Actor Desmin Borges, who has been seen on many notable tv shows and films including playing a very memorable vet with PTSD on FX’s You’re The Worst, is now starring in a new comedy-drama called DriverX, which chronicles the life and riders of a ride-share driver played by Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul). Desmin plays one of the service users, Tommy, a comedic character trying to find himself in the back seat of a car as well as through some very interesting night-time rendezvous.
Also starring in the movie, which starts its theater run late November 2018 and can also be seen on many streaming platforms at the same time, are Tanya Clarke, Melissa Fumero, Oscar Nunez, Max Gail and Travix Schuldt.
I had the opportunity to talk to Desmin about his role in the film, learn about his comedic inspiration, and get a glimpse into what makes this successful actor tick.
-----------------------------------------See DriverX in Theaters and On Demand Starting November 30, 2018
On Being Tommy
"Working on this movie was a blast. This is actually the second project I have worked on with Henry and Mark. The first project I worked on with them was a film called The House that Jack Built. It was shot in the Bronx in NY a couple years back. And then Henry called me up one day and said, "Hey, I'm working on this new film, I've got this character that I am writing for you for you now, and I want you to do the thing that you do and add to it as much as you can.”
Desmin’s Knack for Improvising
"Henry said that because on the House that Jack Built, the script wasn't exactly finished so we had a lot of room for some improvising within the scenes to kind of flush it out and Henry and I really hit it off on that level. Because you know, LOL if I get the green light and I hear go I'll take it into a couple different directions!! That way we have some variety and layers, because who knows what kind of story they want to craft once they get into the editing room.
And so I said yes of course very quickly, read the script, and found out it was going to be opposite Patrick, and I have been such a huge fan of his for such a long time and then yeah when we got on set it felt like Patrick and I had been working together for such a long time!"
On Being in Car in the Rain In The Wee Hours of the Morning
"We got a lot of what was on the page out, and then we just kind of just started playing around and letting it fly from there and taking it in different directions, cause we were in the car the whole time and for the most part it was raining and we weren't in perfect communication with Henry, so we didn't know if we were going in the direction he wanted.
So we would go like 20 or 30 minutes at a time and we would just get whatever, whatever was happening was happening, and then we would get out of the car, and he would give us some notes, and direction, but it was really fun and I was really grateful that we had a director and a writer who enjoyed the collaboration process, who understood that there are sometimes ways we can elevate what is on the page.
I kind of got that feeling because of so much time spent in the car, that we could put our input in."
There Really are People Like Tommy
"You know Henry and I talked about who this type of guy is, where he's from, the fact that well, he has a wife, but we envisioned him as the kind of person that mixes substances so whether that's like alcohol and pills, or alcohol and coke or something of that sort that there's always a demon that he's always trying to chase down but diverting them through these substances.
And we were shooting at night most of the time. It was basically like 9pm until 4am in the morning so I was pretty delirious anyway so it helped, I’d be like should I say this or not, and it was like yeah, let’s do it so that was really cool."
"Yes, it’s funny, I know guys like this, specifically, that I knew from Chicago. I kind of based it on them. I went to acting school when I moved to NY but before then in my mid-twenties I knew these couple of guys. They were really outgoing, charming, charismatic, they seemed free to do whatever they want, and then you find out that they have a partner and they're ridiculously in love with them, but they both have this understanding that allows them to live their individualistic life styles and then meet at the end of the night no matter what kind of night that it came to be and I always thought that was an interesting tactic.
It's not really my personal philosophy, for being in a relationship, but it's a fun one to play with in my character because it gives you the opportunity to explore some material that you necessarily would not be able to, without making the person sound like an asshole, or too committed to being a player, which my character is not that. He's still looking for himself individually, even though he's with this person. And he may want to be the best person he can for this partner, but he's still fighting his own demons you know, outside of the relationship, so I always thought it was an interesting approach."
