Interview With Actor Michael K. Richards, “Chesapeake Shores”

By Ruth on August 28, 2016 in Interview, movie, television

Let’s face it–while most treasure the stories that Hallmark Channel customarily tells in their films and shows principally due to those mirthful, lighthearted endings, most viewers are aware of the fact that without a smidgen of conflict, the stories might fall flat. It just so happens that Michael K. Richards and his portrayal of Wes truly embed that requisite trace of family drama and contention without going “over the top.” Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Michael a few questions about how he first got involved with this industry, his sensational Hallmark work–including Chesapeake Shores–and even a hint at what his plans may be for the future.

RH: Why did you become an actor? What kind of training have you received?.

The why is a difficult question to answer because I’ve always kinda been an actor. When I do it, I feel “home.” I trained at The Neighbourhood Playhouse in New York as well as with a number of great coaches over the years.

As you’ve guest-starred on several shows, what was your first notable role? 

The first time I collected a check for acting was notable to me. It was on Stargate SG1, and I still remember my lines. “Yes sir. There’s no one here, sir.” I couldn’t have been more nervous. I was like a caricature of a bad, nervous actor. Pacing around my little dressing room, saying my two lines different ways.

I notice that you have been in several Hallmark films. Can you tell us about any fun memories from your other Hallmark works besides Chesapeake Shores?

I had a great time working on Country Girl {AKA Autumn Dreams}. Jill Wagner was so much fun to hang out with. Matty Finocihio and I were actually roommates for a while years ago. His first day shooting I switched out his wardrobe suit for a suit that was wayyyy to big for him. He tried it on and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard. That was one of a lot of laughs we all had on that shoot. Great cast and crew.

 How did you get the role of Wes? What attracted you to his character? 

I auditioned. When I first read what was a relatively small part in the pilot episode, I saw something in the limited dialogue that made me think he was more than the jerk he appeared to be. I guess as the season goes on, that’s for the audience to decide.

As Wes is sort of the “villain” of the series, at least from Abby’s perspective and the audience as well, what is your mindset as you play him?

Well, to be honest, I don’t think of Wes as the villain. I spent a long time figuring out why he’s a hero. But that’s my job. I also understand that the audience may see him much differently than I do and that’s not only okay–it’s really fun.

What was the onset atmosphere like?  Any behind-the-scenes stories you can share?

It was a fantastic working experience. The sense of family was palpable, and everyone came to work incredibly prepared. Which always make things more fun. I knew some of the cast before we started and the ones I didn’t know, I now count as friends.

What do like about working for Hallmark? 

Hallmark always seems to create these wonderful working environments. I have no idea how they do it, but I suppose it has something to do with the people they choose to helm their projects.


What has been your experience with the Hallmark fans? Why do you think these shows resonate with the viewers so much?

Hallmark fans are obviously incredibly dedicated and I appreciate that. When you work hard on something, it’s so rewarding to know people care.

The shows resonate because Hallmark does a very good job of bringing the same values Hallmark viewers appreciate in their homes, while also being aware that those values may change slightly over time. So Hallmark does a fantastic job of making sure they keep up with the times, while balancing classic values.

Any other upcoming works you can mention?

I love working, so I always have something on the boil. At the moment, I’m feeling very blessed as I’m choosing between two projects. It’s early days, though,  so  I can’t mention them yet.

Any plans to do any writing or directing?

My mom’s a writer and in a way, I have some of that gene. So I’m always threatening to write things. I even sit at coffee shops and brainstorm ideas. But at this stage, I really like simply being an actor. I like the process of discovering characters and the ability to focus on only one pretend life.

Who would be your dream person to work with one day?  

Oh, so many to mention. But Meryl Streep might be at the top of the list.

I absolutely appreciate Michael’s cheerful but pragmatic outlook on the entertainment industry. He’s pursuing a lifelong dream to get to where he is, and no doubt he is developing an abundance of long-lasting connections and friends along the way. While he is as professional and prepared as can be, he also knows how and when to let loose and have a good time. He recognizes and admires quality content, people, and fans. Notwithstanding, while he relishes gracious and sincere recognition, he doesn’t rest on his laurels, so to speak. On the contrary, he immerses himself into the next work at hand. Indeed, he is one that doesn’t just wait for opportunities to come his way. He is willing to invest the time and resources necessary to ensure that the right opportunities come his way. While he may characterize a man whom some consider a scoundrel, Michael is able to portray Wes in such a way that the viewers can applaud Michael’s skills without sanctioning the behavior of his character. Be sure to watch Chesapeake Shores every Sunday night on the Hallmark Channel. And be sure to follow Michael at the various links below as there is no doubt we have not seen the last of this marvelously proficient actor!







About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher


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