He’s far from Awkward, both onscreen and off. Beau Mirchoff, 27, has been playing popular guy Matty McKibben for five seasons on the hit high school series. In that time, Beau tells Hello!, “I’ve grown with it, for sure. It’s been a huge part of my life. I’m definitely a better person for it.”
The handsome actor – whose own secondary school experience took place at Mount Douglas High School in Victoria, BC – has even developed his role on set, where he directed his first episode earlier this season. Now that the show’s jumped a year ahead in time to catch up with the cast after their first year of college, we asked Beau what’s next for him and his small screen alter-ego.
Were you anything like your character when you were in high school? I think I was in many ways. I didn’t have as much angst. My biological parents raised me, so I didn’t have any rude awakenings in that respect [like he does], which was nice. I think Matty is quite genuine. Most of the time he’s not mischievous, and I’m like that. I say what I mean and I care. I think Matty really cares about his friends, as do I.
Did you know at that time that you wanted to be an actor? I did. I had been acting since I was 13. I started going to acting class every weekend in Vancouver, and then I would audition during the week. Once I finished high school I actually did a year in college studying science. Then I got a job and had to go to Bulgaria to shoot a movie. I ended up wanting to learn more about acting so I went to L.A., and that’s when I really fell in love with it.
What’s your favourite TV show set in high school? I grew up on Saved by the Bell. I also really loved Freaks and Geeks.
When you were younger, who was the TV character you wanted to take on a date? Topanga from Boy Meets World. I would’ve taken her to a nice steak dinner.
Are there any iconic high school characters who you’ve kept in mind while playing Matty on Awkward? Not really. I mean Matty was written differently than a lot of characters I have [seen on] other shows. The tone is also different, it’s not Saved by the Bell , it’s not Degrassi. To be honest, I pulled more from my own experiences.
Have you ever waited in line to meet someone? I went and saw Death of a Salesman a couple years ago in New York. I waited outside to see Philip Seymour Hoffman. He didn’t come out. But I got to meet Andrew Garfield there who is phenomenal as well.
What’s the last movie that made you cry? Everything I’ve ever watched. I cry watching car commercials. I just saw Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father . Oh my gosh, that was great, beautiful and sad.
What’s next for you? I’m shooting a TV pilot called Good Fortune, which is being produced by Rashida Jones’ production company. I’m really excited about that. I’m also co-artistic director of a theatre company in L.A. called Creative Works. We do productions as well as monthly staged readings. It’s a good time.