by gary m. kramer
photography by robert ascroft | October 10, 2011 | People
Wool sport coat, Tommy Hilfiger ($395). Macy’s, 1300 Market St. 215-241-9000. Dress shirt, Bonobos ($98). Wool dress pants, Tommy Hilfiger ($175). Macy’s, see above. Black calf leather shoes, Salvatore Ferragamo ($570). King of Prussia Mall, 610-491-6810
Best known for his star turns on the small screen—in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Bones—David Boreanaz is thinking bigger these days, with his most noteworthy feature-film role to date in the inspirational sports drama The Mighty Macs. Set in the early 1970s and based on a true story, the film centers on Cathy Rush (Carla Gugino), wife of NBA referee Ed Rush (played by Boreanaz), who wants to coach the Immaculata College women’s basketball team. The film, which was shot in Philadelphia, was a kind of a homecoming for the Malvern Prep graduate. The son of retired WPVI weatherman Dave Roberts, Boreanaz seized the opportunity to take a recent trip down memory lane with his Bones costar Emily Deschanel.
EMILY DESCHANEL: Let’s get down to business. Your dad was a famous and very handsome weatherman. My grandmother would say that—very handsome. Did he inspire you to get into television?
DAVID BOREANAZ: My father was very supportive. He encouraged me and was always there for me. Seeing him in front of the camera, I was intrigued by his humor, his sense of style, and how he interacted with people. He gave me the sense of being comfortable in front of people and speaking from the heart. Moving to Philly [from Buffalo], I was first exposed to theater seeing shows on Broadway. That was very influential and powerful in awakening the spirit to be an actor.
ED: My father grew up around the Swarthmore area. What are your favorite memories about growing up in Philadelphia?
DB: My first Flyers game against the Sabres. Coming from Buffalo, I was rooting for the Sabres—which was a big mistake. I became a Flyers fan quickly. Seeing the Phillies’ World Series game against the Royals [in 1980] and drinking hot chocolate with my dad at the game. The Sixers winning the world championship [in 1983]. Playing football at Malvern Prep. Learning about how important family is, and not giving in to peer pressure. That was a big experience for me. Summers at the Jersey Shore. Eating downtown—especially in the Italian Market area, with the homemade cannolis. The Mummers parade. And doing Hello, Dolly! in my eighth-grade school play. [Starts singing]
ED: Are those all the memories you have?
DB: I’m giving bullet points. I love Murray’s Deli. Those things shape you, growing up on the Main Line in the 1980s. It was a well-rounded area.
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ED: So what was it like going back to Philly to shoot The Mighty Macs?
DB: It was great to shoot in Philly. I felt like the mayor coming back. I had fun with Carla [Gugino]. It’s a journey film for her character, and about how females are portrayed in that time—not as go-getters, but as stay-at-home moms. To see a person like Cathy Rush emerge to make the dream she believes in come true—I was proud to be a part of it.
ED: I played a coach’s wife in Glory Days. Did you meet Ed Rush?
DB: Ironically, I met Ed Rush through my friend at high school. Ed took us to a few Sixers games. It’s bizarre that I’m playing him in the film. I actually wore his officiating jersey. I remember meeting Dr. J and Darryl Dawkins on the floor with Ed.
ED: How was it to work with Carla?
DB: Carla was fun. She’s a practical joker though. She found this old picture of me in a bathtub—a sexy shot—and she put it on a T-shirt. She wore one, the director wore one. She’s very prepared and intense.
ED: I don’t have intensity?
DB: [Laughs] You have a calmer intensity.
ED: Coming back to Bones, we are both producers on the show, and you have directed a few of my favorite episodes. You are great and passionate at directing, and that really comes across. It’s infectious to be around you. If Bones ends, do you want to pursue directing?
DB: I enjoy doing it, and it would be nice to do it without acting at the same time. I would like to do a small indie feature with a really good cast—even a short. That would be a lot of fun, to experiment with that. I would like to pursue directing television, film, and/or theater. I’m learning more about directing each time I do it.
ED: It’s funny we are talking about your career plans—the rumor is you were discovered while walking your dog.
DB: It’s a bit of a Schwab’s [Pharmacy, in Hollywood] thing. My manager, Tom—who is still my manager—saw me walking my dog in West Hollywood. He said he was cruising me. A few days later, I scored an interview with him and realized he was the guy who saw me.
ED: Do you have any early-career stories from that time?
DB: I tried to get auditions by dressing in a suit and pretending I worked at Paramount. I handed out résumés. I walked right on the set of Cheers once and blended into the background. They called lunch, so I got a free lunch. I once snuck onto Columbia’s lot and was on the set of Dracula. I played Hacky Sack with Keanu Reeves.
|FROM TOP: Costars, best buds: Deschanel and Boreanaz in Bones; Mixing patterns like a pro: Boreanaz in The Mighty Macs|
ED: Since this is the Men’s Issue, how would you describe your style?
DB: I am all about the socks. Paul Smith socks.
ED: Do you have stock in that company?
DB: My character wears them. I integrated them with my character. Being comfortable from the bottom up is important for me.
ED: You do wear Vans.
DB: Yeah. I feel grounded. My own personal style is blazers, crisp shirts, refined suits—Paul Smith, Dolce & Gabbana, and Valentino, and Brioni makes a fantastic sports jacket that I love to rock. But there are days where I’m a T-shirt-and- jeans guy. I love vintage; I wish I lived back then.
ED: That vintage look suits you. I heard you got to wear polyester in The Mighty Macs.
DB: It was itchy. I was so goddamn itchy.
ED: Any embarrassing clothes stories?
DB: I have worn bad things—for example, a brown long coat I wore to the American Music Awards that looked like Chewbacca. What was I thinking or drinking that night? It was like mohair. It was a bad, bad coat. I got rid of it a long time ago. I like classic—simple, clean, and effective. That’s my style. That’s the only way to get through.
ED: My favorite look of yours is in our scenes in the car. You wear athletic shorts and shoes with a nice jacket and tie on top.
DB: They do that on newscasts.
ED: Did your dad do that?
DB: No, he was in weather, so he had to stand.
Styling by Jordan Johnson for Rachel Zoe Studio at The Wall Group; Grooming by Cheri Keating at The Wall Group; Production Design by Taylor Lorentz at The Wall Group; Stylist assistant: Allison Litman