Interviews - Actors
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> Matt Czuchry
by Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
March 3, 2006.
It isnít easy to just
jump into arguably the smartest long-running series on television Ė one
known for its brilliant writing and strong ensemble cast Ė and make an
immediate impression. However, Matt Czuchry made it look simple.
Czuchry joined the cast
of Gilmore Girls in the popular showís fifth season. At that point
the story was in flux. Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) had moved away from
home to go to Yale. This led to growing pains for her and her mother
Lorelai (Lauren Graham), as both struggled to cope with
changes in their relationship and their places
in each other's lives. Despite going off to
college, Rory was still holding onto her past and having
relationships with hometown guys when she met Czuchryís character,
Logan Huntzberger Ė a privileged, somewhat spoiled,
publishing heir. It was a case of dislike at
first sight, however there was an undeniable attraction between the two.
As Rory and Logan have gotten to know each other,
grown closer and tried to get past their differences and their
problems, Matt Czuchry has become the latest breakout star
Gilmore Girls was winding down, Czuchry braved a cold to sit
down with us and tell us about his career and the
show.As the sixth season of
How did you first get
involved in acting?
My junior year in
college I took some Meisner courses outside of school. I played tennis in
college, so I didnít major in theater just because of the time
constraint. I took some classes outside of college and really fell in
love with those classes. Then when it became to make the decision of what
to do, I didnít want to go to law school, so I decided that I would try to
pursue acting in some form. You know, when I first graduated college it
wasnít like, okay, Iím moving out to LA.
Did you ever consider
going pro at tennis?
You know, it was a very,
very quick and brief thought. But I just wasnít good enough to play at
A friend of mine is a
big fan of
Dark Shadows, and he tells me that you were going to be in a new
version of the series a few years ago. How did you get that role and what
happened to the show?
I did the pilot
of Dark Shadows. Itís been a couple of years now. I played a
character called Willie Loomis, who was Ė kind of what happens is he gets
bitten by the vampire Barnabas and he becomes kind of his right-hand
henchman. Iím a big fan of horror movies and comic books and that genre.
It was a lot of fun to do. The two projects that got picked up that year
were Ė that was the year Jack & Bobby got picked up and The
Mountain. I think that during that period of time, it was kind of
when The OC was really popping and I think that the
decisions were made to go towards a younger audience with those two
shows. Whereas Dark Shadows, it was kind of a disturbing piece,
actually. It skewed a little bit older than the main demographic for the
WB, and I think thatís why they went a different way.
Speaking of going for a
younger demographic, the first time I remember seeing you was in
Oh, nice, manÖ
were brought into on the second season to bring in some
young blood. Iím
so I was a big fan (the show was filmed in Philly.) At the time it was on I interviewed George Dzundza, who you kind of ended up
replacing. What was it like being on that show?
Iíve lived in LA for
six and a half years. Each of the stepping stones [leads] to the next.
Hack is a huge reason why Iím on Gilmore Girls now. I say
that because just watching David Morse and Andre Braugher work, it was
Theyíre both amazing
I was able to be around
them and soak that up like a sponge. It was incredible. Both of them are
so good and so successful and theyíre both completely different in the way
that Ė David kind of works a lot from the inside out and Andre works from
the outside out. (laughs) Both of their styles work so well for
them. I was able to just learn as an actor around them. Also, what I
loved about them was they came to work every single day, prepared. They
have families and they would go home to their families. They were great
actors and great people. Especially David, because most of my scenes
were with David Ė he really became a mentor to me. So my time there was
Gilmore Girls was
already a well established series when you auditioned for it. How
familiar were you with the show and how exciting was it to get an
opportunity to be a part of it?
I was very familiar with
the show. When I came on, it had already been on for four seasons.
came in the fifth season. I was very familiar with the show because itís
such a unique show. So those first couple of days of work were very
surreal, being a part of it. It was a project that I had been familiar
with as a fan and also had auditioned for several times before getting the
character of Logan.
Logan was originally only supposed to a limited amount of episodes. When did
you get the feeling that he may last longer?
Well, at the point where
I came in, it had already been established that it was going to kind of be
a year long thing. A thirteen episode kind of thing. So I knew coming
into it that it was for that long. Of course, for it being extended
further than that, I had no idea. But I did know that he was going to
play an important part in that fifth season of the storyline.
The series is famous for
its smart dialogue and fast quips. Do you ever get a script and have to
look up some of the topical references?
Yes. Absolutely. I have a dictionary close by when Iím
preparing the scene. I definitely have a dictionary close by to look up
certain words, or references of certain people.
a lot of ways, Rory is such a romantic and Logan is rather cynical. Why do you think they work as a couple?
think that those differences bring them together. Weíve seen this season how theyíve learned from each other with that. Logan sees that romantic nature in Rory and wants a little piece of
that. I think Logan opens Rory up to a new side of the universe that she hasnít
seen. So those differences bring them together.
