In the heart of Broadway’s bustling theater district, a fresh face has been making waves with his electrifying performance as Marty McFly in Back to the Future: The Musical. At just 22 years old, Casey Likes is proving himself to be a force to be reckoned with in the world of musical theater, effortlessly stepping into the iconic role originated by Michael J. Fox in the beloved 1980s film trilogy.

On one of his days off from playing the time-traveling teenager, J-14 got to sit down with Casey, where he shared insights into his remarkable Broadway journey, the advice the original Marty McFly gave him and so much more. Keep reading for our exclusive interview with Casey.

casey likes
Michael Kushner

Raised in Chandler, Arizona, Casey’s love for theatre was nurtured from a young age, as his mother is a former Broadway actress. From nabbing multiple roles in local productions to making his Broadway debut as William Miller in Almost Famous in 2019, it’s been his portrayal of Marty McFly that has catapulted the actor into the spotlight — with one of his many career highlights being the moment he met Michael J. Fox himself.

“Oh, it was five minutes before we started the show for our opening gala night performance and he was right outside and I was wearing my Marty Mcfly outfit,” he recalled of their first meeting, before sharing the advice Michael gave him.

“I went over and he said you have any advice and he said ‘kick ass, and if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything’ — which is a line from the movie,” Casey said. “I’ll never forget that.”

Casey’s performance has been lauded not only for his portrayal of Marty but also for his chemistry with costar Roger Bart, who plays the eccentric inventor Doc Brown. Together, they bring the timeless tale of time travel to life with an infectious energy that captivates audiences night after night.

“Everyone’s like ‘the car’s the star,’ and I’m ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah’ — she get enough stage time,” Casey joked. “I love Roger so much, he, fortunately, he was a hero of mine before I ever met him and now he’s become my best friend,” he continued. “I feel that having that off stage is important to showing it on stage.”

Not only that, the pair repeatedly share hilarious improvised bits throughout the musical — which change every single show.

casey likes
Michael Kushner

“You can ask some repeat visitors — we’ve got fans that have come about 18 times,” he revealed. “It’s always different.”

Following years of what has to be many “I made it” moments, Casey revealed one of his most cherished moments in his acting journey has been being apart of so many early productions for brand new shows.

“It’s also really magical getting to enter the theater for the first time. I’ve gotten really lucky to do, you know, two shows back-to-back and I was on them from a very early time,” he says. “And just looking out in the house for the first time and saying ‘Wow, I’m a part of Broadway history,” and you know ‘All these seats will be filled at some point’ [has been really special].”

Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.