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Chance Kelly on Renewed ‘Aquarius,’ ‘American Sniper’s’ Clint Eastwood

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Chance Kelly on Renewed ‘Aquarius,’ ‘American Sniper’s’ Clint Eastwood

Post by jade1013 on Thu 16 Jul - 22:02

Chance Kelly on Renewed ‘Aquarius,’ ‘American Sniper’s’ Clint Eastwood & DC ‘Hawkman’ Casting

Jul 16, 2015 09:48 PM EDT | James Knight (

Generation Kill star Chance Kelly (Photo : Getty Images / Jeff Schear)

You know his face, you have seen his work, but chances are you can’t place the name Chance Kelly. The Generation Kill star is living in the sweet spot between superstardom and the quiet life. As one of TV and film’s hardest working actors, Kelly has found himself a part of some incredible franchises, like Homeland, House of Cards, TMNT, Fringe, and American Sniper just to name a few. We recently took some time to get know Chance, discussing his newly renewed NBC Charles Manson series Aquarius, working with Clint Eastwood, his passion project Inside Fighter and his storied career. We also took a few moments to geek out about DC Comics, dream casting a possible Hawkman film.

For Aquarius, NBC broke with the traditional format, releasing every episode online and on Hulu following the premiere of the first episode. The free to stream viewing only lasted for four weeks, but the viewership was enough to warrant NBC ordering a second season. The success of Aquarius’ unusual format has us asking if the format is the future of TV:

“I wish I had that answer,” Chance told us in an over the phone interview. “I would like to tell you I am a TV producer, I am not quite yet, I’m not a producer on this show. I can give you my opinion based on what I’ve seen I think yeah, I think you will see that. Will you see it on ever show, no I don’t think so. I think it speaks to the type of show that this is, and I think it speaks to the type of audience that NBC and these producers are conscious of seeking out. In other words, they are not just doing the straight traditional approach to,’we’re airing at 9:00 oclock on Thursdays.’ I think have become savvy, cognizant of the fact that people watch TV differently now because of the technology that is available.”

Aquaris also separates itself from other TV show’s, favoring realism over flash. Cases are not wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end of each episode. The show is also not afraid to portray its characters as true to the time period, with casual sexism, homophobia and racism adding to the honesty of the series:

“I love that aspect of it,” Chance agreed, adding. “That was just dumb luck that I fell into a show that was approached that way. The writers are very sharp. They are great people. I mean this, they are real people. They want it to be entertaining but I think they also want it to have a level of irony the way that life does. I think they want it to be imperfect. I don’t think they want nice neat endings. They don’t want it to look like that, they don’t want it to feel like that. I think they want you to feel the problems that Hodiak [David Duchovny] has with his son. The struggles that people have in their marriages. This is part of the mosaic that I think they are trying to present. I think it is great. That is what life is.”

With civil rights issues being such a big part of the national conversation today, there has never been a better time to revisit the 60’s as Chance pointed out:

“I think it is great time to be recounting the 60s. Much in the way Mad Men was good timing...The 60’s is an interesting time, because if you really remember the 60’s you have seen a lot at this point. And if you don’t remember it, well it’s pretty intriguing. It’s like, ‘wow, all that stuff happened in the 60’s,’ and I think the young kids the want to understand more about it. My son Chance is 14 and he says, ‘Dad, who is Charles Manson. Did he really do this? Did he really that? It’s intriguing you know. It’s history. It’s a cool little, dangerous section of history.”

Chance’s character, Eddie Cutler, is definitely a product of a “simpler” time. The character often finds himself lording over Claire Holt’s Officer Charmain Tully. Chance illustrated for us just what it is like on the set while filming those intense scenes:

“[Laughs] I posted something last night on Facebook just to be goofy. There was a cartoon when I was a kid. A Wylie Coyote cartoon, but he wasn’t fighting the Road Runner, he was fighting the sheep dog. And he would go in the beginning of the show and it would be ‘Morning Sam. Morning Ralph.’ and they would go and literally punch in and then they would start chasing each other and trying to kill each other for like the next ten minutes and then they punch out. Like the whistle would blow at the end of the day. That is what it is like...Claire Holt is like one of my favorite people in the world. She is so awesome. So we kinda like, laugh about and you say, 'sorry I was such a jerk in this role. But you know, it's a job. It’s what you are getting paid for and you are not really a jerk and I think she knows I am not really a jerk. It makes it harder because she is such a nice lady you know, but that is what you do. That is the work, that is the job.”

