Interview With Actor Christian Lloyd

By Ruth on June 22, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
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Since I am a mystery enthusiast as well as a major Brennan Elliott fanatic, when the first Flower Shop Mystery film premiered, I quickly became acquainted with as many of the cast as possible. And that meant connecting with the handsome guy who played Dave King, the other lawyer who had an unrequited love interest in Abby. Regardless, Christian Lloyd portrayed him flawlessly, and he was very kind to comment on my review of this film.  Upon further investigation, I discovered that Christian was more than merely an actor, and recently, I had the opportunity to chat with him about his amazing acting career, his views on the industry itself, and his current projects.
cl

RH: What inspired you to become an actor?

CL: I was born in England, and then we moved to Canada when I was five. We lived in a very small town in Canada, and I just didn’t know what direction my life was heading. It’s funny because in England, the biggest threat was if we didn’t behave, we’d be sent to boarding school. And then I found myself in grade nine, writing entrance exams to this very prestigious boarding school in Ottawa, Canada. There was this drama teacher named Greg Simpson, who incidentally is the one who got Matthew Perry on track. And it’s interesting because there’s not that many people who come through that program at that high school that go on to pursue acting. The fact that Matthew Perry is the predecessor–those are pretty large boots to fill.

If definitely got me on a road to wanting to become an actor, but being at boarding school, everyone was so focused on becoming a professional in the more reasonable manner. So I found myself applying to pre-med programs. My final year there, I was doing The Crucible, and I was playing John Proctor, which turned out to be a phenomenal experience. But at age eighteen, I had this breakdown. I thought that I would never perform again because I didn’t think I could lead that sort of life.  So I went off to the university and enrolled in a very intense science program. When I was about halfway through that science program, someone said I really should audition for the play that was being put on by the theater department. And when I did, this guy came up to me and said, “Damn you for auditioning for this.” He got really mad at me. And he said, “You’re in the science program. Leave these parts for people who are enrolled in the arts.” And he continued to say, “The reason I’m so mad at you is because you were so good, and you’ve no reason to be in science.”

So then I finished my degree, and when everyone else was applying to med school, that’s when I started applying to theater school. I realized that that was the way I was going to go–which is pretty crazy. And the funny thing is that I didn’t get into any of the theater schools I applied to! (laughs) And I thought, “Oh no! Here I am putting everything on the line, and maybe I’ve made the wrong decision?” But I was put on the wait list for one of the programs and got in maybe a month before the program started. And the irony of that whole situation is that I was the first person in my class to get a job post-graduation. Actually, I found out I got the job even before we graduated. I never gave up.

It’s amazing how we get redirected like that. 

Oh yeah. And the funny thing too is that it’s a very interesting thing with acting ’cause you know, for example, painting is a very subjective art. Some people might label you a horrible painter, and you could spend your whole life trying to define what your style of painting is. And you may or may not make a living at it. But as an actor, there is sort of external scale by which people say you’re either good or you’re not. And so I think the hard thing is when theater school doesn’t accept you, your immediate thought is “I’m not good.” Whereas sometimes theater schools don’t accept people because they realize they don’t need that particular kind of training. There are so many options when it comes to being trained as an actor. And so it is a fine balance, especially early on as an actor. I know a lot of people who are amazing in that program, but  the lifestyle just wasn’t for them. The series of unknowns.

cl3How did it come about that you got cast in the first Flower Shop Mystery?

It’s funny because I know a lot of people have a history of being in previous productions with Hallmark. I had had auditions for various Hallmark Christmas films before. At first, you think, “What’s this going to be about?” And then you read the script and think, “That would be hilarious! It would be so much fun to play that part.”  One of them was the role of the angriest elf known to man and the idea of me being six foot three and playing the angriest elf killed me with such joy (laughs). And I was close to it, and then I didn’t get it and I was heartbroken.

