Last seen winning hearts and crooning classics as the playful cowboy Curly in Lyric Stage's acclaimed Oklahoma!, East Coast actor Bryant Martin returns to Irving to star as Thomas Jefferson in 1776.
While gearing up for opening night October 26, he took the time to fill out our survey of serious, fun and sometimes ridiculous questions.
Full name: Bryant Martin
Role in 1776: Thomas Jefferson
Previous work in the Dallas-Fort Worth area: I last played Curly in Lyric Stage’s production of Oklahoma!
Hometown: Granville Summit, Pennsylvania. I’m a Yankee.
First theater role: I played a little boy named David in a school play about the birth of Jesus. All I remember was I had to pull a lamb’s tail and get in trouble. That’s always come pretty natural. I had a blast.
First stage show you ever saw: I couldn’t really tell you the first thing I ever saw. The first Broadway show I saw was The Phantom of the Opera.
Moment you decided to pursue acting: You know, there was never really this “lightning” moment for me. It was always there, sort of, hovering in the background. I got into it pretty late. I did South Pacific in high school and have been doing it ever since, but my parents would say I’ve been at it since I was a little kid.
Most challenging role you’ve played: My buddy and I wrote this play called The Other Man where I played this Cockney hit man named Tom Donaghy. I was onstage for almost the whole show and had to speak with this real thick Cockney accent and take this wild emotional journey. It was such a rush to do that every night.
Special skills: I can do an awesome bird whistle and turkey call. They work great in crowded places.
Something you’re really bad at: So many things to choose from. Dancing, probably.
Current pop culture obsession: Honey Boo-Boo. Just kidding. Nothing at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll find something.
Last book you read: Slowly working my way through Dante’s Inferno and A Tale of Two Cities.
Favorite movie(s): This is a tough one. I can give you a top five. The Wild Bunch, The Princess Bride, Cinderella Man, Amores Perros and Once Upon a Time in The West. I have to stop myself as I could name about 20 more.
Favorite musician(s): Otis Taylor for sure.
Dream role: Ted Williams
Favorite play(s): Buried Child. And I really liked Mauritius when I saw it.
Favorite musical(s): It’s a cliché, but Oklahoma! has always been my favorite musical.
Favorite actors/actresses: Another tough one. Thomas Jane, Warren Oates, William Holden, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jim Caviezel, Tom Hardy. On the women’s side I’d say Noomi Rapace, Charlotte Riley, Vivien Leigh and Jacqueline Bisset.
Favorite food: All of it, but if I had to have a last meal, it would have to be my mom’s mac and cheese. It was amazing when I was younger and still is.
Must-see TV show(s): Hell on Wheels, The Walking Dead and, for guilty pleasures’ sake, Swamp People and Pawn Stars.
Something most people don’t know about you: I’m pretty sure I have an identical twin. I just haven’t met him yet.
Place in the world you’d most like to visit: Scotland
Pre-show warm-up: Stretching, push-ups, running through the “V” speech from V for Vendetta.
Favorite part about your current role: I get to write the Declaration of Independence. Enough said.
Most challenging part about your current role: I don’t want to spoil it, but it involves a certain scene with the girl playing my wife. Should be fun.
Worst onstage mishap: I was in a play back in NYC, and I had to lie in a bed for pretty much a whole act. Then I had to get up and interrupt the other two characters who are in this deep conversation.
Apparently, I was pretty tired and literally fell asleep onstage. One of them had to come and wake me up. He walked back to where he was supposed to be, and I got up and slowly started to cross to them, thinking the whole time, “I have from my bed to that desk to figure out where I am in this play.”
Terrifying when it happened. Hilarious in hindsight.
Career you’d have if you weren’t a performer: Haven’t really given it much thought. Maybe a teacher/coach. I doubt I’d have the patience for it, though.
Favorite post-show spot: Champps or my bed, depending on how well the show went.
Favorite thing about Dallas: The people. Where I grew up, Texas was sort of this mythical land that I’d heard a lot about. Glad that I can say everything I heard growing up is true.
Most memorable theater moment: So many, but the brief silence after the orchestra just played the overture at the beginning of Oklahoma! right before I start to sing “Oh! What a Beautiful Morning.” The anticipation, the energy, the expectations, all of it coming to a head in that brief moment. I’ll never forget it.