When You’re in the Presence of a Master
Tom was born and raised in New Jersey. He grew up in the town of Howell, where he attended the Fine and Performing Arts Center at Howell High school. Upon graduation, he attended Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (obtaining BFA in acting), where he also had the opportunity to study Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre in London, England. Tom’s first professional job was on the long running CBS daytime show Guiding Light. During the two and a half years he was on the show, he was nominated for four consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards, winning twice (in 2006 and 2008). Having worked in theater, television, and independent film, he eventually became a series regular on the hit Cinemax show Banshee, playing former neo-Nazi Kurt Bunker. Tom is a founding member and the current Artistic Director of the Apothecary Theatre Company—a NYC-based non-profit that develops and produces world premieres of new plays by up-and-coming playwrights. He made his Broadway debut in 2012 as Judy Garland’s last husband, Mickey Deans, in the critically acclaimed End of the Rainbow, directed by Tony Award Winner Terry Johnson. He can currently be seen in Season 3 of Netflix’s hit original series Ozark, as well as in David Fincher’s Mank, which is being released later this year.
Considering that this interview was done via Zoom (a TOA first), as a means of moving forward in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is befitting that this episode of That One Audition retells the stories of adaptation and triumph that landed Tom Pelphrey right here.
“Engage with things that open your heart.”
“What is the core of the person? What is the basic thing about them from which all the other things are coming? I feel like if you can identify that, and then identify it in yourself, and then find it viscerally, then you can start to play creatively.”
“You do your best work and you keep your head down and trust that if you just keep doing your best work things will work out.”
“These are the people who are the best at what they do and I know for sure that I become a better actor when I’m working with good actors…I will leave this job a better actor than the actor I came in.”