Matt Borish : INTERVIEW

 

The Rounding First Tribute Site was EXTREMELY fortunate to secure an interview with young Matt Borish , whose role as Tiger in Rounding First was truly integral to the film , an astounding performance that was a finely balanced blend of raw intensity and vulnerability .

Currently taking a long break from acting to complete his High School and College years , it was an honour and privilege to finally catch up with this young man, back home for a very short spring break .

We are extremely grateful to director Jim Fleigner , and Matt's father, Arnold Borish , who coordinated this interview with Matt Borish at 7.30pm on Tuesday 12th March 2007 , Eastern Time.

Thanks also must go to Matt himself, of course, who was totally supportive of this Tribute Site. THANKS, Matt !

How old are you now, Matt ? What is your birthdate ?

Matt Borish : I'm 15 . My birthday is April 13th , 1991.

 

How old were you when you started acting and how did you get started on this career ?

Matt Borish : I was 9 , and I had wanted to be an actor for a very long time , but my parents really didn't want me to though. People used to come up to me and tell me that I should be an actor. Then I met a casting director , named Mike Lemon , he got me started in the acting business. He got me an agent, and then I started auditioning. That's how I got started.

 

What was your first job as an actor and what do you remember about it ?

Matt Borish : My first job was the Disney Tour of Beauty and the Beast, that was for six months. That was a really great experience . We went to 13 different cities across USA and Canada . It was a lot of fun doing the play and it was also a lot of fun going to all the cities.

 

What did you act as ?

Matt Borish : I played Chip .

 

Did you have to wear a costume ?

Matt Borish : Yeah <laughs> You could only see my head ! <laughs>

 

How did you come to do Rounding First ? What was it that attracted you to the project ?

Matt Borish : I'd read the script, and it was a really , really great script . It was the best script that I had ever read, and I really wanted to audition for it. My agent got me an audition, so I went to Allentown and auditioned. I really liked Jim and we just hit it off. I read with him , and then I had a call back and they said I got the part.

 

Tell us about the audition process . My understanding is that you first were videotaped by the casting director and then a few weeks later Jim came in and interviewed you in person… What was it like to audition with the other finalists?

Matt Borish : When I auditioned with Sam and Soren , it really just felt like we were all right for the roles . With Jim I had to do a pretty challenging scene, it was the courtroom scene, and it just felt like I was right for the role, and my chemistry with Sam and Soren was good , so I think that's what got me the part.

 

How did you feel when you were first given the script for that courtroom scene, and how did you prepare yourself for the audition ?

Matt Borish : Well, first I had to memorise it, and I did that by just reading it over and over , until I had it memorized. Then I looked in a mirror , and I'd do it until I found the way that I thought was the way to do it, then I went in to the audition and did it the way I did it in front of the mirror. <laughs>

 

Did you feel good about it after the audition ? Did you have a feeling that you would be picked ?

Matt Borish : Yeah …. once I had met Jim and read the scene, I felt like I had done well even before the callback came. Sometimes you just have a feeling that you've nailed it.

 

How old were you when you auditioned for Rounding First ?

Matt Borish : I was 12 .

 

How did you find out that you finally got the role and how did you feel then ?

Matt Borish : I got the news from my agent, Gail Williams, and I was pretty excited about it. After that, I went around and helped Jim raised the funds for the movie.

 

You played Tiger in Rounding First . What's your take on the character of Tiger ?

Matt Borish : I think he's a really challenging character , because he really has two sides to him. He seems like a bad kid, but deep down he's a really good kid. He has this rebel spirit to him , so he's a really challenging character, but a really great one to play .

 


Do you think he was he a likable person?

Matt Borish : Yes , I do . I think he was a very likeable character.

 


Why do you think he was always getting into trouble?

Matt Borish : I think it was because he was very upset about his brother dying , and his home life was very troubled , so he took it out by doing bad things.

 

Do you think he was justified in aiming a gun at Joe's brother?

Matt Borish : No , I don't think he was justified, but I think it's what had to happen, and that was a very powerful scene in the film . I think it really helped the film.

 

Which was your most challenging scene in Rounding First, and what did you do to prepare yourself for that scene ?

Matt Borish : I would say that the courtroom scene was definitely the most challenging. I prepared for it the same way, by memorizing the script, and then I worked really hard with Soren, Sam and John Michael Bolger before , and really got a sense of the scene before I went and did it. And to prepare myself, I . took the time, really took about half an hour before, and just went into the room by myself and really got focused to prepare for it.

