Friday, May 9, 2014

Interview: Christian Borle Helps Make Shutterllies a Smash Hit

Christian Borle is a Tony-Award Winning actor piling up TV credits with his work on NBC's Smash and The Sound of Music. Now he's making a name for himself in film as the quirky and sinister Lieutenant Burns in the short film Shutterflies.

Tony-Award Winner Christian Borle in Shutterflies
It says a lot about an actor who would do a film for unknowns, let alone kids.

But Christian Borle helped out a friend of his he met on the set of  NBC's Smash, Jeff Muhlstock, whose 17-year old son was making a movie with another 17-year-old, without hesitation.

“I saw the script and I loved it”, Christian said.  "It was mini Quentin Tarantino-ish.”. But he added, “Jeff, and I have a great relationship. I would have done it anyway."

Spencer Muhlstock, Christian Borle  and Hayes Walsh
on the set of Shutterflies in the 60's Kitchen
Christian plays Lieutenant Burns in Shutterflies, but he is most recently spotted on the streets now as composer Tom Levitt of NBC's Smash fame. 

Though well-known and respected in and around Broadway for his outstanding roles in many plays, Smash made Christian Borle a household name - how apt to bring him to the small screen in a drama mimicking the life he already lived. Well almost - we all know TV is TV, but if you ask him I 'm sure he would say there sure was some crossover.

Christian has also been on several TV shows, including The Good Wife, Law and Order and Ghost Stories. He also had a role in the movie The Bounty Hunter with Jennifer Anniston and Gerald Butler.

His Broadway career is extensive. Christian made his Broadway debut as an understudy for the role of Willard in Footloose. After that he went on to roles in some memorable and timeless classics like Jesus Christ Superstar, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Legally Blonde and Mary Poppins. He also performed in regional theater and on national tours.

Christian won his Tony Award for his outstanding portrayal of Black Stache in Peter Pan and the Starcatcher. This was his second Tony nomination, this was his first win as Best Featured Actor in a play.

Christian Borle at the premiere of Shutterflies
I met up with Christian at this premiere of his new short film, Shutterflies in suburban NJ. Shutterflies is a film written, produced and director by two very talented high school students, Hayes Walsh and Spencer Mulhstock of Ridgewood, NJ. His character, Lieutenant  Burns, is a debonair and mysterious law enforcement officer with a lot to uncover - and cover up. Borle brings this character to life with depth and brilliant believability.

We talked about Smash, the movie and his other projects. Upon meeting him, I realized that Christian is the kind of guy you'd love to have at your next party. He's interesting, funny and has a very colorful way with words.

Suzee: What did you like about doing Shutterflies?

Christian: I really haven’t done anything like this in the past (referring to the character). I was excited to tap into that kind of role.”

Suzee: What do you like doing better, TV, movies or Broadway?

Christian:  They are all pretty fancy. I can’t say there’s one I prefer over the other. I’m just lucky I can do any of them.

Suzee: What do you see yourself doing 5 years from now?

Christian: Who can predict that? Who knows what the future will bring!

Christian Borle
Photo Credit    Suzanne Curry
Then I asked Christian a few questions about his career and Star Wars. Why Star Wars?  I will take Wikipedia as Gospel that he is a huge Star Wars Fan and indeed he is.  According to Wikipedia, Christian was a Star Wars fan since he was a kid, so much so that he entertained making a career as a comic book writer. However, as a sophomore in high school he auditioned for the high school play and the rest is history.

Suzee: I understand you have quite an appreciation for the world of science fiction.

Christian, with a smile, ‘It IS an exciting time to be a Geek”.

Suzee: So, you must have a favorite Star Wars character?

Christian:  Yes, I do.  They’re all quite freakish.  But, maybe I’ll let you pick!  It’s like asking me to pick my favorite child. Let’s see, I have a Boba Fett and a Storm Troopers Helmet and a Darth Vader Mask.

Christian Borle and Fans
Suzee: So when you have spare afternoon, what is your favorite show to binge-watch? 

Christian (without hesitation): Battlestar Gallactica!

I had more questions, but word had gotten out that Christian was at this tiny theater and the fans were awaiting. 

Christian Borle fans will LOVE him in Shutterflies. He's got the same chutzpah as in Smash but with a dark side.

For the movie trailer click here:
For more information on Shutterflies visit:
For an interview with the producers of Shutterflies click here:
                                                                                                             Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry

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