Location: Los Angeles, CA
Status: In a Relationship
Height/Weight/Hair: 5'11" / 155lbs. / Variable
MySpace: Click here
We ask Chris in LA about the state of the film industry, the movie that makes him cry (sometimes), and throw a shameless plug in as well.
What are you wearing right now, as we do this?
I'd like to give a sexier answer, but I'm afraid it's jeans and a T-shirt.
Boxers or briefs? (This is, after all, HunkDuJour.com)
Oh, as with everything else, I like to mix it up with a little of everything. I'd say trunks are my usual preference.
What is it about film you love so much?
As a spectator or participant?
Well, I guess the answer is similar for both. Watching, it's the chance to take myself someplace I haven't been and experience something new - new things to see, and hear sometimes if there's a lot of music, and the emotional experience of the characters that is unique in every good movie. In something that I'm writing or making, it's the chance to let other people experience something that I want to share with them.
Favorite director? Why?
There are so many, but I'll narrow it down to two. Steven Spielberg, because you can really feel his passion for filmmaking in his work, he makes watching his films a real experience, and his movies more than any others are probably the ones that most inspired my awe with the medium. And Paul Thomas Anderson, because I really admire writer/directors - people who carry out their vision from start to finish, and he does it in such a visceral and unique way.
Guilty pleasures in film?
Oh boy. There are plenty. Showgirls of course, but that's expected. Almost any thriller, no matter how poorly written, can hold my interest, and I secretly want to watch anything in that genre that comes out. My sister and I watched The Brady Bunch Movie every day one summer, I can quote any line. And one of my favorite movies is Babe: Pig in the City. I don't know if I'm guilty about that, because it's amazing - but it sometimes makes me cry.
What's on the DVR/iPod right now?
Well, let me see! (checking) I delete things when I watch them, so what's on there is usually all the stuff I have a marginal interest in but never get around to, like The Riches and Mad Men. Things like 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother I watch right away. This week's Ebert & Roper is recording now, that's the first thing I watch usually.
On the iPod, I build soundtracks of music I want to use in the films I'm writing, which is anything from classical or film scores to 80's to Elvis to electronica depending on the script. That way I have it with me when I'm writing. Beyond that, I have been listening to Nick Cave and Moby's new CDs and Hot Chip's Ready for the Floor endlessly.
Without giving too much away, what kind of films are you working on?
"They" say that screenwriters should stick to one basic genre when they're starting out, but I don't do that. I need a lot of variation. At the moment I'm juggling a dark comedy, a thriller, an action movie, and a rewrite of a Christian-themed script I was hired to do. I'm also polishing up a short film I'm hoping to shoot this summer, which is a very unconventional romantic comedy.
And you've also contributed to a book recently...
Yes. It's an anthology called Love, West Hollywood, the Los Angeles entry in a series of books (the first two centered on New Orleans and San Francisco). My piece is called "art(i)choke" which is, as one of the editors put it, about how LA can eat you alive.
And (shameless plug) I assume this is available on Amazon and bookstores.
I'm not sure where it'll be available given that it's LA-centric, so Amazon is probably the best bet. And yes, it's definitely on there! (ed: Yes, it is.)
You're not originally from LA, though? What is it about LA that you love?
You mean, besides the fact that it was 100 degrees here today? I really like that so many people come here with really big ideas and big dreams. People here really have a desire to accomplish something, and those are the kinds of people I most like to be around.
What occupies your free time? Or is there any?
Not always, but since I'm freelancing right now, there has been plenty lately. I like to do all the usual stuff, getting dinner or coffee or drinks with friends, catching up and all that. I love to shop when funding allows and go to the beach when it's nice. I like to hit a museum every so often, I just got a membership to LACMA. I see movies whenever possible. However, even if I've written a lot and feel like I could use a break, I usually end up at a coffee shop with my laptop for at least a couple hours. I'm absolutely addicted to iced Americanos, but maybe that's good because when I indulge myself in one I get a few hours of work done.
What do you think could be improved with American cinema today?
Unfortunately, quite a lot. There are many great movies being made, but it's incredibly hard to make them. Filmmakers are constantly fighting people who are trying to water it down and force it to be something it isn't, whatever the last hit was, and that rarely works. But ultimately, movies are a product, so I have to say the responsibility is mostly on the millions of people who will go see, say, Spider-Man 3 although it's not that good - even for a superhero movie - instead of the films being nominated for Oscars. Then again, it would be nice if the studios made an effort to make even those blockbusters of a better quality.
Do you see yourself still in "the business" in 10/20/30?
I see myself as always making films, hopefully. But I hope by then I've also branched out and done a lot of other things also.
What did you first think when I asked if you'd do a feature for HunkDuJour.com?
Hmm.... "Who, me?" And then, "As long as no one thinks I actually consider myself a 'hunk'...."
Even on my best days, no, I don't think I could get away with that word.