PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: "Boardwalk Empire" and Bad Jews Star Michael Zegen
15 Oct 2013
Michael Zegen, who plays the role of Liam in Roundabout's Off-Broadway staging of Bad Jews, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Zegen previously appeared Off-Broadway in Liz Meriwether’s Oliver Parker! (dir. Evan Cabnet) and Greg Moss’ punkplay (dir. Davis McCallum).
TV credits include recurring roles on “The Walking Dead,” “Boardwalk Empire” (Bugsy Siegel), “How to Make It in America” and “Rescue Me.”
Full given name:
Michael Jonathan Zegen
Where you were born/where you were raised:
Originally from Glen Rock, NJ… then moved one town over to Ridgewood in the 5th grade.
What your parents did/do for a living:
Mom was an elementary school teacher who now teaches nursery school. Dad is a lawyer.
One older brother, Josh, and one younger, Marc. Both in real estate. Yep, there’s gotta be some truth to that “middle-child syndrome.”
First Broadway show you ever saw:
I grew up close to the city, so my parents took me to lots of shows. Not sure what the first was, but I do remember seeing an early preview of the original Into The Woods… and it BLEW MY MIND!!!
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be?
Brando in Streetcar would be the obvious answer, but I’d also be really curious to see some old-timey, turn-of-the-century Vaudeville.
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations as a young actor?
Growing up, my favorite actors were Michael J. Fox, Matthew Broderick and River Phoenix. Oh, and Kirk Cameron!
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends:
Pippin was amazing! I performed it in high school, and it brought back some great memories (though I don’t remember my show having as many acrobats or fire-jugglers).
Oliver!, Into The Woods, Assassins, Les Miz, Sweeney Todd, Spring Awakening, Rent, In The Heights, Jesus Christ Superstar, etc. The list goes on. What can I say? I like a good musical now and again.
Some favorite modern plays:
Annie Baker’s The Flick; Amy Herzog’s 4,000 Miles; Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors; David Lindsay Abaire’s Good People and Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews (duh).
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with:
John Wilkes Booth. Maybe I coulda talked some sense into him.
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:
During my college semester abroad in London, I saw a production of a play called Cloudstreet, performed by Australia’s Sydney Theater Company. It was 4.5 hours of pure magic that I will never, ever forget.
You personal acting idols:
Steve Buscemi. I’d like to have his career.
MAC or PC?
MAC, of course. What am I, a communist?
Yahoo Fantasy Baseball, ESPN, Facebook (sadly) and Playbill!
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.