Recently I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with male actor Chad Connell who can be seen in the upcoming movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones playing fan favorite character, the Blue Haired Demon. In this interview Chad talks about what inspired him to become an actor, the process of landing the role of the Blue Haired Demon, or “Bluey” as a fan has named him, what it was like to play him, and where the inspiration for Bluey’s look came from. He also lets his geek side out by talking about some of the things he likes to geek over, along with talking about his dream role and other projects. If you’re a member of “Bluey’s Army” then you’re in a for a real treat. For the record, Chad is very sweet and it was a lot of fun chatting with him. Make sure to check him out in City of Bones and his other projects!
What inspired you to become an actor?
I started on stage at a really young age. I remember doing a recital where I was Hercules and I was three years old. I was the only boy which was pretty big. I had a big ring because Hercules had a ring and it picked up the light, and there were fifteen or sixteen girls dancing around me and my chest was out to here. At three I think that sort of set the stage, so to speak, to make me crave that type of attention. It developed from there and when I was about eleven I got heavily into community theater and that sort of stuff. I played Oliver and that was another moment of, “Hey everyone, look at me!” I was like a minor celebrity in the middle school world that I was growing up in.
Then I sort of demanded when I was about eleven or twelve that my parents get me an agent. I lived up in Ottawa which is not really an entertainment capital, it’s the political capital, but there’s not so much going on. So, a lot of my work was in Montreal which was awesome, but I never really committed to it in high school the way maybe some teen actors do. I was still very much with my high school friends doing my high school stuff, but every now and then I would take a few weeks off of school and shoot a movie or something and come back. It was always hard to get back into school after that. I sort of carved out this trajectory at a really young age and never really deviated at all.
Tell me about your role the Blue Haired Demon in the upcoming The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
It was a funny thing getting the part. From my knowledge they had been auditioning for a while and I got in late, and obviously made it to the last round because I wound up booking it, but as I said I got in late and I think that’s because, and I could be wrong, but I think I portray something different than I think you would imagine a sort of goth demon type of guy to be. I don’t have long hair and I wear polo shirts (laughs). It took me a while to get in there and I guess they just weren’t finding what they needed and I managed to get in. I took it seriously because I knew this was a really big project and it already has a built in fan base. I went out and bought some cheap black nail polish, I bought some eye liner, wore a leather jacket, did something to my hair, and I just committed to that whole look and the vibe I think the Blue Haired Demon has about him.
On a side note it actually wasn’t too far of a deviation when I was at first year university, I was new to Toronto, big city, I was in theater school, and I was experimenting with being a new cool adult and I dyed my hair blue. So it’s funny that one of the big projects I’ve done later on in my career is going back to that blue hair. It was a real quick turn around because they were already into shooting, I think it was Day Two or Three when I booked the part. So we went in and I was actually not fully aware that my hair was going to be black and blue.
Yeah! So that was news and we did it. I went in and we experimented with the look with wardrobe and hair and make up. We went in and had a meeting with Harald Zwart, the director, and he sort of lit up at the sight of me because it’s quite the sight. It’s pretty cool transformation. So obviously the character is the Blue Haired Demon, but on set the name we gave him was Lambert which is sort of an homage to Adam Lambert.
It’s sort of where the inspiration was drawn and in the make up trailer there were pictures of Adam Lambert all over the place with his eye liner and glowing skin and nail polish and black hair with the blue through it.
Yeah! I think we achieved it. I have a few photos on my iPhone and I showed some friends who are just in shock. It was a bit out of the box for me which is so awesome as an actor to finally get out of your box every now and then.
Totally. What was your absolute favorite thing about being in The Mortal Instruments?
