fb-pixelFor Martin Moran, ‘Spotlight’ struck a nerve - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

For Martin Moran, ‘Spotlight’ struck a nerve

Martin Moran.handout

The experience of watching “Spotlight” was complicated for Martin Moran.

In 2004, the veteran Broadway actor wrote a one-person play, “The Tricky Part,” about being seduced by a much older counselor at a Catholic boys camp in Colorado, and the consequences that relationship would have on the rest of his life. (A year later, Boston’s Beacon Press published Moran’s memoir of the same name.)

So the themes of “Spotlight,” director Tom McCarthy’s Oscar-winning film about the sexual abuse of young parishioners by Catholic priests, were fraught and familiar.

“I don’t believe there’s any such thing as total closure,” Moran says. “Watching ‘Spotlight’ affected me quite a lot.”


Thursday, the actor, whose Broadway credits include roles in “Titanic,” “Cabaret,” and “Spamalot,” will be at the Calderwood Pavilion reading from his new memoir, “All the Rage: A Quest,” a sometimes funny book about trying to find the balance between anger and compassion. (It’s based on Moran’s one-person play, also called “All the Rage,” that opened off Broadway in 2013.) The event is sponsored by the Huntington Theatre, where Moran has acted periodically, most recently as Vanya in the comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

“One of the things that happened after ‘The Tricky Part’ was that people asked me, ‘Why aren’t you more angry?’ ” Moran says. “That question really rattled me. I wondered if I was sitting on a bunch of rage that I didn’t know about. It led me down a whole other avenue of inquiry.”

In the same way that The Boston Globe heard from abuse victims after publishing its series of stories about pedophile priests, Moran says he regularly gets e-mails and letters from people who’ve experienced a similar trauma.

“Telling my story has helped other people to unlock the energy to tell their story,” he said. “I imagine ‘Spotlight’ has had the same effect.”


Interestingly, one of Moran’s BFFs is actor Brian d’Arcy James, who played former Globe reporter Matt Carroll in “Spotlight.”

“Brian is one of my dearest friends. We costarred in the musical ‘Titanic’ together,” says Moran. “I’m a Catholic and he’s a Catholic and we’ve had many talks about the movie. It affected us both.”

Names can be reached at names@globe.com. Follow Mark Shanahan on Twitter @MarkAShanahan.