PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Machinal Star Morgan Spector

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21 Jan 2014

Morgan Spector
Morgan Spector
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Morgan Spector is featured in the Roundabout Theatre Company's new Broadway production of Sophie Treadwell's Machinal. He fills out's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Spector most recently performed on Broadway with Jim Parsons and Jessica Hecht in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Harvey. He made his Broadway debut as Rodolpho with Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, and Jessica Hecht in the Tony Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge.

He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his performance in the world premiere of Russian Transport at The New Group Theatre Off-Broadway. Other significant stage performances include Dissonance (Bay Street), Yanks workshop directed by David Cromer; The Lion King National Tour; Enemies: A Love Story (Wilma Theatre).

On television, Spector portrayed Frank Capone in “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO). He just filmed a series regular lead role for acclaimed writer David Milch in “The Money” (HBO). He recurs as Peter Yogorov on “Person of Interest” (CBS) and has made guest star appearances on “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix), “Zero Hour” (ABC), “Do No Harm” (NBC) and “How To Make it in America” (HBO).

Full given name: Morgan Michael Douglas Spector. Michael was my paternal great grandfather's name, and the Douglas is for William O. Douglas, the great progressive Supreme Court justice.
Where you were born/where you were raised: I was born in Santa Rosa, CA, and grew up in Guerneville, about 25 minutes northwest. Redwoods, vineyards, hippies young and old.
Zodiac Sign: I’m a Libra.
What your parents did/do for a living: They're both retired now. My mom worked in public education for most of her career, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. My dad was an attorney for awhile and then part of the vanguard of the stay at home dad movement.
Siblings: I have a younger brother Michael who supports himself mainly through arm wrestling competitions. He's like Sylvester Stallone in "Over the Top," but with much more elegant thumbs.
Special skills: Having deeply held convictions about any damn thing whatsoever.
Something you're REALLY bad at: If you think about how good you have to be at something to really be good at it, I guess I'm bad at an oceanic vastness of things.
First Broadway show you ever saw: I think it was either Les Mis or Man of La Mancha.
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? My grandma was an actress in the Yiddish Theatre here in New York. I would love to go back and see her do Shakespeare in Yiddish.
Did you have any particular mentors or inspirations as a young actor? One thing I think about a lot, actually, is doing plays at River Repertory Theatre in Jenner, CA, when I was really little and having this feeling of there being a sort of palpable energetic field that existed in the space between us and the audience. And that I could affect that field-change that space-and consequently affect the audience. It felt like magic. Still pretty much does.
Current show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: It's not a play, but everyone should watch Charlie Brooker's show "Black Mirror." It's absolutely brilliant and terrifying.
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: "The Impossible Dream"
Favorite musicals: I actually love Cabaret, but I only know the film and Joel Grey's insanely wonderful performance. I'm excited to see it this season.
Some favorite modern plays: The Homecoming, Pillowman, Edmund, Endgame
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: I couldn't talk about Mark Rylance in Jerusalem without basically falling apart for about a year after I saw the show.


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