I know you mostly work
with Alexis (Bledel, who plays Rory);
whatís she like to work with?
I was thinking last
night, itís unbelievable how
Alexis has been able to shoulder a TV show with so much of the
pressure for six years. She got the job when she was seventeen or
eighteen. Alexis and Lauren
Ė itís their
show. They have to shoulder so much of the responsibility and
pressures and demands of being on a TV show. Just the amount of time
and work and effort that goes into it. Sheís very, very
inspirational to me that she can shoulder this burden. Sheís been
doing it for six years and sheís twenty-three now. Thatís whatís
most impressive to me. Itís kind of a joy to watch just how sheís
able to go from scene to scene and day to day and be able to shoulder the
burden of the show.
Now, Iíve only seen you
and Gilmore Girls, and the characters of Jamie and Logan are very
different in most ways, but one thing they had in common is that they had
some run-ins with the law. Obviously
Logan is rich
enough that he isnít doing it for profit.
Do you think it was just
boredom on his part that he gets into trouble so often?
think that it comes from a place of Ė that he has all the means necessary
to do whatever he wants. You mentioned that, with the money. Itís just a kind of a feeling of Ė he feels like heís untouchable, in a
way. Anytime heís ever gotten in trouble, heís been able to get out of
it. So he doesnít have a frame of reference where he gets into trouble
and it really, really puts people in danger for any extended period of
time. He has these means to him, so he does whatever he wants because he
can. The difference Ė with Jamie is very, very much completely different
with Hack. A lot of those were because he was a troubled kid, heíd
get into trouble and I donít think that Ė Loganís
not a troubled kid. He has all these means and he takes advantage of
all of the episodes revolving around the newspaper, Logan is usually not willing to work hard but when he does do work it is
pretty much acknowledged that he is a very talented journalist. Then in
the recent episode where they had to get the paper out in a few hours, he
pitched in totally and it showed he knew a lot about the business side of
publishing too. Do you think he is avoiding working too much on it to
piss off his father? Do you see him getting into the newspaper business
You know, that episode
was very telling as to the capabilities that Logan has. Itís not
that he canít do it; itís just that he doesnít want to. You saw with
that episode that if he wants to do it, heíd be very, very successful at
it, because heís been around it his whole entire life. I think that
a lot of times it has to do with because heís grown up with it and his
father says you have to do this, it is a certain thing that he is just
rebelling against his father. Thatís one piece of it. The
other piece, I also believe, is that at least at this point in his life,
Logan wants to do other things. It goes back to the other question
you asked me. He wants to experience life in a different way at age
twenty-two. He doesnít want to be that responsible kid that he
thinks would happen as an adult. So itís two-fold. One, he is
rebelling against his father, and two, he doesnít want to live as an adult
right now. He wants to be a kid and take all the advantages as a
kid. Where heíll go down the line, hopefully there are going to be
some storylines come into play. Weíll see as the season progresses.
I think it would be very interesting to see who he would be as an adult in
the business world. It certainly makes sense for him, if he is going
to be an adult in the business world, to be a part of the paper in some
fashion. Iím hopeful, actually, that Logan at some point
Ė when he
decides, okay, I have to become adult Ė
that is the path that he
I know that youíre ahead
of me as far as what you know on the storyline, but in the last aired
episode Loganís father comes down on him hard and tells him heís going to
have to spend a year in London. Now Iím assuming since weíre talking
now that Logan wonít be gone for that long, but did that whole turn of events surprise
I know that things have
been building kind of to the end of the show and the last couple of
episodes that have been on the air are kind of pushing the storylines
towards where they want to finish the season. So, I think that piece
specifically was just to show that itís not going to be smooth sailing for
Logan and Rory. They have issues to face Ė in their relationship and
externally as well. Those things havenít gone away. Those differences
that they have are still issues, you know? So I think thatís what that
piece was about. So I think it was kind of just setting up those ending
storylines. It didnít surprise me, because I felt it was about that.
and his family have had so many problems over the two seasons that youíve
been on. Do you see there being a big blowout somewhere down the line?
As a trust fund baby who is so used to a certain lifestyle, do you think
that Logan could ever just completely cut himself off from them?
Or do you think
heíd sort of toe the line to stay with the family and the money?
He certainly has walked
that line over the course of the last two seasons. Weíve seen him walk
that line where heís able to Ė Logan is very good at understanding peopleís limits. Pushing
them to their limits, but not over them. Thatís a characteristic that he
has thatís very important with his family and his relationships. So heís
able to push that family to the limit of frustration, but not cutting him
off. If at any point if somebody went to their limit and he
went too far, I think heíd bring them back a little bit. (laughs)
So thatís kind of how Iíd answer thatÖ
Speaking of turn of
events, on this seasonís episodes there has been a certain amount of
controversy amongst the fans because for the first time in the series, the
relationship between Lorelai and Rory has been rather strained. Do you
think itís just a reflection of the natural tendency for college-aged
girls to fight with their mothers?