You know what? I think that’s still yet to come because I’m realizing what a huge fan base it has. I had a lot of fun on set, I got to work with Lily Collins, Robert Sheehan, Kevin Zegers, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Jemima West, and everyone was lovely even in the midst of killing me Jamie was a gentleman. Although I definitely came away with a few bruises. I’m starting to realize through Twitter, though Facebook, and through blogs that I’ve seen online the fan base that the Blue Haired Demon has. It’s so interesting because he’s gone by the beginning of the story. We’ve done away with this character, but people feel so connected to him. I think that’s because he is the catalyst for all of this. It’s a really important part and I took it seriously because this is a whole series of books and will hopefully be a whole series of movies. To be the one that sort of brings the worlds together is a lot of responsibility. *Potential Spoiler* Obviously I help get Clary into the club and there’s that flirtation and then she witnesses my murder. Wait… I hope I’m not spoiling it for you!
Don’t worry, you’re fine!
Bluey! That’s what’s funny is there’s a fan who has named me Bluey.
Bluey, so I guess that’s their nickname for the Blue Haired Demon. They’ve hashtagged “Bluey” on twitter and there’s a bunch of people rooting for me.
See, you already have a Bluey Army.
I do! I hope they’re campaigning for some sort of spin-off.
Seriously! Let’s make a Blue Haired Demon Spin-Off happen. So what are some of the things that you like to geek over?
My current geek obsession, which is maybe not totally full fledged geek, is that I am addicted to Candy Crush Saga. It’s a Facebook game and people have been sending me requests to play and I usually reject them because I think it’s ridiculous, but somehow I succumbed and I have been playing it, like literally locking myself in my condo. It’s like a Tetris game, so you’re closing your eyes and seeing the shapes. There’s that, and what else do I geek over… It’s not so geeky, but I’m a real health nut.
You can be a health geek. Being a geek is just being passionate.
There you go. I’m really passionate about food and being healthy, that sort of thing. Of course every now and again I break it and just spend all day eating pints of ice cream, but it needs to balance out. I also geek out over movie musicals. There’s nothing better than a cheesy movie musical.
What is your dream role?
I don’t know if I’ve ever actually seen one role on screen yet. If there’s one, and I’m a little past the age now, it would be James Dean. I know that’s a stereotype for a male actor to say, but James Dean in East of Eden is just so truthful and frustrated and sad. I don’t know what it is that I’m so drawn to that sort of role because in my down time I love comedies. I was sad to see 30 Rock go and I’m so sad to see Happy Endings go, but happy to see Arrested Development back. I love comedy and I think I have a mind for it, but I’m really drawn to drama and that sort of human suffering. That being said I would also jump at the chance at doing a movie musical. As I said before, there’s nothing better than a full on cheesy movie musical, but one that takes itself seriously. If it knows it’s being cheesy it sort of deflates it a little bit. So yeah, that sort of tormented soul I think I’m really interested in exploring.
What are some of your favorite movie musicals?
They’re making Into the Woods. Ah, man that is so good! I would kill to be ten years younger and play the role of Jack. That’s a big one right now and it’s hard to sit in the audience of Les Mis and be like, “Come on! I could be in that, ahh!” I’m literally singing along, I’m that person who sings along and every one else in the audience is rolling their eyes at me, and I’m singing Cosette’s parts too! (Laughs).
Haha, yes! I do that too. So what are some of your other projects?
Some other stuff that I’ve done… Oh wait, Geek Talk is one right now and Kevin Zegers is promoting City of Bones! Yay! Okay, I just did a really great Hallmark movie, I got to work with Mercedes Ruehl on Star Spangled Banners, and that was my first time working with an Academy Award winner and a Tony winner, so that was really cool. I got to share some screen time with Brooke White who is a singer from American Idol. She was a top five finalist and lovely and the music was amazing. That came out in July. Right now you’ll see me a bit in White House Down, and for geeks I know there’s a big geek fan base for Nikita which I had a really nice arc on. I shot it in January, so I think the episodes came out in March or April.
Cool! For my last question, what is your favorite comic book movie?
I’m a really big fan of Frank Miller’s Sin City, I read the graphic novel and thought it was really cool, I love the approach to it, and I love Frank Miller’s direction. It’s so stylized and sexy and it makes that whole graphic novel comic book genre really cool and gritty.