For Broadway's Matt Doyle and TV's Beth Behrs, 15 Years of Friendship Culminates in a Comic
The pair, both currently starring in NYC-area shows, talk Dents, theater, and each other.
"We've been friends since we were fourteen. And I mean attached at the hip," said Broadway favorite Matt Doyle of his ongoing friendship with 2 Broke Girls star Beth Behrs. "I don't think a day has passed since we were fourteen when we haven't spoken. We're that close."
The pair of successful actors first met doing a community theater production of The Sound of Music in which Doyle played Rolfe and Behrs snagged the role of Maria. "I thought she was gonna get Liesl," Doyle remembers, laughing, "and the first thing I ever said to Beth was 'I'm so sorry you didn't get Liesl,'" and she looked at me and went, 'Oh, that's OK, I got Maria.'"
Now, the duo is expanding their collaboration beyond community-theater costarring and daily conversations to writing partners. Together, they're creating the new Webtoon comic series Dents, described as "an apocalyptic journey to the year 2111, where more than half of the world's population has been wiped out by an ancient plague." It follows Eleanor, who is one of a surge of superpower-gifted identical twins born after a vaccination to the plague is developed.
"Any excuse to work with your best friend of fifteen years you take," Behrs explained.
Both Doyle and Behrs are currently based in New York City while working on separate theater projects (Doyle starring as Tony is Paper Mill Playhouse's West Side Story and Behrs leading the cast of Halley Feiffer's new off-Broadway play A Funny Thing...) providing fertile ground for their friendship to continue to flourish.
"I can't believe how many things we get to work on," Doyle said, "to have her in this world right now, meeting all the people who I've been working with for the past decade, is just so wonderful because she's so talented."
Tell me about your current theater projects.
Beth Behrs: It has been a dream come true. My heart and soul ached to get back to the theater and I feel incredibly lucky to have made my New York debut with the incredible guidance of Trip Cullman, the beautiful words of Halley Feiffer, and this insanely talented cast. I'm having the time of my life.
Matt Doyle: I'm thrilled. I've actually never done West Side and before this really did not know the show that well…So I get to go into this experience just completely open-minded…and I'm so excited because I feel like I get to build it from the ground up as much as I think you possibly could with West Side Story.
Is writing a comic book something that you've always wanted to do together?
Beth: Matt got me hooked on comic books and graphic novels a few years ago. I'm loving every second of creating this story with him in this medium.
Matt: I've been very interested in writing a comic book since I was a kid, so to see that come to life has been absolutely unbelievable. I grew up a comic book nerd and I was really, really into X-Men and everything Marvel growing up…And when I went into acting it was something that I always wanted to do but something that got pushed aside.
How did Dents come about?
Beth: Matt and I had been talking about the idea of twins with super powers for years, and after hanging out with our producer at Webtoon, Tom Akel, I realized the story would make a great comic.
Matt: Beth and I talked probably the morning after I had a dream about Dents, these like identical twins in a post-apocalyptic world. She was like, "Well you should really write it down and make it a treatment for something and maybe one day we can do something with it. I think it's a really great idea." And she had a bunch of suggestions for the idea. And she was actually approached to do a comic book by Webtoon and she said, "My best friend has a really fantastic idea that we've been developing together. Would you take a look at it?" And it's all come together now, which is amazing.
Why do comics appeal to you as a medium for storytelling?
Matt: I love the flaws in Marvel superheroes and how human they actually are.
Beth: It's cinematic in a way because of the visual aspect. I love that we can tell a story through the artwork as opposed to just words.
What's next for Dents?
Matt: It seems to just be steamrolling ahead. I think we might have a TV series in the works — lots of promising things for the future. We're working hard on it.