 

How do you think that scene in the courtroom compare emotionally for you as an actor , versus the scene in the jury room with John Michael Bolger who played your father, where both of you were crying ?

Matt Borish : Those two scenes were shot on the same day, pretty close to each other, so preparing for one helped me prepare for the other, because they were in the same mood.

 

Was it emotionally draining for you that day , filming two emotionally intense scenes ?

Matt Borish : Oh , I felt that it was definitely emotionally draining, but because it was all filmed on the same day, I just kept myself in the same mood.

 


What was it was like to act with Soren Fulton , Sam Semenza . Do you all still keep in touch ?

Matt Borish : Oh, Soren and Sam were great ! Soren and I became really good friends, and the same with Sam . We bonded outside the film , I felt like we bonded just like in the film, so that really helped the film a lot, because we were all really close friends both outside the film as well as in the film. Since film's end, I haven't talked to Sam that much , but I still talk to Soren, and whenever I go down to Los Angeles , I've gone down a couple of times, and I've gone over to Soren's house both times. So yeah, I still keep in contact with Soren, but I haven't heard from Sam in a lot.

 

How was Jim Fleigner like as a director ?

Matt Borish : He was a great director. He was juggling a lot of things, he wrote it, produced and directed it, and that's a really challenging thing to do , but I really felt like he kept it cool. He knew what he wanted for each scene and he really worked with us to get it. He was tough at some points, but I felt that he really brought the best out of all the actors for the film.

 

When you watch the film now, what do you think you achieved in your role as Tiger ? Are you proud of your performance ?

Matt Borish : I feel that out of all the projects that I've done, Tiger was one of the best characters and one of the most challenging roles that I've played. I gave it my all and I look back very fondly on it.

 


Do you have any interesting anecdotes or stories to tell us about being on the set of Rounding First ?

Matt Borish : I can't think of anything off the top of my head …. Oh wait , I remember a funny incident . The way when we filmed at Dorney Park for the rollercoaster scene , we had to ride the rollercoaster ride about hundred times, well not a hundred, but a lot of times to finally get the right take, and I remember <laughs> when Soren and I got off the ride at the end of the shoot, I think we both felt like we threw up from riding it so many times ! Yeah. <laughs>

 

What was it like working so closely with John Michael Bolger ?

Matt Borish : Oh, he was great ! He really helped me as an actor… he got me through the part and he was great to work with . He helped me with my performance, gave me a list of movies that I should watch, and I watched them , he was a really good actor to work with, he was almost like an acting coach as well as a fellow actor.

 

I heard that you had to ride in the car for a whole week with Soren, Sam and Michael filming the many scenes in the getaway car ... what was it like spending all that much time in the car with the three of them ?

Matt Borish : <laughs> It was very , very hot , first of all <laughs> , but it really helped us all bond, I became very , very close to Mike and Soren during that shoot , and Sam also . I think it was the heat that kinda brought us together , I guess. <laughs>

 

What were your thoughts when you finally saw the film , in a theatre, with an audience behind you ?

Matt Borish : It was a really proud moment. I felt proud of the film, and I felt proud for Jim, and I felt like everyone did just an excellent job on the film , and I felt that the finished product was really great. It was great seeing the other people enjoying it, the finished product.

 

Matt, what have you been up to since Rounding First ?

Matt Borish : I did a show 2 years ago in New York , an off Broadway show called Beast on the Moon, which was about the Armenian genocide , and that was a really great project. The director was Larry Moss who was the acting coach to Hilary Swank, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jim Carrey, and a lot of big names , and Helen Hunt. It was a really great experience. That really helped me progress to a new level as an actor. I played the role of Vincent…he's an orphan taken in by this Armenian couple. It was a four person drama and I was in it for about 4 months. Hilary Swank came and saw the play, and Leonardo Di Caprio and Helen Hunt . Hilary Swank said that she thought I did a really good job. That was really cool, because she had just won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in the Clint Eastwood film , " Million Dollar Baby ".

 

Since then, have you been acting ?

Matt Borish : No, I decided to take a break from acting to go to High School and College before I start acting again after College. Everyone thought that it was a good decision, but I plan to act as a career after College. I'd love to go to college at USC or NYU.

 

Well , Matt , I wish you all the best not only as you pursue your studies, but in your future career as well . We all hope to see you acting again .

Matt Borish : Thank you very much .

 

 

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