KF: In the series, FBI agent Peter Burke forges a dynamic partnership with Neal. In your personal life, have you had any mentors who have influenced you in a similar way?

MB: I think so many actors have over the course of my career, and I would say, on this job, it's really Tim DeKay [the actor who plays Peter Burke]. We have a relationship on the set, as well, where I lean on him a lot. He's definitely taken me under his wing and shown me the ropes as it were. I think a lot of actors have been influential, but I think the best way to learn is to just be there and watch and live it and see how the really seasoned veterans do it...and take notes. Copious notes.

KF: When you were growing up in Spring, Texas, how did you get into acting?

MB: We had a high school teacher who was bringing the plays that were happening on Broadway and off-Broadway to our school, and we were workshopping them in class. I remember doing scenes from Angels in America when I was 15 years old in Spring, Texas, which is kind of amazing if you think about it. So he was really informative.

Then, there was an actress named Annalee Jefferies who was in the resident company at the Alley Theatre, which is the regional theater in Houston, which is about an hour away from where I lived. I started studying with her, and then I got a job doing Street Car Named Desire with her when I was 17, which I quit the football team for and started commuting down there to work with her. She was influential in helping me get into schools and get a good head on my shoulders. Coming from Spring, I mean, there was a certain naivety that came with that. That was great on one hand, but also, I needed to be a little bit more in touch with reality or the reality that exists in New York and L.A. She was very helpful with that, as well.


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