"I know how to make things funny but I don’t know if I could write a whole set, if I'd be good or effective, I mean you hear about most of those comics who were bombing forever until finally it clicked one day. I heard Zach Galifianakis talk about this, other comics……..it takes time."
Watching the Church Lady, Listening to Sandler’s Hanukkah Song
and a Steady Diet of Wayne’s World
"I'm an SNL kid, I grew up on them, you think about Belushi and Akroyd, but the cast I connected with most was the one with with Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartmann, Rob Schnieder, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley.. the whole gang.
That whole movement that was happening in the early to mid 90's turned out to be like some really amazing stuff, and I feel like a lot of my humor is kind of fed through watching them every Saturday night, and how much joy they took working together. Probably the best thing I took away from it, is the way Amy and Tina, well they really enjoyed working together within those skits and you can tell, Jimmy Fallon was always breaking laughter in the skits, some crazy stuff!"
A Bit Like Fabian’s Character
"So it was fun to play this within this scenario, and it was just so nice because it kind of mirrored a little bit of what Patrick's character is going through what he's trying to juggle and fight within his own."
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Desmin Borges Talks You're The Worst:
Now for Some Serious Stuff
"Maybe my character is like a younger version of himself, that he sees, I had always thought that but we really didn't talk about that.
Patrick is a middle-aged man not feeling comfortable with where he is. I think that depending on where you are, your age or location, a person could feel out of place anywhere. When I was in Houston Texas when I was younger I felt out of place there coming from Chicago so I definitely understand that feeling of feeling out of place."
Getting Around in NYC
"Living in NYC when Uber first came out, I started ordering it all the time, because it was cheaper than taxis and it would come right up to you. Then then when I heard about some of the affiliations that the CEO had, politically, I cancelled my Uber account. I do have LYFT for when I need it.
Chicago Pizza - Lou Monatti’s or Giordano’s?
"Favorite would be Lou Monatti’s. But, I'm not a deep dish guy, not that I don't love it I just can't handle all that cheese it's too heavy for me. My favorite pizza of all pizza is the small Sicialian square that are usually called grandma style they have it in parts of Chicago but it's all over NYC and it reminds me of the pizza that my grandmother used to make in her kitchen. But if I’m in Chicago, if I'm taking someone out, we're going to Lou Monatti's."
"Favorite shows to binge on? Stranger Things, um, and This Is Us. The thing is, you can't being this This Is Us because it's too emotional, I can't binge more than two of those episodes in a row because I'm crying at the end of every episode."
I also like the Walking Dead, I could go down the rabbit hole and get really dark with that one and spend a few hours there.
Oh, and I like animated – have you seen these shows? I’ve been binging Archer and
Advice for Young Actors – You are your Competition
"I would tell a younger actor to always remember that it's not a competition against you and everyone else, it's a competition against you and yourself and as you prepare and hone your craft the way you want to and in a way that makes you passionate those writers, directors and producers and casting directors will remember you. They may not want you for this part but they're remember you for another down the road.
I feel like a lot of people feel there is a lot of competition between them and someone else, and the older I get the more I realize that way it’s going to be a rough sledding ahead. But as long as you remember that it is you versus yourself I think you'll be good, it allows you to push yourself more and not get so down on yourself.
if you know that you did the best you could, I can guarantee you those people will hire you for something that's probably better than what you are auditioning g for now and you'll win out later. It will give you the opportunity to grow more to expand whatever reportiere you already have in your box."
Besides DriverX, What Else is On Your Slate?
"I did a film called Private Life. It’s about a couple, played by Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti having a hard time having a baby, so they go through the other options, whether its adoption or IVF. And along the way they deal with some complications. I play this character who is employed by Paul Giamotti’s character. I’m his only employee in his pickle company and I fall very head over heels with his niece It’s made by Netflix."
So Many Platforms, So Many Voices
"There’s lots of new players in the movie business these days, lots more opportunities, it's great. You get to hear more female voices and voices from people of color and you get a nice variety of stories from people that need to be told, so that everyone can feel a part of what is going on."
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