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Latin Times Interview with Actor/Producer Michael Thornberry

img_2057Latin Times: Michael, please tell us about your family and where you come from?

Michael Thornberry: I was born in Conroe, Texas to Jonathan and Vickie Thornberry.  I have two older sisters, Rachel and Julie and a younger brother David.  We grew up in a rural setting on lots of land in East Texas.  We had no real neighbors so we spent lots of time with each other, playing, fighting, working etc.


My brother and I had a boxing ring in the top of our barn where we spent a great deal of time fighting each other and any other kids we could get to come train with us.


We also had lots of animals to take care of.  Cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, cats, rabbits, donkeys, you name it, we had it!  We did a lot of hunting and fishing and loved every minute of it. It was the only life we knew.  My grandmother and Grandfather lived not far away and on the weekends we would “work cattle” together and eat Sunday dinner (which is Texan for lunch) together. We had a large extended family and we loved that time together.


Latin Times: Tell us about some of the work you produced and worked in the past?

Michael Thornberry:  I began working in theatre in College, although I had some previous experience in the theatre throughout gradeschool. When I was boxing professionally after attending Texas A&M University, my manager got an audition in a movie for me playing the role of Ingomar Johannsen in Ali:  King of the World, starring Terrance Howard.  I was a bit burned out on boxing, after competing my entire life, so I moved to New York City and began attending Film School and studying acting.  I produced and acted in several films there and after a couple of years in NYC, I moved to Los Angeles and continued to pursue acting, writing and producing.


Latin Times: You were a boxer, tell us about that experience

Michael Thornberry:  Well, my father got me into boxing when I was young.  I remember having gloves on from a very early age.. I had my first REAL fight in the ring with judges and referees when I was eight years old.  I was a big kid so I had to travel a lot to find kids in my weight division to compete.  Most of the time I would compete with older kids that weighed the same as me to get experience.  I remember crying after my first fight because my opponent did a lot of grabbing and holding and I was very discouraged but my dad encouraged me to continue and improve.  I had over a hundred amateur bouts, competed in the Olympic Trials, many National tournaments, was the Texas State Golden Gloves Champion as a light heavyweight, competed in the Olympic trials and after graduating from Texas A&M University, I began competing professionally.  When I retired from boxing I was undefeated, 10 wins, No Losses, 8 KO’s (knockouts).


Latin Times: Are there any new projects you are involved in currently tell us about them?

Michael Thornberry:  Absolutely, I am currently producing and writing a feature film that is in pre-production and I am have seven films on a slate with our new Film Company Catori Film. Life is good and I have been very busy putting these projects together.


Latin Times: What is your favorite Latin Food and how do you like Cuban Sandwiches?

Michael Thornberry:  My favorite Latin food is Enchildas Verdes and Cuban Black Beans and Rice.. I do like Cuban Sandwiches but rarely have an opportunity to enjoy them. I need to learn to make them!


Latin Times: What advice can you give up and coming actors?

Michael Thornberry:  I would encourage up and coming actors to treat their craft as they would any other skilled profession.  I think it is important to stay in an acting class and be around other actors who are working and/or seeking work and creating their own opportunities.  Being around positive/proactive people is essential in anything you do, especially as an actor.  It is your job to make your dream a reality.  Seek advice only from people you admire because there are plenty of people who will be quick to give you negative advice if you let them. Stay positive, Stay focused.


Latin Times: Who in your life has been your hero and inspiration?

Michael Thornberry:  I would have to say my father has been my biggest inspiration because he taught me about tenacity and work ethic.  Most of the things we learn when we are young and realize later how true these things really are.



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