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Exclusive: Michelle Borth Talks A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

Posted by bsimon On September - 13 - 2011 0 Comment

Of all the major cast members for the new ensemble comedy “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy,” about a mixed-gender group of longtime friends who settle upon going out with a bang (literally) when the beach home that’s served as the setting for their legendary summer parties for more than a decade is forcibly put up for sale, Michelle Borth might have been the most comfortable with the subject matter. Or at least the filming of the movie’s titular third act, which spanned at least a week and required all sorts of pasties.

After all, Borth is probably best known for the short-lived HBO series “Tell Me You Love Me,” which revolved around three couples in therapy experiencing different types of intimacy problems, and drew notice for depictions of sex so realistic that rumors the scenes were real had to be shot down. ShockYa had the chance recently to sit and chat one-on-one with the engaging 33-year-old actress, about “Orgy,” speeding tickets, themed parties, college regrets and more. The conversation is excerpted below:

ShockYa: You look quite nice.

Michelle Borth: Thank you, but there was a whole team of people at my house at six-fucking-thirty in the morning to do this (gestures to herself, up and down). I didn’t wake up like this. I woke up four hours earlier than we needed to start. Apparently I need a lot of work.

ShockYa: In general, in real life, though, is hair and make-up fun, or –

MB: (interrupting) I’m a tomboy. I don’t spend money on clothes or shoes. I spend money on cars. I like to wear flip-flops and sweatpants and T-shirts. I’m not a bazillionaire by any means, but I have multiple (cars). I like me a nice Porsche, a nice little 911 Turbo Ferrara. I wanted one because you see a ton of them in L.A., but you never see women driving them. You see a lot of older bald men driving Porsches, so I made a point of breaking the stereotype that you have to be a man to drive that car. …I was just in Canada for six months, and literally the day I got back I (got a ticket) on Fountain. They get you on Fountain every time! And I’m the worst because I forget and don’t take care of it, so I fully expect to have a bench warrant out for me.

ShockYa: On to the movie — the title instantly grabs people, of course. What was your reaction to it upon first hearing about it, and being pitched the concept?

MB: It is what it is, as the writer-directors have said. For the sake of acceptance [during shooting] in the Carolinas, we did call it “Good Old Fashioned,” just because we didn’t want to upset or offend people, we wanted to be embraced. But apart from that, it has always been “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” — when I got the script, when I got the breakdowns. And I think it’s the perfect title. I wouldn’t have it any other way, I really wouldn’t. Of course, a lot of the (trade) blurbs, when it first started casting, or shooting, were, “‘Orgy’ picks up this person,” or, “Leslie Bibb and Jason Sudeikis sign up for ‘Orgy.’”

ShockYa: I want to track the Internet traffic spikes for that. Irrespective of the orgy sequence itself, I was also bemused, I guess, by these giant themed parties that the characters throw, which sort of feel like “The Big Chill” taken to its blown-out, logical extreme. Do you have any friends like that, devoted to the gargantuan costume party that everyone’s talking about months later?

MB: Honestly… no, I do have one, actually, a girlfriend. The thing is, we only stick with one theme – a theme that we recycle over and over again: the 1920s, with the flapper style. My 30th birthday surprise party was this big, huge, flapper-themed costume party. We like to do those murder mysteries, where you buy the game and play a character, but we do it in a ’20s theme, so you come dressed. Aside from that, I was kind of a big dork in college and a total fuck-up in high school, so I didn’t do the whole big party scene. This is more after I moved to L.A. and made some good friends. So we just work that one theme.

ShockYa: Well, the ’20s is still better than the other one theme people have, which I guess is just: booze. That’s a little more sophisticated.

MB: Exactly! We’re classy.

ShockYa: You’ve been out in L.A. about 10 years, but –

MB: (taking a thick accent) I was born in Jer-sey. I try to hide it, I don’t know. I was born in Bayonne. No… see, wait — do you know Bayonne? It’s the armpit of the universe. You know that crap and all those smokestacks you see from Manhattan? That’s all Bayonne. It’s very lovely.

ShockYa: (laughs) So it was a willful escape, then?

MB: Oh God, yeah. I mean, I love New York and my family is still there, and there’s a place in my heart for it, but at the end of the day I don’t love New York, I love L.A. I mean, look, if I lived in upstate New York with a great house and car and all that stuff, I would probably love it because it’s gorgeous. But if you live in Manhattan, and I lived in Brooklyn, it fucking sucks. There are two months out of the year that you can enjoy as a Manhattanite — September and October. That’s it. Anything else, it’s freezing cold and filthy slushy snow, which is gross, and then it just quickly goes to sweltering hot, where you shouldn’t even bother showering before you get on the L-Train, because you’re going to be dripping wet by the time you get off. It’s one extreme to the other with New York, and I think I’ve realized that… I really do enjoy 75 (degrees) and sunny all the time. It doesn’t get old to me, it just doesn’t. I can take a three-hour drive to Mammoth if I want, and go snowboarding, or drive two hours to San Diego and go surfing.

ShockYa: You studied theater and acting in college at Pace University. Does that training ground and root you at all, or no?

MB: It was a waste of fucking time. I swear to God, if I could go back… (laughs) Here’s the thing: there’s a shelf-life to actresses, there just is. You have to go through the transitions of the young ingenue, and then the new intern freshly out of college to the single mom. You have to go through all these transitions. And although I’m grateful to have a college degree, and grateful to have the education and the experience to live and breathe the city in as a student and do theater, at the end of the day what you really need is experience. So had I come out four years earlier, and just got into a class… (pauses) I will always study. It wasn’t a matter of not wanting to study and learn a technique. I should have moved out here earlier — and gotten into a Sanford-Meisner class, because there’s a ton of them and a ton of great coaches – and just got in the game right away. …I want four years back in my life. And I was $60,000-something in debt, and an actress! I remember thinking, “You do realize my major is theater, and you’re still giving me these loans?” But I got lucky. I came out here and I worked. It’s been a slow, steady progression.

Written by: Brent Simon

good old fashioned review Exclusive: Michelle Borth Talks A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

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