I recently got the chance to talk to Chris Newman about his role in Jason Segel’s new movie, ‘The Five-Year Engagement’. Here, Chris talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Chris. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘The Five-Year Engagement’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
Well Matt, thanks for asking me. I’m honoured. Yes, it’s a film focusing on two characters, Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) who get engaged, but every time they start to plan their wedding, life intervenes.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play a “Used Car Salesman”, who sells Tom (Jason) a vehicle.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
My agent called me about the audition, and so I went. I guess I did well. Hahaha!
How would you say this film is different and unique?
It’s not that clichéd story of “boy meets girl, they fall in love, get married, have kids and everything is rainbows and butterflies”…it really gets at the heart of where people my age are at with their lives today. I think our values have changed over the years. Before it was get married, have kids, work at the same job for 30 years and live in your house until you die. Now it seems people are placing more emphasis on career and holding off starting a family. That’s not saying it’s a great idea, and it’s not a condemnation. It just seems to be the current trend.
The film stars Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Lauren Weedman, Mimi Kennedy, David Paymer and Jacki Weaver – with Nicholas Stoller onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
Everyone was so nice. Y’know, as a “day player”, things are sorta swirling around at a fast pace. You really don’t get a chance to get in the groove of the party…as it were. You just sorta go in, do your job, and that’s it. I DO remember it was the same day as “The Royal Wedding” , so that was kind of the big thing. People were watching it in the hair/make-up trailer, even in the shuttle on the way to set. It was nuts.
Let’s talk a bit about you Chris. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I think I always had the interest as a kid. I was very impressionable. Whatever I saw, I wanted to do, but didn’t know what to do with it! It wasn’t until my high school graduation party that my late Uncle Lenny asked me if I “ever thought of being an actor”. So the bug bit me in college. Finally, I found a constructive outlet for all my nonsense!
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Stay positive, stay focused and keep moving forward!
What is currently on your I-Pod?
Would you believe I don’t have one? I mean, I have one, I’ve just never taken the time to set it up. Makes for very boring workouts. I’ve been listening to Springsteen a lot recently. Something about the hunger, the hope and the drive of the characters in his songs that get me…draw whatever conclusion you want from that.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Wow. Well, outside of family members who’ve passed on, I would say Montgomery Clift, Charlie Chaplin and Al Pacino. Clift is my favorite actor. Pacino is a close second. Chaplin is just a genius. I mean, have you seen the end of ‘City Lights’?! I’d be too freaked out to say anything…I’d probably just sit there, listen and observe.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
I’ve never really gone anywhere for holidays. I loved Jamaica. I wouldn’t mind going there again for ANY reason, holiday or not.
On your off-days, how do you like to kick back and relax?
Not a whole lot of kickin’ back these days. My beautiful fiancée and I are planning our wedding, so there’s been a lot of running around involved. But it’s all worth it. I couldn’t be happier!
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I’m looking forward for the release of ‘Love And Honor’. It’s a kind of coming-of-age love story, set in the Vietnam Era, so it has a little bit of everything. It was directed by Danny Mooney and stars Liam Hemsworth as an Army soldier named Mickey Wright. I play his Lieutenant. The cast was outstanding and includes a lot of local talent. I really enjoyed filming that, and am super excited to see the finished product. Outside of that, getting married and just looking out for the next gig, man. Keepin’ focused and moving forward!
Thanks for the interview!