From teen heartthrob to TV action star, Chad Michael Murray seems to know his way around both the big screen and television fairly well! The talented actor has been gracing screens since 1998, working his way up from being every teen girl's dream-boy to joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Jack Thompson in Agent Carter.
The Many Faces of Chad Michael Murray
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chad myself about his newly released film To Write Love on Her Arms, which portrays Renee Yohee's (Kat Dennings) emotional and physical struggle against depression, addiction, and a personality disorder. After being rejected from a rehab facility, Renee sets out to not only detox physically but also to achieve a new outlook on life with the help of friends Jamie Tworkowski (Chad Michael Murray), David McKenna (Rupert Friend), Dylan (Mark Saul), and Jessie (Juliana Harkavy).
Murray's character, Jamie Tworkowski, was inspired to share Renee's story with others. His short but powerful MySpace blog post quickly went viral, and ultimately resulted in the establishment of To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization dedicated to supporting those struggling with personality disorders, depression, and addiction.
To Write Love on Her Arms finally came out on March 3rd, what is it like for you to see your finished product come to the widespread public?
I'm really happy that a film with a cause and a movement is finally out there. I know when Jamie [Tworkowski] and everyone else got together, they really wanted to tell this story. It was just so important for them to get the message out there and to let everyone know that there is recovery and the possibility of a wonderful life for people in these particular situations. It's just nice to know that the film is out there to tell the story and that people can be able to watch it and connect with it.
What exactly attracted you to take on the role, and did you feel any pressure taking on such a heavy subject that means so much to people?
For me, it was more that I really enjoyed the story. I truly did. I liked the truth behind it, and when you get a story that is so relevant, I felt like it was important. I wanted to be a part of it and be a storyteller. When Jamie was onset, I got to look at him. I'd ask him to say a line for me or ask him a personal question and how he would look at a scenario. It's really interesting for an actor to have the guy right there in front of you! It was a really, really cool experience.
It's been three years since the film was actually officially completed. Do you feel like your work on the film has affected you as an actor or more importantly as a person?
As a person, absolutely! When you're surrounded by good people, you want to emulate them. When you look at someone and you find that you respect them for who they are as a human being, it makes you better yourself. So being around good people just makes you want to be a better man. I think that that has been a fantastic influence on my life.
Besides that, I think that as an actor, it's just one of those things where you step out of your comfort zone a little bit, and you try new things. Every time you play around with a new character, you are learning and becoming better as an artist. You fine tune your art more and more everyday.
Changing gears a little bit; your next project Texas Rising premieres this Memorial Day as a follow-up to History's Hatfields and McCoys. Can you tell us a little bit about the series and your character?
I play Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar. Boy, this film was a five month undertaking down in Derango, Mexico. For sure, I think everyone was out to accomplish the same goal, which is to tell an epic story and do it for the art. I think that that's what happened. From what I've seen, it looks incredible! Mirabeau was one of the fastest rising soldiers in the Texas Army. He was a private and something like 46 days later, he was a general! He was a terrific human being and his ambition was incredible.
I truly enjoyed it. It was a lot of work! When you're working with great people, it's a lot of fun, I'll tell you that. You're working with these great actors that you've been watching your whole life. It's nice to go to work and just put it on screen. It's initially premiering in 17,000 theater screens, which I didn't even know we had that many! Honestly, I'm at a loss for words when it comes to talking about this film. When I saw it, I was astonished at the quality and the beauty. Every single piece of the puzzle really came together for this one.
Are you a history buff yourself?
I am! But I'm more of a history buff in whatever fascinates me. Certain things I'm interested in and certain things I'm not. I'm more of a self-educator. I just get so excited about watching different documentaries or just learning different things. I was actually up late last night watching a documentary about the Egyptians. My God! What a fascinating culture! How far we have come! Watching ancient civilizations grow, flourish, and disappear. I just find it incredibly fascinating. So yeah, I got one hell of an education on the rise of Texas while working on Texas Rising.
If you could travel to any three time periods in history, when would they be and where would they be?
I'd love to be in Europe for the Renaissance. That's definitely one of my first. I don't know. There's just something about it that seems sexy to me, and I want to witness everything and see everything with my own eyes.
I'd also love to be in the 1920s both in America and in Paris. The Roaring Twenties! Just something about seeing people really enjoying life and everything up until the Depression and just seeing the flappers and everyone going at it. I just want to see how different it is from now, and the funny thing is that I doubt it's that much different. Sure, technology is different, but I bet people are very similar.
There's also probably an ancient civilization I'd love to see. I'm just not sure which one it would be. I'd probably have to say the Mayan because we know very little. I'd like to sit there as a fly on the wall and check it out! But who knows, they'd probably hang me or use me for sacrifice.
What are some projects your fans can look forward to in the future?
I'm trying to figure that out now actually! We just finished Agent Carter about a month ago and aired all of the episodes for Season 1. So, I think there's hope for Season 2. It's just such a great story, and I loved working with Marvel and Disney. So there may be more Agent Carter in the future as well as Texas Rising coming up Memorial Day weekend. As it is for the moment, I am currently busy with life! I have a wonderful baby on the way! I am currently enjoying that aspect of life. I'm so blessed and so lucky, so I'm looking forward to being a dad!
In a fight, who would come out on top and win the girl, Austin Aimes from A Cinderella Story or Prince Kit (Richard Madden) from the 2015 live-action Cinderella?
Who would win...well, if you're looking at Austin Aimes from back then, he was a little bit younger, so I'd probably have to give the advantage to the Game of Thrones guy. You know, he probably has a bit of weight on me, too. I probably weighed about 160 in [A Cinderella Story], my goodness! Yeah, so I'm probably gonna have to give the advantage to the classic prince charming versus the high school version!
Unfortunately, Chad was under the weather during our conversation, so our chat could only last so long. Nevertheless, I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the future (after he gets settled in as a dad, of course)! Make sure to check out Chad Michael Murray in To Write Love On Her Arms and get ready for an epic battle for the West in Texas Rising coming this Memorial Day weekend!