However, for all his flaws, Chance is still able to relate Eddie describing him:

I sort of relate the guy to some people I know or knew. I didn’t grow up in the 60’s, I grew up in the 70’s so I remember the type of guy that Eddie Cutler is. He’s a white belt. That was a phrase that me and my friends came up with it. It means that he was a guy who considers himself a great American, and he very well maybe. He is about apple pie, virtue, USA, doing things by the book and drinking hard when it is time to do that. It is a different kind of era. It’s almost like some stuff that you saw in Mad Men but he is a very specific character and I am not sure that there are a lot of guys like that anymore, for better or for worse.”

Recently, we saw Charles Manson (Gethin Anthony) get the jump on Ed, surprising him with a gun. Now Eddie is itching for a rematch as Chance told us:

“Eddie would have liked to kicked Charlie’s a** straight out but Charlie had a gun, so Eddie wasn’t too comfortable with that situation. Eddie was trying to avoid getting shot or getting Opal [Jodi Harris] shot, so he did what he had to do. Yeah, Eddie would like another go with Manson.”

Aquarius airs Saturday night’s at 9:00 p.m. eastern on NBC. You can also catch up on Hulu Plus.

Aquarius is not a typical network show. They really push the envelope in my opinion and I think to a good result,” Chance touts. “To me it flows and is executed more like a cable show than most network shows that I have seen.”

Chance Kelly has quite the impressive resume, with TV shows and film’s Generation Kill, Homeland, House of Cards, Fringe, Power, Broken City, Burn Notice, and American Sniper making up just a few of the many feathers in his cap. This list is extra impressive when you add in the fact that Chance didn’t grow up wanting to be an actor:

“I was a guy who was furthest away and the most unlikely to go into acting. I was a football player in high school and college,” Chance revealed to us. “I drank beer, I got in a lot of fights on weekends. I hung out with guys and chased girls and I played in a band on drums. That was really the extent of my existence. I would go to school plays quietly, sometimes on my own, and observe with this quiet envy of these kids who would go and act. Even the kids doing the sets and stuff. It was so intriguing to me and it was so foreign. It just wasn’t where I was from. I didn’t have close friends, I didn’t have family that did it, but there was something inside me that always had the strong, this real curiosity about it. It was so unlikely that I would ever have the balls to try it. And then I literally graduated college having never touched it, and then the next month something inside me said, ‘Chance man, grow up and grow a set of balls. If you really wanna try this, you better go try it now or you are going to turn around and your life is going to pass you by and you will never know.” So I did. I grew a pair of balls in that respect and I went and took some acting classes.”

It took a bet from a friend to push Chance onto the stage and into the spotlight, as he shared with us:

“I was playing poker with my friends and my friend said, ‘I bet you wont do it.’ I guess I didn’t lose a bet. I made a bet that I would go do it and I didn’t want to lose the bet. I guess technically that is what happened. It was a dare basically and I started doing it. And the first monologue I gave ever was the scariest and most exhilarating thing I had ever done up until that point in my life. And I don’t want to sound cheesy or overly actory or anything, but it changed my life. The first time I got up in front of a class to try to speak dialogue was [as Brick in] Cat on Hot Tin Roof.”

Chance is now urging others to bet on themselves, and to not be afraid of falling on their faces:

“My advice would be try things. As long as they are not bad things, try things. In life, not just with acting but with anything. If you think you might be a good veterinarian, then go try it. Go to a veterinarian's office and see what they do, and shadow them. If you think you might be a good stand up comedian then go do an open mic night. If you fall on your face, so what. I mean, I feel my face my whole life, including that day I first tried acting. I sucked at it. I fell on my face. I gave a monologue to a brick wall because I was scared I was afraid to face the audience.”

In addition to all the amazing projects Chance has been a part of, his resume also includes the title, screenplay writer:

“I am working really hard this film Inside Fighter that I wrote. I am working on getting it financed to produce it the next calendar year, 2016….It is the first script that I have tried to get produced into a film. I have written two other scripts that were not so great, that are not worthy of conversation at this point, but you learn. I learned by writing two not so good scripts. I think it is a very good story. A well written piece about a guy who is trying to put his life back together. Finding himself in the beginning stages of middle age and the world is just sort of come crashing down around him and he is trying to pick up the pieces. He is a boxer, or he was a boxer, and we use that as a strong metaphor in the film. I really don’t consider it a boxing movie, but I really don’t think it is, but that is how people will probably categorize it. It is going to be an independent film with a budget of probably about $3 million. It’s going to kill. It is going to be incredible.”

