With his new play at New York City’s Second Stage Theatre, Zach Braff‘s life in the performing arts has come full circle. After watching his father act in community theater, an eight-year-old Braff knew what he wanted to do with his life.
“I got into entertainment through theater. That’s where it all began for me,” Braff told the Associated Press in a recent interview. “My father did community theater and I was the 8-year-old in the audience watching him play Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly! and thinking, ‘This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.’”
The former Scrubs star’s latest project is All New People, which he wrote but does not appear in. The off-Broadway comedy tells the story of four complete strangers who find themselves together in a beach house during winter. He original wrote the part of Charlie, a suicidal air traffic controller, with himself in mind, but was talked out of acting in All New People. That “wouldn’t have been good for the play,” he explained.
“It’s by far the most intimidating, humbling experience. I think the biggest thing is not letting your ego get in the way of making the play better,” said Braff of his theater-writing debut and first major foray into writing since 2004 indie flick Garden State. “For me, when I see a piece of theater that works — I’ve got goose bumps or I’ve got tears in my eyes or I’m belly laughing — there’s no higher high. So I would love the challenge of trying to pull that off.”
Even though he’s a popular draw as an actor, Braff has had off-screen aspirations for some time now. “I always thought to myself, ‘A goal of mine in life is to create my own piece of theater,’” said the 36-year-old. “So it doesn’t come completely out of the blue. For me, some of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had as an entertainer have either been sitting in the audience of a theater or being in a play.”
For more about All New People, click here