Chad Michael Collins: a dream come true

chad michael collins

When Chad Michael Collins thought about becoming an actor, he wondered that it would be fun to play a soldier like the guys on “Band of Brother”, a TV show he was watching at the time.

And it happens that sometimes the dreams come true. This year Chad films the WWII action movie “Company of Heroes”, in which he portrays Nate, an eager, wet-behind-the-ears young soldier.

He also interpreted the Marine Sgt. Brandon Beckett in “Sniper: Reloaded” and he will do the sequel of the film too.

But although the role of soldier and cop is definitely his type, he has also been the Frankenstein’s Monster in the TV show “Once Upon a Time” and has been part of an episode of the comedy “2 Broke Girls”, where he felt the magic connection with the audience.

In a conversation with The Outsider Argentina, Chad spoke about his beginnings, the opportunity of the different characters and how he prepares for a role.

How did you start acting?

I was one of those rare cases that was already in LA, working as an entertainment publicist, when a manager I knew suggested I give it a try.  I did, and loved the challenge of it, and it stuck!  Well, it took a few years for it to stick, but it eventually stuck.

What did your role in “Sniper: Reloaded” mean for your career?

SNIPER: RELOADED was such a great opportunity and amazing experience that it was my epiphany/light bulb project; after shooting that film, I decided that if I didn’t take the acting career seriously and really dedicate myself to it, I’d always regret it.  So that was three years ago, and in those years I’ve worked and worked and worked, and really enjoyed myself.  So, in essence, the film meant everything to me.

How was it like portraying a character as Gerhardt Frankenstein and the Frankenstein’s Monster itself, a really well known stories’ character?

Playing ‘Gerhardt’ was very natural to me, I’m always playing soldiers and cops as that’s definitely in my “type” wheelhouse as an actor.  The monster was fun not just because it was so iconic, but because I got the chance to explore more raw emotional impulses.  In the same scene, he was at once terrified (of fire, of loud noises), discombobulated, rageful, frustrated, and helpless.  I really didn’t let a lot of thinking get in the way, just more “being” in the moment.

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How was the experience of being on a show like “Once Upon a Time”? Do you think that your character has the possibility to return?

I’ve always been a huge fan of the sci-fi and fantasy genre, whether it was books, films, or television, so it was a real treat for me as an actor.  I’d love to return, and even though I’m locked in a tower, the door I guess is still technically “open!”

This year you also made a movie based on a video game, “Company of Heroes”, what can you tell us about it and about you character “Nate”?

COMPANY OF HEROES was a fun WWII action film I did for Sony, starring as the lead character – an eager, wet-behind-the-ears young solder named ‘Nate.’  It’s about a ragtag group of soldiers who get assigned an impossible mission that takes them into the heart of Nazi Germany at WWII’s end, and even though they are outnumbered and underqualified, they band together and try to save the day.  Our director was Don Michael Paul, who put together a fantastic little action movie, and my co-stars were Tom Sizemore, Vinnie Jones, Neal McDonough, Jurgen Prochnow, and the lovely Melia Kreiling.  It’s currently out on DVD/Blu-ray and On Demand.

You’ve said that you’ve studied acting to portray a soldier someday. How did it feel achieving that goal?

It’s true – right around the time that that manager put it into my head to try an acting class, I was really into watching “Band of Brothers” on DVD.  I thought it was phenomenal, and I thought to myself “wouldn’t it be fun to run around and play soldier like these guys are doing?!”  Fast forward to COMPANY OF HEROES, and it’s kind of come full circle!

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How did you prepare yourself for the role? Have you done any research?

I didn’t do any thorough research, because my character, ‘Nate,’ he came to the war very green – no experience, not knowing what to expect once he got overseas, and he was probably a young man who probably rarely left his hometown.  So the less I knew, the better it would serve the character.

You’ve done comedy roles too, for example in “2 Broke Girls”, how was that experience? What do you prefer?

“2 Broke Girls” was a blast!  Having never done live theater, it was about the closest thing I’ve ever done along those lines, in front of a studio audience.  It can be nerve-wracking, but also a lot of fun.  Jokes and lines get changed on the fly, and the feedback is instant via the connection with the audience.  The entire cast, creator, and crew couldn’t have been more kind and great to work with.  It is definitely one of the happier places to work, on the set of a comedy, as everyone is laughing and wearing big smiles!

Which other projects do you have for this year?

This fall, I’m still attached to a slightly delayed sequel to SNIPER: RELOADED.  No official start date or any other information as of yet, but I’m ready to go whenever they need me!

Samantha Schuster

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