And so I’ve sort of been on the periphery, and then literally out of nowhere, my agent calls and says, “Hey, I have an audition for this film opposite Brooke Shields.” And I was like, “What?!?” ‘Cause, for me, she represents my childhood, and I had definitely been following her career since I was a child. To actually work opposite of her,  of course, I was going to give it my all. And it was just one of those auditions where I went in with a very specific sense of who this guy was. And the funny thing is that I often play the villain. So it’s playing another side of you that maybe you’re afraid to show, whereas when you’re playing a nice guy like Dave King, you’re just being you which can sometimes be harder. I just went in thinking that this is who I think this guy is, and the director and casting director were on the same page.

I found out two weeks later that the part was mine, which was very cool. And the other cool thing  too is that sometimes you go to an audition and you think you nailed it, and you get the feedback that says, “No, you actually didn’t. You were totally off the mark.” But the nice thing about this project is that Brooke Shields, being an executive producer of the Flower Shop Mystery films, she watched all the auditions. So before I even shot, I was in the hotel lobby, and she came up to me and said, “Christian, how are you?” And she gave me a big hug. And I was like, “What?” It’s crazy. You’re Brooke Shields.

I have heard from both Brennan (Elliott) and Kate (Drummond) that Brooke Shields is just wonderful and is a very warm person. 

And I think what’s so great, too, is that today you hear a name, and you associate it with a scandal. The fact that Brooke Shields has always held her own is really great. She’s known for her looks, and she gets a degree in French literature from Princeton.  I just feel like she’s a very smart businesswoman who has been able to maintain a very specific brand that has survived this long in the industry. which is amazing.

And the great thing, too, is coming to set–I mean I have worked in situations where you’re working opposite–let’s say the producer is also an actor. Or the lead actor is also co-directing. I wouldn’t call it ego, but there is a sense that this is how it’s going to be. You’re going to sit within my vision. In the cast of Flower Shop Mystery, the amazing thing is that there was a scene where we were trying to decipher how things were going to go, and she {Brooke} engaged me as a co-worker and said, “How can we manage this scene?” And then when she suggested certain cuts to it, instead of going, “This is how it’s going to be. This works for me,” she kept checking in to make sure it was okay with me. Which with the Hollywood pecking order, that’s not often the case. I entered the experience with huge respect for her, but when she engaged me as a co-worker, that just blew my mind because one might expect that, but sometimes it’s not the case.

That is just so good to hear, and that seems to be the typical way of things at Hallmark. No egos and everyone working together.  And there also seems to be a lot of mutual respect and support even outside the time that you are filming together.

You see a lot of films that glorify and romanticize life in the theater. I just finished a six-month run of a show, and what’s amazing is that you’re with the same people day in and day out. You want to hang with them on their days off. Whereas in the film world, you’re waking up super early. You’re trying to remember the lines that you’re given. You give everything you have into your performance. You try to be as genuine and as engaging as possible.  And then when the day is done, you are exhausted, and you go home and sleep. Or you go home and take a bath and memorize more lines. So the camaraderie amongst cast and crew happens on set. There’s no social after-program. Sometimes at wrap parties, but sometimes people don’t even stick around for those ’cause they’re so exhausted. So to have that constant rapport with people outside the project is just so lovely.

It’s really cool when I see Hallmark actors interacting on social media and saying that they haven’t seen each other in a while, and they want to get together. It’s clear that it’s genuine, and not just for the sake of the fans. And it doesn’t happen all the time.

There’s other projects–you meet people at the opening of a film fest that you never actually worked with on set. And then you find yourself a week later tweeting, and saying, “Hey, that conversation that we had at that party was amazing.” And then you never hear back from them. And you’re like, “Wait a minute, last week we were co-workers, and now you’re completely ignoring me?” It’s just nice to know that within that Hallmark family, true connections really exist.

With so many Flower Shop Mystery films being slated for production, are you hopeful that Dave King may return?

I would love to return to the Hallmark family and the cast of this series. There are several more books in the series, and there is one in which Dave King figures in the storyline pretty heavily. It would be a dream to return to this cast. As I mentioned before, Brooke is such a lovely person, and we got on so well. Working for Hallmark is almost like being wrapped in a warm blanket–they are so welcoming. It was also a great experience interacting with the fans on twitter, since Hallmark fans seem to be so gracious.

cl2So please tell us about your own writing and directing pursuits.

