Q&A: David Boreanaz and Carla Gugino

The two stars of The Mighty Macs chatted about Malvern's Classic Diner, the Flyers and those naked Esquire pics

Earlier this week at the Rittenhouse Hotel, David Boreanaz and Carla Gugino sat down to promote The Mighty Macs, the story of Immaculata University coach Cathy Rush (played by Gugino) and her 1972 championship women’s basketball team (in theaters today). Boreanaz (who plays Cathy’s husband, Ed Rush) showed love for his hometown with a retro Flyers t-shirt under his black leather jacket, and Gugino was still glowing over the family-friendly film’s world premiere at the Kimmel Center last Friday.

David, I know you’re a big Philly sports fan. How are you feeling right now?
David Boreanaz: It’s been a hard couple of weeks. It was sad to see the Phillies exit so fast. Four-nothing in Game 2, you’ve got to hold that lead. I don’t know if [Cliff Lee] was off that day or if he had food poisoning. Who knows? That’s speculation. But Flyers are in good hands. I was with them Saturday night. I’m friends with a lot of those guys. We had dinner after [the game], so it was good to see them. The Eagles, I just don’t see it this year.

How was the premiere?
Carla Gugino: It was really amazing. On the red carpet, to have the Mayor on one side and the Archbishop on the other, the whole thing was so surreal and fantastic.

Boreanaz: It was great to see people, you know, being from the area. Seeing a high-school buddy—like, is that you, really? And having the players who were on the championship team stand up at the end of the movie was pretty moving.

What was it like for Cathy to see her life on the big screen?
Gugino: She’s super thrilled about it and kind of moved. It’s such a strange experience. It’s like when you read a great novel, it’s hard to make a movie that people really respond to because they imagine so much in the novel. And here, it’s their lives. It could so easily be something that just didn’t hit the mark for them at all, and they’re just so excited about it.

Boreanaz: Watching Cathy’s demeanor today, you can see Carla just nailed this intensity, this focus and this drive this woman had in order to just go after something that was attainable but yet so unimaginable to people around her. It’s a simple story, but it’s got a lot of heart to it, and that’s what I like about it. It’s a good family piece, and for young girls to really be enthused about it … And I enjoyed the fact that I could step into someone’s shoes that I personally knew too from the past.

Ed Rush drove you to basketball games when you were a kid, right?
Boreanaz: I was a freshman in high school. I used to go to Sixers games with him, New Jersey Nets games with him. It’s crazy. It’s really bizarre.

Is it strange promoting this movie four years after you filmed it?
Gugino: It’s strange to me that it’s been four years, first of all.

Boreanaz: Has it been four?

Gugino: Yes, it was in 2007.

Boreanaz: Wow, that’s crazy.

Gugino: Do we hope we’re smarter and better people for it in our four years? I think so.

Boreanaz: I think so, too.

Carla, was that your first time in Philadelphia?
Gugino: Yeah. I love it. I really had such a great time. We were out shooting more at Immaculata, so I stayed close to Malvern. I keep talking about it, but I’m obsessed with Classic Diner. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to this place, but it’s like the best place in the world. Oh my God. I can’t find anything that comes close to Classic in L.A. They made the biggest, best muffins and great bacon.

Did you know that David’s father [former Action News weatherman Dave Roberts] is a bigger star here than he is?
Gugino: We cannot go into the street without [someone] talking about David’s father. That’s all I’m saying. [laughs]

Boreanaz: My dad, I texted him today and was like “Everywhere we go, everybody says hi, and everybody loves you and wants to make cookies for you.” His response was, “First you are remembered, then you’re forgotten. That’s life, and I accept that with good feelings for having been blessed to even be in the game.”

Gugino: Aww!

Boreanaz: That’s my dad.

Gugino: I mean literally we could barely get a foot in the door before people were like, “Oh, your dad is the best person on the planet! Please, can I have a hug from you just because you’re like your dad.” It was fantastic.

Looking at your careers—David, Bones is your third TV series that’s lasted five seasons or more, which is unbelievable.
Boreanaz: I’ve been really fortunate and blessed to be able to be consistent with that. We work hard at the characters, and Emily [Deschanel] is great. We continuously work with an acting coach on it, even into our seventh season because we believe in pushing the characters and not resting on your laurels. I never looked at the magnitude of it. I just looked at where we are with it and just take it for what it’s worth.

Gugino: Which is probably one of the reasons why it’s gone for so long, actually.

Carla, you’ve played everything from a mom to superhero to sex symbol. How have you been able to do that, and why is it so hard for women in Hollywood to avoid being put in one box or the other?
Gugino: I was never interested in being a brand. I just wanted to be able to disappear in a character. I think people got confused for a while as to who I was. How old is she even? I mean, I was way too young to play the mom in Spy Kids. I would say Helen Mirren is a pretty good example. She was a big sex symbol and has done a lot of very racy roles, and yet she’s also very respected. I think in the end of the day, hopefully, it’s recognized as a body of work. It’s also just because I’m really hungry to try something new.

You have this family film and at the same time, that Esquire spread, which got a lot of buzz. What was the concept for the photos and videos [featuring Gugino in and out of her lingerie]? The craziest house-sitting gig ever?
Gugino: [laughs] They asked if I would do a covered nude, and I said depending on the photographer, depending on the context. Kate Jones, who shot it, is this really cool British photographer. She had this idea of sneaking into this house, like they’ve set the whole thing up. I thought that was a cool concept. But, yeah, it’s funny timing to be talking about both things for sure.