PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: "Friday Night Lights" and Really Really Star Matt Lauria

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29 Jan 2013

Matt Lauria
Matt Lauria

Stage and screen actor Matt Lauria, who begins previews Jan. 31 in Paul Downs Colaizzo's Really Really at MCC Theater, fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

He has appeared onstage in An Upset (EST) and Wright Flight (Roanoke Island Festival, NC).

Lauria was a regular on TV's "Gilded Lilys" (ABC), "The Chicago Code" (Fox) and "Friday Night Lights" (NBC). Additional screen work includes "Parenthood" (NBC), "CSI" (CBS) and "Lipstick Jungle" (NBC).


Full given name: Matthew Lauria
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born near DC. Grew up in Dublin, Ireland.
Zodiac Sign:Zebra-Cornucopius
What your parents did/do for a living:Dad: Animator/Artist. Mom: Nurse.
Siblings:One sister has degrees in philosophy/ethics and conflict resolution. As a part-time gig, she translates/edits political texts... in Mandarin.

The other sister is a horse trainer and badass-cowgirl. They are both knockouts.

Special skills: I can throw knives rather impressively, and jump over most people's arms at shoulder height. Truth. Hiya!
Something you're REALLY bad at: Remembering names... and faces (Ugh!)
First Broadway show you ever saw: Ragtime or Chicago, one of the two.
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations when first starting out? When I was 20, in L.A., I met Kevin Spacey, who told me that if I really wanted to be an actor I should go back to school (I had dropped out) and get legitimate training.

So we met at Samuel French on Sunset Blvd. and he helped me pick out about a dozen plays, from which to choose audition pieces; he then coached me on the monologues. It was surreal; he was one of my idols in high school. I'll always be grateful.

If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? Ooh...toughy. Maybe Elia Kazan's Death of a Salesman, with Lee J. Cobb (1949), OR the original production of American Buffalo, with Kenneth McMillan and Duval.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: I saw Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in Chicago, and I would definitely recommend it. I'd like to see The Book of Mormon [and would like to have seen] Golden Boy and Glengarry Glen Ross.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: "Heaven on Their Minds" (Jesus Christ Superstar), "Corner of the Sky" (Pippin), "A New World" (Songs for a New World), "Comfort and Joy" (Bat Boy), "Lily's Eyes" (The Secret Garden).
Some favorite musicals: The Secret Garden, Rent, Les Miserables, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Bat Boy, Into the Woods, Ragtime, Once on this Island
Some favorite modern plays: The Libertine, American Buffalo
Some favorite modern playwrights: Stephen Jeffreys, David Rabe, David Mamet, Sam Shepard, Suzan-Lori Parks, Tennessee Williams, Tracy Letts
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Marlon Brando, and (why the heck not) Michael Chekhov.
Your personal performance idols, living or dead: All obvious (but deservedly so): Brando, Orson Welles, Day-Lewis, Pacino, Hoffman, Pete Postlethwaite, Malkovich, Cate Blanchett, Duvall, Jeffrey Wright, Bill Macy, Kevin Spacey, Danny Devito, Helen Mirren, Streep and the list goes on and on and on and on...
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: In 2005 I saw Ben Whishaw in a bizarre play called Mercury Fur at a tiny theater called the Chocolate Factory in London. His performance made me think, "Damn, I need to step it up."
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