EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Actor "Christopher Cordell" Talks "Chucky" TV Series, Upcoming Projects And Much More With Standish...

Standish913.com has been blessed to do an exclusive interview with...
"Christopher Cordell"
Let's get into some exclusive questions...

STANDISH: You played the "Intruder" on the "Chucky" TV series, how'd you land this role and what's it feel like to be apart of the Chucky legacy?

CHRISTOPHER: What a fabulous gift to be invited to be a part of the series. The Chucky legacy is such a loved favourite that being able to join the story in such a pivotal and influential role was a total thrill.
Don Mancini, the creator of Chucky and the Executive Producer of the series, was an absolute delight to be around. We shot during the height of Covid with strict testing, mask mandates and social distancing protocols. On one of the shooting days, I was doing my best to respect the Covid rules and my fellow cast and crew by, in between takes, staying in the corner of the house we were shooting, distancing, as best I could, from everyone else. Don spots me in the corner and fights his way across the crowded room to make his way over to me to strike up a conversation and thank me for agreeing to be a part of his TV series. He thanked me! What a treasure of a human being. Don worked so hard and was so cleaver in his creation of the entire franchise and instead of positioning it that I was lucky to be working on his project (which I was, very lucky) he went out of his way to thank me. I really respect and admire him for that. I would jump at the chance to work with him again.
I was originally sent the audition for the part by my agent, Phil Flagler. I wasn’t given the entire script, as it is often kept secret. This led me to not be certain of what type of character/person the role might end up being, so I recorded and submitted three distinctly different variations. Later, the director, Dermott Downs, told me that those three distinctly different variations led me to being cast. He was initially concerned that the casting department would send him stunt performers who could act, but what he was hoping for was an actor who could also do stunts (the original script had a large fight scene that ended up being cut). He was convinced when he saw my audition that I was an actor that could also stunt. It was very generous of him to share those details with me, and I took it as a huge compliment. I really enjoyed working with Dermott. His style and approach gave me courage to take big swings and try ideas that weren’t on the page.
I had worked with the stunt coordinator before, Darren Marsman, and I believe he also recommended me for the job. Which was super generous of him.

