Our Exclusive Chat With Chad Michael Collins
Chad Michael Collins has the coolest job ever, as the leading role in the new and highly anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game out October 25th! We got the absolute pleasure of speaking with the actor.
What has your experience working on the Sniper franchise been like?
CMC: Working on Sony’s military action SNIPER franchise has been a blast and a real gift in my career. Not only have we made some really fun, exciting action movies, but they’ve afforded me the chance to grow as an actor and take Brandon Beckett on a journey for almost ten years, all while traveling the world and working in some amazing countries and locations – Bulgaria, South Africa, Turkey, Greece and Colombia.
How does acting for a video game compare to acting for a film or movie?
CMC: Acting in a game like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a really unique experience. Really, it’s more akin to theater than film or TV, in that the actors are having to be word and movement perfect as we perform for 50-plus cameras covering every angle of us. We are indoors on a motion-capture stage, and we really get to use our imaginations, as we have tables, apple boxes, and PVC pipe objects representing tanks, vehicles, choppers and more. Its a lot of fun, where movement is encouraged and a lot of creative play is the norm.
What is training like for Call of Duty?
CMC: We were lucky to have a couple of really great consultants on-hand for our game, high level retired Navy SEALS. They walked us through a lot of tactical weapon and movement maneuvers and offered a lot in terms of how we could add authenticity to our respective characters. They were an incredible asset to the actors, and the production at-large. It was really nice to have such experienced professionals available to pick their brains and consult with every day.
What should fans be most excited for with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare?
CMC: The great thing about our new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game is that there’s something for every player – a beautiful, deep, and intense single-player story campaign, or a number of ways to enjoy the multiplayer game mode. I’m really excited for them to play through the campaign, where my fellow actors and I are featured most prominently. The story is amazing, as they’ll discover as they play through it. It will feel like a playable, interactive Zero Dark Thirty or Lone Survivor, a high-end military action movie that puts them in the driver’s seat, experiencing the complications of war from many points of view. It’s a deeply affecting experience.
How do you relate to your character Alex?
CMC: Alex is that classic “mystery wrapped in an enigma” type of character. A high-level CIA operative who embeds himself with allies of his agency and assimilates into them. He’s a chameleon that is, at the end of the day, married to the job. In a lot of ways, being an actor can feel like that in general. It can be an all-consuming endeavor at times that must always be prioritized – auditions, filming, networking, marketing and so much more that require your constant time, attention, and focus. But, if we didn’t love it, we wouldn’t do it, so there could be worse things to be married to!
What would be your dream role?
CMC: I really only got into this acting racket to have fun, and fun for me is anything comic book, sci-fi, or fantasy-related. So dream roles would be any part that allows me to play in those types of projects and worlds. Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica, Lord of the Rings…these things have always been my jam since childhood, so playing a hero, villain, knight, Jedi, space pilot – these are all bucket list dream roles for me.
When was that eureka moment when you realized acting was your calling?
CMC: That moment came while filming my first SNIPER film, SNIPER: RELOADED, the franchise reboot. We were in South Africa in all its majestic beauty, and I was having a blast playing Brandon Beckett for the first time. I knew during that shoot that acting was what I wanted to do, full-time, with no regrets. That experience was an epiphany, and everything I did from that point on was to carry forth my dream of being a professional actor.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an actor themselves?
CMC: The advice I always offer to current or aspiring actors is get clear on their career. Most people think they want to be actors, but when you peel back the layers, they have no real reason “why” they want to be an actor. And if you don’t have a really, REALLY strong “why” reason driving you forward at all times, you’re not going to last in this industry. There are exponentially more actors than there are roles, so it will be a constant test of will power and an exercise in relentless persistence. If you don’t have that internal clarity developed, chances are you’re going to burn out and fade away. Those that stick around know why they want it, and they endure the highs and lows with a steel resolve.