Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

Matt Boren; from “Momma’s Man” To Pap Dodging

Published on September 8, 2008 by   ·   2 Comments Pin It
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Matt Boren is a writer/actor who is currently blowing us away as the star of “Momma’s Man,” the new film from the producers of “Half Nelson” and “Maria Full Of Grace.” This is a performance deserved of an Oscar, and we interviewed Matt, an actor teetering dangerously along the freaky paparazzi filled edges of mega stardom, and told him so. Watch out, Jack Black. Pack your bags, Robin Williams – Matt Boren has truly arrived. “Momma’s Man” premiered at Sundance and was being buzzed about more than Lindsay “is she or isn’t she” Lohan. The New York Times raved; “This is independent cinema defined. Time Out called it; “a downtown-deadpan answer film to Apatow’s blockbuster beta-male celebrations,” and gave it 5 stars. The Village Voice said; “Momma’s Man is one of the sweetest, saddest stories Franz Kafka never wrote.” Rolling Stone beamed; “An extraordinary movie in every way.” And Entertainment Weekly gave it an “A” and proclaimed Momma’s Man “A beautiful, wise, shaggy, poker-faced comedy.” This is a film fully deserved of all its acclaim, though the film would be just another artsy ride without this staggering performance by Boren. Hell, we’d even watch his Microsoft Commercial.

Matt Boren in Mommas Man

Matt Boren in “Momma’s Man” – photo courtesy of Matt Boren

Matt Boren, a Framingham, Massachusetts boy, was born and raised in the theater. A few years ago he wrote, directed and starred in “Camel Lot,” a play about a twisted love triangle in high school. That led to NAKED TV, an inventive FOX program that aimed at finding new voices to create television shows. Boren’s staged pilot, “Dirtbags“, was ordered to script and then greenlit to pilot. Boren made “Dirtbags” with Fox and he cast Melissa Joan Hart and Balthazar Getty in the lead roles. Boren then sold his pilot “Port Cricket” to NBC and his half hour, overnight camp comedy, “Flagpole” to ABC. He is currently working on his latest half hour comedy “Rich Whores: A Fairytale” with Lorne Michaels’ company Broadway Video. Boren, who recurs as Stuart on CBS “How I Met Your Mother,” will begin filming another episode this week.

Matt Boren is a graduate of NYU, Tisch School of the Art, where he received degrees in writing and acting, and (disclaimer alert!) became BFF to GirlieGirl Army Founder, Chloé Jo, who proclaimed him “the most brilliant person she’s ever met” on the day they met.

GIRLIEGIRL ARMY: You are clearly a quadruple threat; actor, writer, producer, singer/songwriter. Do you feel like all your gifts inform each other? How do you manage to pursue each talent, or do they all fall together somehow?

MATT BOREN: First, thank you for the quadruplament. I spent the better part of my life trying to place myself into a box – because boxes seem to be easier for people to look at, pack up, tape and ship. However, I failed. Failed miserably. Could not turn off one light to make another shine brighter or brightest. When acting felt too bleak I would turn to the piano and compose. When my fingers got tired I would go act. When I have a story brewing I write. The actor in me plays all the roles as I write. The musician in me sets the landscapes, the timing and the melody of the scenes and the rhythm of the dialogue. Yes, for me, all the arts inform the others. I often feel like a proper crazy person, going from my piano to my computer and so on…in circles…so many circles. Ahh, that’s it. I’m more a circle I suppose. Not as easy to pack, tape and ship I guess. Great for hats, though. I’m not a preacher, nor am I the son of one, but I will say this… boxes are lame. Dimming any part of your light for THEM (insert your THEM) is a waste of time. Don’t fit in. And if you are different, then shit, be different. Stick out like a sore thumb. Once I caught on that sore thumbing has worked for everyone from DiNiro to Amy Sedaris to Tracey Ullman, Ricky Gervais, Jim Carrey, Picasso and Cher, I started beating my fifth fingers with proper hammers.

GGA: Tell us about your latest projects, and why each excites or bores you.

MB: Excited about “The Perry Street Apartment Year.” It is a musical I have been writing forever. I’m 22 songs in. A handful more to go. I can see it, and I think once you can see something, it feels much more possible. Working on a tv show called HOT GREEN GIRL (with GirlieGirl Army Founder, ChloÄ— Jo). Excited to work with someone I love so much, someone I had an almost band with once. But moreso, the show is about changing the world. It is funny and timely. In a world where certain Vice Presidential nominees take Polar Bears off the endangered species list (she lives in Alaska…easier for her to see the melting glaciers than you in Manhattan) we need shows like this. And we need people like ChloÄ— (not tooting her horn…toot toot, did it anyway) who are bright, capable, beyond funny and smart. **IDEA ALERT… ChloÄ— Sarah Pallin anyone??