When it comes to his acting future, aside from starring in Aquarius Season 2, Chance would also like to lighten things up a bit:

“I love acting and I mean it. I love it as much of anything that I have come across pursuit wise. So I just love the honor and the privilege of being able to act. But at the same time I have played a lot cops, criminals coaches and Colonels, and I love doing it, but if I can vary from that. If I can play a businessman, a doctor, a preacher, a lawyer or a veterinarian I would love to do it. I love to try different things. I haven’t done a load of comedy but I do like being funny and reading funny stuff, trying to funny I guess. I think I have some comic timing. So yeah, if I can get into more comedic stuff and stuff that is typical of what I have been playing for the past 10-15 years, I would love to. But listen, I will take what I can get and bring as much color, life and depth to whatever cop, criminal, colonel or coach that I play.”

Even with all his success, Chance is pretty much just your everyday normal guy, who manages to fly under the radar:

“I am mostly under radar, trust me. I live a regular life. People for the most part don’t know who the hell I am and that is great. It’s totally fine with me. I am not in this to be recognized by everybody, i want to work. I love to work. It is nice for someone to say, ‘I think you were good in this,’ no doubt, that feels good...

“It is always funny when someone stops me, its not like ‘Hey you are Robert Duvall.’ I am guy who people recognize the face, but very often they don’t know my name. So I will get stopped and I'll know that look in someone’s eye, and they won’t even say it yet, but it means, ‘I recognize you but I am trying to think of your name.

“Sometimes I can kind of read them and guess what they have seen me in. I am on Power [Starz series] a little bit. I have been getting a lot of people who say,’ I saw you on Power, man .” I guess there are a lot of New Yorkers that watch that show. So the other day I was walking down the street and this guy who says,’hey man. I know you.’ I said ‘from what...Generation Kill?’ he goes ‘No.’ ‘Power?’ ‘No.’ ‘Broken City?’ ‘No.' 'American Sniper.’ ‘No.’ He goes, ‘Nikita!’ [Laughs] He is the only guy who has ever stopped me on the street for that one episode of Nikita that I did.”

Chance can be a bit of a fanboy himself, telling us about love of Twin Peaks:

“I am a big fan of Twin Peaks and I know they are redoing that. I would love to get a quick little visit on that. I love David Lynch and I love Twin Peaks and I love the fact that they are redoing it. They are not even redoing it, they are starting it up sort of 20 years in, which is like so cool. It is all of the same people, including David Lynch. And I worked with Ray Wise on Burn Notice, so I know him a little bit. I just love that whole thing.”

However, don’t expect to see Chance joining any new TV shows anytime soon:

“I am in Aquarius and that is my first gig. So I don’t have the freedom to go to just any show, but I could visit there. I know David [Duchovny] is doing X-Files, and I don’t expect him to bring me on over there but that would be cool.”

Of course, there are some people that Chance would kill to work with again, including the great Clint Eastwood:

“There are a lot of directors I would like to work with again. Working with Clint Eastwood [on American Sniper ] was like a religious experience. Just meeting that guy and experiencing his mojo was like... I am not a guy who gets starstruck, but I have to say, I was starstruck meeting him. Not to say that he acts like a superstar, he acts like a regular guy which is what I think bowled me over so much. And he was so nice and conscientious. So I would love to work with him on his next thing in some way. That would be awesome. I liked very much working with David Fincher on House of Cards. I would love to do something else with him. I am a big fan of his.”

With Comic-Con in full swing and superhero films being all the rage these days, we couldn’t help but ask Chance about his inner geek:

“I was DC guy growing up,” Chance stated, listing his favorite Bronze Age heroes. “I used to buy the Justice League comic books. I had Marvel, I was a Justice League guy. Superman, Batman, Hawkman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, those were my guys.”

So which hero would Kelly like to portray in film? We asked him just that.

“I am not a fan of sequels, so I would like to do the first of something. Like Hawkman. I would love to be like Hawkman’s mentor or something. I don’t even know that original story too well.”

Personally, we think Chance would make one hell of a Hawkman, or perhaps Wildcat Ted Grant.


Credit to original photographer, poster, scanner, site & anyone I may have missed in between

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Re: Chance Kelly on Renewed ‘Aquarius,’ ‘American Sniper’s’ Clint Eastwood

Post by sir on Fri 17 Jul - 3:32



Thank you Maria!
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