STANDISH: Tell us a little about your overall mission, Christopher –

CHRISTOPHER: I enjoy telling stories. I also really enjoy collaboration. It is amazing to me what can be created when a group of people get together and support each other to pursue and obtain a goal. Everyone on a film/tv set is an integral part of that project’s creation and my mission is to meet and work with as many amazing collaborators as time will allow. I am currently pushing my acting career forward and focusing on being genuine and grounded.
You've landed some great gigs, how did you get into performing stunts?
The short answer is perseverance, tenacity, hard work, and a whole lot of kindness from others. The long answer is, I started in showbiz as an actor when I was a child. With school plays and some work with The Children’s Theatre Company. I loved it. I then watched a documentary on TV that was about a stunt family in LA and I was enthralled. The documentary focused heavily on the fact that they were a “stunt Family” and to my 12-year-old mind, that was how you became a stunt performer. You were born into it. Which can actually be true. There is a large percentage of stunt performers who are in the business because a family member was in the business, they were friends with someone in the business or they were sleeping with someone in the business.
I continued to pursue my first love, an acting career. A few years later, when I was 16, I found an advertisement in a local Toronto newspaper, advertising a “Stunt School”. I clipped it out of the newspaper and carried it around with me every day, tucked into the sleeve of my creative writing binder at school (there is a picture of this clip on Instagram @stuntcordell). I remember calling and being so disappointed that, to take their course, they wanted me to pay them more money than I could afford. I come from a very poor beginning. By the time I was able to save up the money, the phone number no longer worked, and I once again abandoned the idea of becoming a stunt performer. I continued my pursuit of acting. All the while leading an active and daredevil filled life. Then my best friend’s older sister, Shelley Croft, called saying she needed some help with her University Film project. She needed an actor AND a stunt performer and could I please come and do BOTH for her. Hell yes, I can! That was the start of my stunt journey. Through that experience I realized that being able to perform stunts gave me a greater opportunity to be asked to be in a film or TV production. Shelley called me because she believed that I could do both. Stunts also seemed to be a way to bypass the casting director and land acting roles without relying on an agent. But I still didn’t know how to become a “working” stunt performer in Union shows, so I started taking entry level work on sets as a background performer and a stand in. Learning, watching and asking a lot of questions. Fairly soon, an accomplished stunt performer, Patrick Mark, was on the same set as me, crashing a motorcycle. During our down time in between shots, I struck up a conversation with Pat. He was very generous and kindly gave me a wealth of information about stunts and how to pursue a career. I quickly put his knowledge to work. I started researching who the stunt coordinators were and what productions they were working on, started cold calling them and sending them 8x10’s of myself with my resume. I was relentless and persistent and finally one day, Rick Forsayeth, one of the top stunt coordinators in Canada, called with a small job. This was my very first Union stunt. I was over the moon and thrilled that I had finally “made it”. But in truth, I was still a very long way from “making it” as I was still a very long way from being a trusted and dependable stunt performer. I was new and most stunt people didn’t trust me to be someone they put their life or reputation on the line with. I continued to struggle to find reliable consistent work as a stunt performer. I asked a stunt coordinator, Wade Eastwood (Wade now stunt coordinates the Mission Impossible films with Tom Cruise), why he hadn’t hired me, and his response opened my eyes instantly. He said “Why would I hire you? You’re not a f*cking stuntman!” He then went on to list all the skills he believed I lacked. One of which was the ability to ride an air ram. I quickly upped my training regime and ensured that I was accomplished at all the skills Wade had listed but becoming proficient at using an air ram was proving difficult. At that time air rams were expensive, there were only 3 air rams in the Toronto stunt community and the owners of these 3 air rams didn’t want to share them with me or more accurately likely didn’t want to be liable for my injuries. Air rams are extremely dangerous and can break you/kill you in a heartbeat. So, I bought my own from a German stunt performer and had it shipped to me. I took it apart as soon as it arrived and reversed engineered a second entire ram. I now owned 2 out of the 5 rams in the Toronto stunt community and I was training on them every single week. Honing a skill that lots of working “professional” stunt performers didn’t have. Then shortly after, opportunity collided with preparation. I was working as an SSE (Special Skilled Extra) as a Swat Officer in the backseat of a police cruiser with 2 other SSE while two stunt performers rode in the front, Danny Lima driving and Robert Racki riding shotgun, when the other two SSE started having a loud conversation about their stunt experience. It seemed clear at the time that they were trying to impress on Danny and Rob that they had the skills to be considered for stunt work. Robert is Branko Racki’s brother. Branko is one of the top stunt coordinators in Canada. It was an easy assumption that if you made a good impression with Robert, it might lead to work with Branko. Eventually, the SSE conversation turned to air rams and one of the SSE made a statement that was incorrect, and I corrected him stating that that wasn’t how air rams worked. Rob turned around and said to me “What the f*ck do you know about air rams” in a tone that clearly showed that he believed I had zero clue. I responded that I believe I knew at least a little as I owned two and had built one from the ground up. Rob said “Bullshit! There are only 3 rams in this town, and you want me to believe that you own two of them?” I replied “Well, now there are 5 rams in this town and yes, I own two of them.” Soon after that, I had the opportunity to strike up a conversation with Branko and he said “You’re the guy with the rams right? I want you to bring one to set tomorrow and show me what you can do.” So, I did. The next day, during lunch, I pulled out one of my rams, set it up, and in front of the entire stunt team (there were a lot of stunties out that day) I showed my skills on the air ram. This led to Branko allowing me to volunteer to work for free for him and his team. I came to set everyday to hump matts, clean matts, get coffee, carry gear, help with rigging, etc. I wasn’t being paid, but I was in heaven. It was a golden opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business. And then once again opportunity collided with preparation. During a rehearsal for a big stunt gag that involved wires and fire, one of the stunt performers had a last-minute conflict and couldn’t make it to the rehearsal on time. Branko said “Okay Cordell, you want to be a stunt guy? Let’s see how you do.” He put me in and fortunately all the skills I had been training from Wade Eastwood’s notes helped me meet Branko’s needs in that moment. He was impressed enough that he hired me to do the stunt when it went to camera. I was very lucky to get that job because a TV series called “Hollywood’s Greatest Stunts” showed up to do an expose on me and my first major Hollywood Union stunt. I also met Marco Bianco on that film set. Marco is likely the best stunt rigger in the business, not just in Canda but in the entire world. He became a mentor and a beacon of knowledge for me for a great many years. This all lead to me being taken more seriously as a “professional” and reliable stunt performer and became the real start of a career in stunts.

STANDISH: You did driver stunts on the TV series "The Handmaid's Tale", how did this go? What was this like?

CHRISTOPHER: This was an interesting shoot because I was also hired to be an actor at the same time and act in a scene with the two female leads, Elisabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski. (A clip of this scene can be found on Instagram at @actorcordell). Both actors were extremely kind and generous to me. Which may sound like no big deal, but on a TV set, actors are often working very long hours, are hungry, tired, cold and under a boat load of pressure. It is often very difficult to be “your best self” under these conditions and yet both ladies were absolutely wonderful to me. The director, Dana Gonzales, went out of his way to ensure that I had all the knowledge and tools needed to ensure my comfort and coax a believable performance. The scene appears to be one continuous drive, but in reality, we shot it in two parts, on two separate days, shot weeks apart from each other. I love how seamless the scene turned out and that one would never know the huge amount of time that took place between the start and the finish of the scene.

