Interview with ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ guest actor Matt Angel

Legends of Tomorrow” had the chance to see actor Matt Angel living out a dream with his role of a young George Lucas on last week’s episode called ‘Raiders of the Lost Art.’ Angel had plenty to share about being on the set with Brandon Routh, John Barrowman, Arthur Darvill, and more fabulous actors. Best known for his previous roles as Doyle Baske on season five of “Grimm,” and as Officer Mike Veach in “Sweet/Vicious.” This talented actor got his start on the TV shows “Goosebumps” and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”

Colleen Bement: How was it to play George Lucas in this week’s “Legends of Tomorrow’s episode called ‘Raiders of the Lost Art?’

Matt Angel: Playing George Lucas in “Legends of Tomorrow” was an absolute blast. I am a huge Lucas fan and I think my most watched VHS growing up was “Star Wars: A New Hope.” All of my friends liked “The Empire Strikes Back,” and of course I did too, but I was always A “New Hope” kind of guy, so getting to be George Lucas for a couple weeks was a dream. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it was absolutely daunting, as well. I mean, you’re playing George Lucas. EVERYONE is gonna have an opinion about that but my hope is that the audience loves it and enjoys it as much as I enjoyed doing it. It’s ridiculous, right? But at the end of the day, the goal is to have fun with these sorts of roles.

CB: My Twitter followers want to know if there are a lot of shenanigans on the set.

MA: I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more on a set. I got to spend a lot of time with Brandon Routh, Nick Zano, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Neal McDonough and John Barrowman and these people are hilarious. They’re all a riot in their own ways but Nick Zano in particular, would always say something to make me laugh just before action was called. Every single take! It was torture. I’m not even entirely sure how they had any useful takes from me. There’s nothing better than being unable to hold back tears from laughter but you also have an entire crew waiting for you to nail the moment so you can move on to the next shot. And Neal and John together are as fun behind-the-scenes as they are in the episode. Oh, and Arthur Darvill; the guy is brilliant and also not lacking in the comedy department. We had a really great time.

CB: Tell your fans about your film “The Orchard.”

MA: Ah, “The Orchard.” It’s a beautiful story about this hot-shot, Hollywood talent agent, Max Roth, who inherits this peach orchard in Canada when a distant relative passes away. It’s sort of the last thing this guy wants to deal with but he figures he’ll head up there for a few days, sell the land, make some money and return back to his routine. Of course it doesn’t work out that way. He ends up falling for this girl named Olive (played by my dear friend, the ridiculously talented Morgan Taylor Campbell) and she really opens up Max’s eyes to the important things he’s lost sight of, as many of us do over the course of this little thing called life. It’s an untraditional love story of sorts but it’s also a story about finding oneself. It’s really beautiful.
This was a special one for me because I got to make this film with some of my closest industry family. Kate Twa is the writer/director of the film and she is one of my absolute all-time favorite people to collaborate with. You’ll never find someone more brilliant at challenging you, and pushing you past your comfort zone as an actor. A couple years back she had called me and said she had been working on this little screenplay and couldn’t get my voice out of her head as the male lead. I said, “tell me where to be and when to be there.” The first time I read the script I knew I identified with Max but I never could have imagined how MUCH I identified with him. It became abundantly clear as life began to imitate art. I left my comfort zone in Los Angeles and traveled up to the Okanagan Valley in BC for the shoot, a place I fell head-over-heels in love with, and spent the next couple months learning a lot about myself over the course of making the film. It was as if I going on this parallel journey alongside Max while we were shooting. It was really something.

CB: How did you get into show business? Were you inspired by your father?

MA: I’ve wanted to be an actor for as long as I can remember. My father is a producer in television so I grew up on sets and I was instantly addicted. I spent every second I could in that world; it was the ultimate high. Our family was also obsessed with film in every regard. If I wasn’t at the movies on a Friday night, I was blasting film scores through my Walkman headphones and pretending I was in the movies. And I always knew I wanted to be an actor. I was raised about an hour outside Los Angeles in Rancho Cucamonga and my oldest sister, Jessica, and I would do community theater out there. My Dad definitely inspired me but my sister was really my biggest supporter in a lot of ways. My parents wanted me to wait until I was older to do the whole film and tv thing so she would take me to bookstores where we’d get these scene books and then go home, lock ourselves in her room and bring them to life. I have this very vivid memory of being about seven-years-old and acting out pivotal scenes from “Pulp Fiction.” My parents never knew. Then when I was about fourteen my parents realized I wasn’t changing my mind. We moved out to Burbank and I got very involved my high school’s theater program. I was the lead in all the plays and during one of our performances a young actress saw me and referred me to her talent agency. I went in for an audition and the rest is history. So, I was about 16 when I started in film and tv.

CB: What is your favorite comic book series or superhero?

MA: You know, I can’t believe I’m admitting this to the public but I have actually never read a comic book. I know. It’s really lame. Especially considering how much I love superheroes. And I’d have to say Spider-Man is hands down my favorite superhero. If I could have the power to swing through the streets of New York like he does I would probably quit acting and just do that full-time.

CB: If you didn’t end up becoming an actor, what do you think your profession would be?

MA: That’s a tricky question because I’m also a writer/director. So technically I would just do that. But if we’re stepping outside of the film industry entirely I think I would have to say a politician. I definitely don’t think I want to be a politician but I think we’re living in a very interesting time in history right now and politicians today are fighting very important fights. Fighting those fights is something I could wrap my head around. Ultimately, I’d look at it as a way of helping people and changing the world for the better. So, sort of like a superhero. Like Spider-Man. Or George Lucas!

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