Irvin Rivera

Personalities

Catching Up With Matt Barr, DFW Native and Star of a New CBS Series

Before he became Danny McNamara on Blood & Treasure, Barr was just your average Thai food-serving Allen High teen.

Fairview or Allen? You can represent only one. Which is it? I lived in Fairview as a kid, but there was nothing in Fairview. I went to Allen High School. But I’ve got to say Fairview. That’s where my home was. That’s where we built the treehouse that’s still in the tree. Sometimes when I’m home, I still drive by that house just to reminisce about what a great childhood it was, catching snakes in the creek.

Your dad, Mike, was a football coach at Purdue and SMU. Was he bummed that you chose theater instead? I think he would have loved for me to be the next Tom Brady, but no. He told us, “Whatever you do, just work really hard at it and be excellent.” So as long as we were passionate about what we did, Dad was happy.

Your mom, Dede, is a portrait artist. Does that mean there’s an oil of Matt Barr hanging someplace? There is. It’s my least favorite painting she’s ever done. It looks like a different human being. I think I’m leaning against a tree, gazing up into the sky. Deep Thoughts With Matt Barr. She’s done a senator or two. She painted Mike Modano, which, as a kid, was very cool.

How often do you get back to town? And when you do, what are the places that you always make sure to hit? I like to come every couple months. My mom lives in Fort Worth now, and I go to The Original Mexican Eats Cafe on Camp Bowie. It’s the best chips and salsa and queso in town, and the margaritas are great, too. Literally, sometimes I’ll go straight from the airport right there. And when I’m up in Allen, I go to Silver Thai Cuisine. I worked there all through high school, when it was called Samui Thai, and I think I was the only Caucasian waiter there. They gave me a nickname. They would say it in Thai, but it translates to White Dragon.

Man, White Dragon. That’s something you could get tattooed on the small of your back. That’s right, that’s right. That white dragon served up some pad Thai.

In the new CBS series Blood & Treasure, you play antiquities expert Danny McNamara. I’m talking to you prior to the May 21 premiere. How many episodes do I have to wait before I get to see you shirtless? That’s a good one. I think you’ve got to wait about five episodes. Danny uses more brains than he does biceps. But, yeah, come on. We had to get him shirtless at some point.

If I were you, I wouldn’t own shirts. I’d just go to the grocery store shirtless every day. I call it going full McConaughey.

You shot this series in Montreal, Italy, and Morocco. What was your favorite location? I have to say Morocco. It’s so different from the Western culture I grew up in. I’m an adventure junkie, and when you’re walking down the streets of Morocco, there’s camels and live king cobras. I got a kick out of living there for a couple months.

What’s the biggest stunt that they let you do yourself? They tied me on the top of a BMW that was going about 80 mph through these small streets of Morocco. That was pretty cool. What’s funny is the tether is a real small rope. The thin line between life and death was about a half a centimeter piece of nylon rope.

William H. Macy directed you in The Layover, a movie in which you had your shirt off a lot. What’s the worst thing that you can say about Bill Macy? Oh, God. That’s impossible. The worst thing is that Bill Macy makes you feel bad about yourself, because he will read your lines for you, and it’s better than you will ever be able to perform them, so you just have to accept second best.

What is the Barr pun that we should use for the title of this Q&A? I’ve got Open Barr. Barr-ly Legal. If you give me one right here, that’s the title we’ll use. [long pause] The Margarita Barr.

Margarita Barr? Come on, Matt. You’ve got to do better than Margarita Barr. I don’t even think that’s a thing. I need one at my house. The Marg Barr. That’s Dallas at its best.

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