GGA: You are such a gifted storyteller, what writers blow you away?

MB: I will forever hold J.D. Salenger very close to my heart. I must have read his books a million times. He informed my perspective in my formative years. Stephen Sondheim is a poet that simplifies the darkest and truest complexities in life. To have at a laugh I reach for Sedaris. I love the book I am reading now, “Middlesex” and the play “August: Osage County.” Do yourself a favor and hit up a Samuel French playwright shop. Get Tracy Letts’ work. Douglas Carter Beane work. Of course, Mamet and sniff out a random play that you have never heard of. Plays read so well. Much like books but…well faster.

GGA: If you had to listen to one song on repeat for the next 30 years, what would it be?

MB: Buckets Of Rain by Bob Dylan.

GGA: You are one of the un-knowners to pop culture addicts, ie you are yet to walk panty-less down Robertson, and yet your work has been on the tip of the tongue of Hollywood insiders for years. Where can people get hip to the maddening genius that is Boren?

MB: You can see me on “How I Met Your Mother.” You can go to Youtube and see two funny shorts I made: “Strike You” and “Status Update“. You can get your ass to a movie theater right now and see “Momma’s Man”. And you can visit my blog www.Happyonthepainfulroad.blogspot.com

GGA: What one painting makes the hair on your chest stand on end?

MB: No one will know it. But I’ve had the tiniest of oil paintings since I was born. It’s a sailboat on a quiet shore somewhere on Nantucket. It is silent. You can hear the wind rustling the sea grass. You feel hopeful and at peace. That little fucking boat makes all of this pavement pounding seem terribly trite.

GGA: Only to annoy people who think actors shouldn’t voice their politics; what do you think will truly effect change in our Country?

MB: Obama. That must happen first. We must happen. Where did our rallying hearts go? We did not take to the streets properly when Bush hoodwinked his way into office round 2! Caring about people, animals, skies and trees. I mean, come on already. I could go on and on. I will say I am impressed that Facebook is turning into a social/political platform. That helps, too. It all does.

GGA: Your performance in “Momma’s Man” is deeply moving, an emotional ride to say the very least. Name a few people that have most moved you in your life, and why?

MB: My Dad is the most emotional man I know – quietly emotional. Tears fill his eyes when his loved ones succeed. He is so proud of us for all of our achievements…big or small. Tori Amos used to blow my mind, watching her play the piano was inspiring. My nephew Benjamin makes my heart soar -he is five, so vibrant, so awake. The Beales, Little and Big Edie…their commitment to their own, fantastical world is beyond rangoon.

GGA: We’ve been BFF since we were practically in nappies, speaking our weird secret language and laughing until Dawn. What do you think the secret to long standing, deep friendships (like ours) is?

MB: Love. Trust. The knowledge that all things ebb and flow. And to hold tight to the truth of that. And to know that GOOD PROPER FRIENDSHIPS are like Sands Through The Hourglass: Marlena beware! But really, to continue growing together is essential. A true friendship celebrates the changes of each other. We are constant works in progress. And often friends begrudge or belittle someone changing and evolving. That does not work for me. Again, don’t box me in. Let me grow and become…and be interested in my blossoming. You, for example, continue peeling away the layers of your onion (not that onion) and I am always excited and surprised and intrigues, inquisitive and readied to learn about your newness. That’s all we have really in this life, a lot of room to become more than we thought we were or knew we could be.

GGA: New York or Los Angeles?

MB: New York. Sure there are the little things I love about L.A.; mountains, hiking and a handful of friends, but other than that this town is the Boca Raton of the West…good place to visit, great place to slowly die.

GGA: You are veg and drive a hybrid. What, in your opinion, is the easiest way for someone to go “green” and why?

MB: Just wake up and make the choice that helping the planet you walk on and eat from and bathe from everyday is a priority. Like if you have a child and you say “wow, being a dad is my priority” well, then, it is. It just is.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. Jessica says:

    Wow, what a great spirit Matt has, lucky girl Chloe Jo to have a friend like him. I can’t wait to see this flick – and make all my friends see it too.

    Oh, and I’m itching in my pants to see the HOT GREEN GIRL!!! When can we tune in?

  2. Nimsky says:

    Momma’s Man open on Friday 9/19 in Boston. Nice to see a Boston boy rule Hollywood!! Heard it’s an amazing performance. Can’t wait to see it!




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