We talk to actor Charles Halford, known for Constantine(2014), True Detective(2014), Rise of the Tomb Raider(2015) and lots more, about getting his start and his journey to move from a regional market, to LA.
RG: Hello, Charles. It’s a pleasure to talk with you. So first off, what drew you into acting?
CH: I always had a feel for acting, before I even knew there was a name for it. I learned how to manipulate my emotions pretty early on in life. I played sick quite a bit, but I would read the medical dictionary to learn how to really pretend to be sick. As a kid, I got into Shakespeare through Shakespearean comics.
RG: What training have you had?
CH: My older sister was into drama and I would practice with her. Then I took a drama class and got an ‘A’ for the first time. I found that I had this creative energy. Acting and creativity gave me direction. I don’t know that I would have found any direction in life without acting.
RG: How did you get your start?
CH: I have a patchy memory of playing a little pig in elementary school (laughs). Actually, Catrine (Catrine McGregor, ReelGuru.com founder) hired me on my first few jobs:
Baptists at Our Barbecue(2004)
The First Vampire: Don’t Fall for the Devil’s Illusions(2001) (Short)
Bartender (as Charlie Halford)
The Luck of the Irish(2001) (TV Movie)
RG: You have worked at the Sundance Labs. How did that come about?
CH: I auditioned for three or four years and eventually got hired for little things, and then larger roles. I stake a lot of my success on those labs. It was a very fortunate experience for me. There are so many great directors and actors working at those labs.
RG: When did you make the move to Los Angeles?
CH: I was hesitant to move to LA; I stayed in Utah as long as possible. My actor friend Nathan had moved to LA early on. When I was in my early twenties, he kept trying to draw me to LA. I put it off until I got some personal stuff sorted out. What eventually spurred me to move was the Disney film in 2007. I spent eight years acting in Salt Lake City and accrued two dozen credits before moving to LA. Friends spurred me on, loaned me money … a truck. Then I slept on the floor for nine months (laughter).
RG: What has been your toughest role to date?
CH: Charlie Halford, the actor.
RG: (Laughs) I think that’s a challenge for all of us. Was Charlie Halford your most fun role?
CH: They’re all fun.
RG: Is there a specific type of comedy you would like to do?
CH: An outlandish comedy would be fun.
RG: I complimented Matt Damon on his work once. He said he was lucky.
CH: I’ve been pretty lucky, too.
RG: Do you have any advice for actors around the world, those who are dreaming of moving to LA or New York?
CH: Seriously, move to a small market that has a great incentive program like Atlanta or New Orleans. There are so many cities with talented people and great acting opportunities. There are very talented people in the smaller markets–that’s how I got my start. Look up the definition of an actor in the dictionary. Actors act. If not acting, continue with other arts–writing is a good exercise.
Acting in a small city helps you find your footing, your confidence. Everything you do enhances your acting. As I act, I become a better musician. Your sensitivity grows, your voice becomes clearer. You can do that anywhere. There can be so many great roles, on film and on stage.
RG: Yeah, the great Vincent Price said that, too. You can act anywhere. Thank you, Charles.
CH: My pleasure.
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Last modified: August 13, 2017