‘Smash’ and ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ star Christian Borle is truly exceptional

Christian Borle

Christian Borle

Christian Borle has been a pirate and a prince, a law student and a HIV positive New Yorker. He has been nominated for and won a Tony Award.

Christian never set foot on a stage until his sophomore year of high school but since then he has mastered both the stage and screen.

Before becoming an actor, Christian wanted to be comic book artist. And to this day, he still loves his comic books, proudly wearing his Star Wars and Batman t-shirts. He has even said that the best preparation for the acrobatic role of Bert in Mary Poppins was “hours of imagining [himself] as Spiderman.”

Christian is currently starring on NBC’s musical drama Smash as composer Tom Levitt. Tom was a featured character in season one of the show, whose presence has grown stronger in season two. Christian will sing in tonight’s episode, “Public Relations” with Katharine McPhee, who plays Karen Cartwright.

“Public Relations” will be Borle’s first number on Smash since his performance of “Don’t Say Yes Until I Finish Talking” in season one. Being one of the most seasoned Broadway actors on the show, Borle is finally getting his chance to shine on television after singing on screen only twice during last season’s 13 episodes.

A native of Pittsburgh, Christian attended Carnegie Mellon University before moving to New York in 1995. He made his Broadway debut as an understudy in Footloose.  In 2002, he was the dance captain for the flop musical Armour.

In 2003, Christian replaced Gavin Creel in Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring with his future wife, Sutton Foster. The two were married in September 2006 and announced their split in May 2010.

Christian starred as the scene-stealing Prince Herbert/Not Dead Fred in Monty Python’s Spamalot and was later nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde. Most recently, he starred as the hilarious pirate Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher.

In Peter and the Starcatcher, Christian’s character, Black Stache, is a pirate who ruthlessly steals the Queen of England’s treasure. Christian mastered physical comedy for the role, spending much of the play tripping and falling onto treasure chests. In one particular scene, he gave an improvised performance of the phrase “Oh my God” that often had the rest of the cast laughing along with the audience.

He fitfully won a Tony Award for his role in the play.

Christian is a truly versatile actor, having played comic roles (Spamalot, Peter and the Starcatcher) as well as dramatic roles, like the Signature Theatre Company’s production of Angels in America. In Angels, Christian played Prior, a gay man with AIDS. The role, perhaps Christian’s most emotionally challenging role to date, was one that Christian has said that he never imagined that he would get to play. Over his 15 years on Broadway, he has broken the stereotype that an actor can only play one type of role.

Christian Borle

Christian Borle

Christian has broken the stereotype that all leading men must be, as he says, “barrel-chested and have a chin” when he played the unlikely love interest Emmett Forrest. “Isn’t there room for the chinless men?” Christian joked.

His resulting Tony nomination for his performance in Legally Blonde proves there is definitely a place for “chinless men.”

Throughout his career, Christian has remained humble, garnering a large fan base. Christian values his privacy and although he shares his words of wisdom with the world including “other people’s success is not your failure”, he avoids social networking sites like Twitter.

With undeniable talent and just a dash of exuberance, Christian is the type of person who is difficult not to love because despite his continually amounting success, he is able to laugh at himself.

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2 Responses

  1. Fun fact: There would be no StageDoorDish.com without Christian Borle.