STANDISH: You were stunt performer on 12 episodes of TV series "Titans", how did you land that and what was the set atmosphere like?

CHRISTOPHER: Season one of Titans was stunt coordinated by Tig Fong. Tig and I worked together on Nikita and several other projects over the years, so he was very familiar with me and my work. This led him to ask if I would be available to assist him on Titans. The set atmosphere was tricky to navigate as it was difficult for the cast and crew to always be their “best selves” due to the very high demands of the show. I was extremely excited to wear the Robin costume and consider myself very fortunate that I received such a fabulous opportunity. I really enjoyed working with Geoff Johns, who was always super kind. Producer/director, Akiva Goldsman, was also very generous to me. Anna Diop, who played Firestar, was a treat to get to know. I really enjoyed her work ethic, kindness, and positivity. Alan Ritchson was also very generous to me with his time and inclusion. I very much enjoyed getting to know DOP, Boris Mojsovski. I loved watching him work and sharing jokes and ideas together. One of the writers, Bryan Edward Hill, and I got along famously and I really enjoyed listening to him explain how the writers developed the story and why some moments in the script where more important than others. Bryan has written a boat load of work outside of Titans. If you get the opportunity, I highly recommend picking up his graphic novel American Carnage. I found it very well crafted. Director, Grant Harvey, was a breath of fresh air to work with. I enjoyed his collaborative spirit and enthusiasm to work together to tell a great story. He was also very generous with his time and patience. He showed me a rough cut of the episode he directed, and I believe to this day that it was the very best episode of Titans that I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the top decision makers chose to shelve the episode and to my knowledge it never aired. We also reshot large amounts of the first 3 episodes, which I believe seemed to crush everyone’s spirits, making it difficult for most of the cast and crew to remain positive. Add in the fact that it was an extremely cold winter, lots of outdoor scenes, lots of night scenes, and lots of very long hours and the show quickly becomes less ideal.
I still consider it a huge honour to have been able to work with so many exceptional and hard working people
You performed stunts on the TV series "Taken", can you tell us more?
We did a bunch of fun stunts on that show. My most favourite being a ratchet we did.

STANDISH: What was it like working on the "Kick-Ass" franchise?

CHRISTOPHER: The first Kick Ass was stunt coordinated by Brad Allen. Brad was one of the top action performers in the world and had done extensive work with Jackie Chan and his team. Unfortunately, Brad has passed and is no longer with us. Having the opportunity to work with and learn from Brad was an absolute treasure. The work I did with Brad on Kick Ass led to the work we did on “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”. I loved that project so much. I had the good fortune of being one of Lucas Lee’s on camera stunt doubles. Chris Evans plays Lucas Lee. He was a treat and so was Micheal Cera who played Scott Pilgrim.
The second Kick Ass had a different team and I ended up on that project due to Angelica Lisk’s recommendation. Angelica and I had worked together on several other projects, so she was familiar with me and my work and recommended me to audition for the film. Working with Olga Kurkulin who played Mother Russia was a fabulous experience. She was so very mighty yet kind and perpetually concerned that she was going to hurt me. She didn’t know very much English, and I don’t know any Russian, so we often communicated by simply showing each other what we were trying to convey with hand gestures and grunts. It was a great time.

STANDISH: You have many "uncredited" titles on iMDb, is this something that bothers you when you don't get the credit you deserve?

CHRISTOPHER: Our standard contracts normally state “credit at producer’s discretion”. I believe on lots of TV shows they try to keep their credits as short as possible to keep the run time and costs down. This sometimes leads to those that didn’t insist on a credit on their contract, being dropped from the credit crawl. I initially didn’t care about credits, but I have learned that they can be important, and I now strive to ensure that it is included in my contract.
I do find it strange, that in today’s world of action, The Academy Awards refuses to recognize stunt performers or stunt coordinators with an award category. Giving credit where credit is due.

STANDISH: With having so many awesome credits, what's your overall favorite set you've worked on?

