Chris Coy: Kentucky Born Hollywood
hris Coy is a Kentucky born and Florida raised actor, known for his roles as Martin on “The Walking Dead,” Alan Ball’s “True Blood,” and David Simon’s award-winning show “Treme.” Coy has the talent that many in his path look up to, being that the diversity in his roles span wide, and his audience is always guessing as to whom he will become next. Coy has the ability to shift into characters from a multitude of eras and paths of life. This is a quality that makes Chris Coy a true entertainer.
Just having come out in September was Season 2 of “The Duece,” and Coy said it for himself, “It’s going to be hot.” Also, be on the lookout for is Coy in Jason Reitman’s new movie “The Front Runner,” co-starring Hugh Jackman. The historical thriller, based on Senator Gary Hart’s scandalous 1988 presidential election, set to come out in November of 2018.
Jamie Agoglia: When did your love for acting start?
Chris Coy: In High School, just by way of an elective during my freshman year, I didn’t even request Drama, I was just placed there. In fact, my parents were really strict about my grades growing up and I was a straight-A student my whole life. Ironically, the only C I ever got was in Drama. I was very shy but Drama definitely helped me break out of that by the end of my freshman year. I continued with Drama for the rest of my time in High School. My first lead role was actually Mogli in my High School production of “The Jungle Book.” It was atrocious but it was a lot of fun! As a southern boy, it’s football country; you don’t grow up saying ‘oh I want to be an actor,’ but I was kind of quietly harboring this love for it.
The range of shows and movies that you’ve been in is so diverse, did you ever expect that this quiet passion of yours would grow into a career?
There was always hope and there still is, as far as creating a bigger and brighter future for myself. My wife and I talk about this all the time; I really couldn’t have designed my life any better, even if I had the ability to do so. And as far as having such a range of characters and roles that I’ve played, it comes back to when I used to read a script and start to subconsciously create these character choices, almost out of intuition. When I’m preparing for a new role, I just kind of let whatever I feel roll out and just chose to be bold and it keeps people guessing of what I can do next. It’s a kind of pressure that I appreciate, knowing that I’m trusted to surprising people and pull it off.
If you were to meet someone with aspirations of making it big in the world of entertainment, what would your words of wisdom be to them?
In work and in life, be bold. If it scares you, do it. The most important advice I’ve ever got, and it’s really for anyone that is trying their hand at this, is that you have to work hard. You have to work hard and treat it like a job. A friend of mine was just telling me a story about when he was first trying to act and ran into his idol, Philip Seymour Hoffman, on the street. My friend had a little liquid courage in him and started asking Hoffman for advice about making it big. Hoffman pulled off his sunglasses and said, “Work hard.”
At the time, my friend was almost disappointed by that advice. But now almost 10 years later and having developed a career, it really is the golden advice. That’s what it takes. Work hard, persevere, because the truth is that you’re going to be shut down ten times more than you’ll be let in.
You’ll be slamming your head against the wall but eventually, you’ll break through that wall. But guess what’s on the other side? It’s another wall. Keep going. It’s the way it goes, so you have to respect the process. But go further, and enjoy the process. In the end, enjoying the process is the only thing that can’t be taken from you. Win or lose, if you had fun, that’s what gets carried with you and is what allows you to transform and grow.
When you aren’t focusing on a new role, what is your life like?
I’m a dad, first a foremost. I have two girls, 3 and 6 years old, and I love the imaginary world of My Little Pony and Barbie dolls, believe it or not. I’ve spent more than half of my life either as a working actor or trying to be one. In a lot of ways, I’ve always been developing my imagination and allowing myself to see things that aren’t necessarily real. But still my 6-year-old will just put me to shame. Every single time that we’re playing, there comes a point where she’s just like, “Daddy, you’re not doing it right. We already said she’s on the moon!” And I’m just like, “Oh yeah sweetie, of course, you’re right, she’s on the moon, my bad,” and from there she’ll just tell me that she’ll send Barbie to the moon herself. What 32-year-old man gets their imagination shamed out of their daughter's playroom? But really, they do keep my imagination going and I love being in that make-believe world with them. When I’m not working I really am a homebody. I just cannot wait to be at home with my wife and kids. I love taco night at home and watching Jeopardy with them and getting every question wrong. I’m essentially turning into my Grandparents. But I love it.
— Jamie Agoglia is a renowned writer, photojournalist, and entrepreneur. Her work has been displayed at events and galleries across Southern California. In her writing and photography, she focuses on art, travel, and music.