There is something special and exciting about getting to put your own words to paper and tell a story of your choosing. And I finally have gotten to do just that. While I’ve written a couple of shorts, I was privileged to be on the writing team of an indie feature film called Moments of Clarity. It has played at several film festivals since this past fall and has won various awards. At the San Diego Film Festival last year, it won Audience Award for Best Feature Film. And then it was an official selection at Dances With Films 2016, in Hollywood. The story of the film itself is a coming of age film with two girls in their twenties. It might be described as “Thelma and Louise Jr.” When we were auditioning for the leads, there were some powerhouse females who auditioned. The story is a rather dark comedy.  One of the characters is the daughter of an agoraphobic, and she meets a pastor’s daughter, who is rather hardened. They escape their repessive homes to attend the annual church youth group jamboree, and they have misadventures along the way. But in the end, it’s the power of female friendship and growing into adulthood from little girls that is the main theme throughout. The entire team involved with the film is just great. We haven’t had a chance to show this film in Canada as of yet. I hope we will.

There’s a bit of a story attached to this film that involves Flower Shop Mystery and Brooke Shields. My film was going to be opening at the NAPA Film Festival. We were done filming, and I was heading out from Vancouver. Brooke asked where I was going, and I said that my film was opening in NAPA. Brooke stopped and looked at me, and she said, “That’s really cool.” Now, can it get any better than Brooke Shields thinking it’s cool that your film is opening in NAPA?

So do you have any other works coming up that you can mention?

Yes, I’m in a series on Hulu called 11.22.63. There are eight episodes, and I play an obnoxious doctor named Dr. Moren. I appear on two of the episodes. It might be something you want to look up since it involves time travel and trying to prevent the JFK assassination.

What advice do you have for aspiring actors?

When you make the decision to become an actor or to do any job in the arts, there is going to be a lot of anxiety. You’re going to have to be willing to work hard to achieve your dreams. You’re not always going to be lucky to have a place like Hallmark that is so welcoming. Some days will not be good days. Some people enter the acting field to become rich and famous. That is not what acting is about. An actor is just one who does his job like anyone else. You constantly put your work out there, and sometimes you will meet lovely people like Brooke, but that’s not what I would call standard. But if this is something you’re supposed to do, you will not be able to give up. I’ve never played the same role twice. I haven’t had the series role that so many actors claim to want, but that’s okay because I like being able to play so many different kinds of roles. What I say in closing is true. “Say what you need to say.” If you’re a writer, write. If you’re an actor, act. It’s not an easy occupation, but if it’s what you’re meant to do, do it well.

christian lloydThe thing that impresses me about Christian goes far beyond his ability to act, direct, or execute any other skill within the film community. When a person in any walk of life recognizes the importance of humility, kindness, and reciprocity, there is no doubt that this person is just the kind of person I want to spend time with and support. And in Christian’s case, he is all that and more. He never monopolizes the limelight for himself, and he is quick to recognize that he is very blessed to be in the position where he now finds himself–living his dream. For me, Christian’s dedication to his craft and his recognition of those who have rendered aid to him along the way is enough to make me think highly of him as a person. Add to all this the fact that he is incredibly talented in a variety of facets of the industry, and I predict that in time, he will see the fruition of those dreams. He is willing to take any task he is given, no matter the challenge, and invest the time and effort necessary to see it to its ultimate realization. Therefore, I wish him every success in whatever future endeavors he undertakes, and I sincerely anticipate the next adventure awaiting him. In preparation for the next leg of the journey, be sure to follow him below at the featured links, lest you miss a single solitary step.

 

Follow Christian:

(Christian’s photography)

(Christian’s  writing)

https://twitter.com/clloydfilm (Twitter)

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0971041/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 (IMDB)

 

 

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

2 Comments

  1. Terry Poage June 22, 2016 Reply

    He sounds like an amazing grounded Thanks for sharing.

    • Author
      Ruth June 22, 2016 Reply

      Terry thank you for reading

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