CHRISTOPHER: Tough question. Different sets are great for different reasons.
For example, I really enjoyed the friendships we built on the TV series Nikita. Rob Stewart, Shane West, and Devon Sawa are all people I still consider friends. Shane and Devon and I would hang out regularly during the run of the show and Devon and I will still get together whenever possible. I am always thrilled to hear about his new successes and accomplishments.
My experience on Chucky was a complete thrill and Don Mancini went out of his way to make me feel welcome and included. He even presented me with a
Giant Chucky doll as a gift just for being on the show. I keep it on my bookshelf in my bedroom and it is a great reminder of the fabulous experience and opportunity.
Accused was also a great experience. I really enjoyed the collaboration with Director Brad Turner and the actors, Julia Chan and Ian Anthony Dale. All of whom were super kind and welcoming.
I would have to say though that my most favourite experience to date is likely The Ace and the Scout. That was the working title although I believe it is going to be released as Battle for the Western Front. I will follow director/producer Aaron Hugget to the ends of the earth. That man is astounding. He creates such a well flowing and conducive work environment. It is likely the lowest budget feature film I have ever worked on, yet the comradery and collaboration were absolutely phenomenal. We shot during Covid just outside of Sarnia in the fall. The producer billeted the actors in Airbnbs and we were grouped depending on who we did the most scenes with, which ended up being our scripted platoons. Our Airbnb was a house that was situated right on Lake Huron. I am a total water enthusiast, so I was in the lake every single day after wrap. We would all make a meal together, light a bonfire and sit around after our swim running lines and fleshing out the scenes. It was a total dream scenario. I had the time of my life.

STANDISH: Is there any role/character you'd love to play?

CHRISTOPHER: Yes, writer/director, Kim Barr, has written a fabulous script that has a role that I would love to play. I can’t say much about it as I signed an NDA but it is a striking coming of age story that takes place in Germany during WW2. She has written a complex and compelling character named Max, that I am absolutely dying to bring to life.
That and Victor Von Doom from the Fantastic Four comic books. I had the opportunity to portray Victor in a short “Fan Film” made by a group of students as their thesis project many years ago. I would be thrilled to get a chance to bring him to life on the big screen. I believe Victor and Darth Vader are two of the most misunderstood heroes of our generation.

STANDISH: What can we look forward to in the future from you?

CHRISTOPHER: Battle for the Western Front will be released in 2024 so we have that to look forward to. I have been cast in a feature that Director/Writer Robin Carless is currently working on securing funding for so hopefully that will go to camera late 2024.

STANDISH: Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

CHRISTOPHER: I see myself working with Stephen Spielberg on his next project. Just need to convince Stephen to see that too!
I will be continuing my pursuit of acting opportunities in projects big and small. It is my desire that that pursuit will lead to collaborating on projects with likeminded and creative artists.

STANDISH: Who are some of your mentors?

CHRISTOPHER: In the stunt world, some people who have provided great opportunities and shared their wealth of knowledge have been John Stead, Branko Racki and Marco Bianco.
In the acting world, Rosemary Dunsmore has been one of my favourite teachers. Micky Rooney gave me advice as a teenager that may or may not have been helpful.

STANDISH: Where do you find your motivation to be so great?

CHRISTOPHER: Life can be difficult for absolutely everyone. In my experience it will always have its ups and downs. I try to recognize that both my bad days AND my good days are not a true reflection of who I am. I will not fail all the time and I also will not win all the time. I try to take each day one at a time, always striving to accomplish at least one thing everyday that moves my career in a forward direction. It doesn’t have to be something monumental; it can be something as simple as reading a script, or watching a famous actor reflect on their career, or going to the gym. That way I continuously have a belief that I am moving in a positive way towards my goals and desired achievements. This makes keeping a positive outlook easier for me and I found positivity begets positivity. When you smile others will often smile with you.

STANDISH: During COVID, we all faced struggles, what was one of your main struggles?

CHRISTOPHER: struggled with two things. I was surprised at how much I relied on mouth movements and positions to both read other people and to convey my own thoughts and feelings. I really struggled with masks covering such a large portion of people’s faces. I found it very difficult to communicate affectively and to accurately read other people’s emotions and wellbeing.
I also struggled with how divisive Covid seemed to make society. There seemed to be two main groups, people that were afraid of the disease and people who were afraid of the vaccine. I struggled and was saddened by the amount of fear and the amount of anger that seemed to erupt from Covid and it’s mandates.

STANDISH: Where can fans find your work?

CHRISTOPHER: My Instagram page has a great selection of scenes that I have performed @actorcordell
Otherwise people can look me up on IMDb and find the shows that I have worked on and then locate that show on their favourite streaming service.

STANDISH: Anything you'd like to include?

CHRISTOPHER: Thanks for taking the time to include me in your publication.

STANDISH: What are your social links?
Instagram @actorcordell
Instagram @stuntcordell
Twitter/X @stuntcordell


Thanks so much for your time!

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