looks a bit like Keanu Reeves and is the persistent voice inside his head guiding him through life. The musical is running on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, and we chatted with the show’s cast to ask them who their real-life squip would be.
Will Roland (Jeremy)
The answer changes a lot, but at the moment, my squip looks like Steve Carrell and it tells me what people are sensitive about so that I don’t hurt their feelings and say the wrong thing. I believe he’s never hurt anyone’s feelings in his whole life.
George Salazar (Michael)
My squip would be Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” It would be a true test of ignoring a little demon on my shoulder because Frank Reynolds would give me the worst advice, and I would have to ignore it and shut it out. I’d be that crazy person on the train who’s just laughing to himself.
Stephanie Hsu (Christine)
My answer historically has been a tree, but recently, I leveled it up to a person and it would be Jada Pinkett Smith because I’m obsessed with her new show “Red Table Talk.” It just brings incredible women to the table and has incredible conversations so I feel like if I was ever in doubt, she would be like, “Listen, this is what you got to do.” She would be like “Don’t be shy, step into your power.”
Joe Iconis (Composer/Lyricist)
I have a trio of squips, and the trio is Stephen Sondheim, Martin Scorsese, and Kermit the Frog, and I think that they would help me in professional situations where I need to control some of my impulses or when I’m at a loss for words. I so worry about putting my faith and trust in a squip for writing. They’re all communicating with each other so I feel like I would end up writing something that’s exactly the same that someone in Poland is writing. I think the squips just want everything to be easy for everyone so they would be like, “Yes this is the one musical that exists.”
Jason “SweetTooth” Williams (Mr. Heere/Mr. Reyes/Scary Stockboy)
If I had a squip, it would have the soul of Michael Jackson in the body of John Goodman and it would help me dance and help me, not that I think I need it, but it would help me just be a solid dad because I think John Goodman is like that.
Jason Tam (The Squip)
It would be a synthesis of Patti Smith, the godmother of punk rock because she’s a bad ass, she would know exactly what to say in every situation. I love how creative she is. And it would be a mix of her and Daniel Dae Kim. It would be like “I’m a badass!” He’s just so cool and so smooth and kind, but he seems very powerful. He would help me be more of a king.
It would be Tracey Ellis Ross and it would help me to be fabulous, intellectual, and relevant at all times. She just exudes this forward old-school wisdom in her new Gucci clothes. Give me that.
“Be More Chill” production photography by Maria Baranova
Joe Iconis portrait by Stephanie Wessels