I think it was strained
in the beginning of this season because their relationship was going to go
to a new place. At any time, to have growth, it kind of becomes strained
first. Thatís what we saw in the beginning of the season. Rory
was finding her own way Ė in a different light that was influenced a lot
by Loganís character and what weíve talked about so far.
relationship was strained, because it was going to go through a period of
growth throughout this season. I think that theyíre starting to talk
together about different things. Theyíre both Ė their relationship is now
different. I think that itís going to be at a higher level. The
conversations that they have, the honesty that they have and the
relationship that they have is going to be even stronger that it was in
years past. In order to get to that new place, they had to go through
When I was in college,
big party weekends usually didnít revolve around staying in heated tents,
drinking fine wines, wearing ape masks and jumping off towers with
umbrellas. Do you think that sense of fancifulness is one of the charms
of the series?
That was, you know Ė last season the Life and Death Brigade
Ė certainly an element of storylines that the new character Logan brought to the
show, which I thought was wonderful. It was a side which you could see
instantly who this guy was. He has huge amounts of money. He takes
risks. Heís going to spare no expense to have fun. Those are three huge
pieces that weíve seen carried through last year and into this year.
Those storylines are going to come up again towards the end of this
season, as far as the taking risks aspect was concerned. So it was a
perfect way to show in kind of a fantasy world and a heightened reality.
I mean, (laughs) certainly I never went to any of those kinds of
parties. Thatís what Loganís life is. It is heightened. It is almost a
fantasy world that he lives in. It was a perfect way to show a lot of his
characteristics, but not force it on the audience. That was a very fun
episode for me.
I read an interview with
(series creator) Amy Sherman-Palladino recently
in which she said that with the recent merge of the WB & UPN to become the
CW things were a little up in the air for the show and it hasnít been
renewed yet. That was kind of surprising to me, because in all the
articles I read about the merger at the time
Gilmore Girls was one
of only a handful of series on both networks that were considered a given
to return. Have you heard any more news about how the merger is going to
affect the show?
We have not been
officially renewed. I think most of those things happen in May timeframe
as far as it being officially renewed. With
the talk of the
merger, a lot of people are just looking at the top-rated shows for the WB
and UPN. And Gilmore Girls this season has been either one or two
this year in the WB. So I think that when they were looking at Ė as far
as whether it would be television or news Ė where theyíre talking about
this merger, they looked at what the top-rated shows are on both of those
networks and figured that those would be the ones that would be the
flagship shows to start off the new network. Although itís not official,
it certainly would make sense that they would keep one of their highest
rated shows. But itís definitely not official and I think anytime youíre
looking at something different it is up in the air. Until, basically,
they give us the official word that we all have jobs, then (laughs)
itís not official, you know? Thatís the way it is. But if you could try
and make an educated guess on things Ė and thatís what people have been
doing Ė if you made an educated guess it certainly would seem that
Gilmore Girls would be back. But at this point it is still just a
you have any ideas for the show that youíd love to see them do Ė either
character or more in general?
I would like to see if
they could develop the business side of Loganís character more. Like
those instances at the paper, but at an even higher level as far as in the
business world as an adult. Heís close to graduating, so if he is going
to graduate, it would be interesting to see who Logan would be as an adult
in the business world. That would certainly be something that Iíd like to
how would you like for people to see your career?
When I first came to LA
and I sat down with my dad, we were talking about a game plan. It
was the slow road to the things that I wanted to do. Very purposeful. I
think that weíve seen that in the six and
a half years itís been kind of
incremental for me. Thatís very important to me; to build that skill set
incrementally and to develop as an actor as I move forward. And then taking that into the future, itís just
making choices that are challenging for me as an actor. Trying to vanish
into these different characters. Thatís the goal. One of my favorite
actors is Philip Seymour Hoffman. Iíve followed his career ever since
way, way back, and heís been able to do that Ė whether itís been Boogie
Nights, Magnolia or The Talented Mr. Ripley. That run, and of
course now you see it with Capote. Itís about
the work that he does. In order to answer your question very quickly
thatís what it is. I want it to be about the work that Iíve done and not
about anything external.
Are there any
misconceptions youíd like to clear up?
I donít think so.
(laughs) If there are then I donít know about them Ė which is
completely possible. There could be plenty of misconceptions out there
about me, but Iím a pretty private person so I wouldnít know about it if
there was. (laughs again.) At least at this point.
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