Already an award winning stage actor for his performance as Mike Talman in Fredrick Knott’s “Wait Until Dark”, Chriss Anglin has made the transition from stage to both the big and small screen with effortless ease. A dynamic presence, Anglin recently starred in David Zucker’s “An American Carol” (releasing onDVD December 30, 2008) alongside Kelsey Grammar, Dennis Hopper, Jon Voight and Kevin Farley, where he went head to head with these comedy veterans, garnering praise from critics and public alike for his leading man stature and command of the screen with his dead on portrayal of JFK.
BornNovember 19, 1964 in Hamilton,Ohio, Anglin is the oldest of eight kids. By age 13 his family had moved toFarmington,New Mexico. With everyday a struggle for attention, Anglin found himself early on making up plays for his parents or cracking jokes and doing impersonations, a sign of things yet to come. Not really certain of where life would lead him, he “never really had a clear vision of a career path. It was more a matter of what I ‘didn’t want to do.’ My dad is a contractor, so I grew up doing construction work. I knew I didn’t want to do that. In high school, I consider becoming a doctor, because I loved science and biology, but I knew my family couldn’t afford for me to go to college.”
Anglin eventually found his way into law enforcement. A patrolman for over three years, “I didn’t think I would ever be anything but a small town cop.” But all that changed in 1995 when he was accepted to work undercover on the regional narcotics task force. “I thought that a theater class might help me with role play and improv, since in reality I would literally be acting for my life. I started taking classes at the local community college and fell in love with the theater and acting. But, I never thought of taking it any further than that.”
His handsome good looks eventually led him to advertising photo shoots but the ball didn’t really get rolling for Anglin until he began taking film acting classes with an actor friend from college. “The more I learned about film production the more I loved it. I found an agent inAlbuquerqueand started auditioning for local and regional commercials. I also got back into the community theater scene inFarmington, and started taking more college classes. Anything to act and be around film and theater people. “ But, it wasn’t until performing for some 200 second graders that he knew acting was his true vocation.
Knowing where his destiny lay, Anglin moved toLos Angelesand began studying his craft with a myriad of cold reading and scene study workshops with various acting coaches and casting directors, including Orly Sitowitz. He also spent three years studying improvisational comedy with The Second City/LA, and Robert Easton, who has coached everyone from Sir Lawrence Olivier to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and who served as Anglin’s dialect coach for “An American Carol.”
Steadily working since his arrival in Los Angeles, Anglin has had specialty, feature and commercial roles in, among others, “Collateral” directed by Michael Mann, starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, “The O.C.”, “The Book of Inside Information” with John Cleese, Jan Wellman’s “Sex and the USA”, ‘Dead Men Walking”, T.A. Williams’ “Stolen Moments of September” and Leigh Scott’s “Pirates of Treasure Island” alongside Lance Henriksen. Anglin recently completed filming on “One in the Gun”, “American Asian” and Carey Scott’s much anticipated “To the Wall”, also starring Stephen Baldwin. But, it’s his role as JFK in David Zucker’s “An American Carol” that has propelled Anglin into the spotlight.
Given Anglin’s superb performance as JFK, I find it difficult to believe that “An American Carol” is his first feature role. Often told “I looked like ‘a Kennedy’” and that “the opportunity of playing an icon like JFK would be a great experience” he jumped at the chance to work with Zucker.” The prospect of playing JFK was a little scary at first, so I immediately starting doing research on him. In my first meeting with David, he told me JFK was not to be a parody. He wanted me to be as close to the real thing as possible. So, I started reading biographies, and all of his major speeches to try to get a feel for who he really was. I also watched everything I could find on Youtube to hear his speech patterns and get his mannerisms down as best as possible. David also had me work with Robert Easton who is probably the greatest voice coach ever to refine the accent.” Anglin is proof that character research and hard work do pay off in the ultimate performance. I would actually place him up there close to the caliber of Martin Sheen’s JFK. Anglin just nails it. I look forward to seeing much more of him as he is definitely the next leading man on the horizon.
Already having co-starred with some of the biggest names in film today, Anglin aspires to work with Anthony Hopkins [“I just never get tired of watching him work”] and Clint Eastwood. Given his talent and determination, it seems inevitable that Anglin will get his wish, particularly in light of his willingness to tackle any role handed. “If a director wants to cast me in a role and believes I can play that character, I’m going to rise to the challenge and do everything in my power to give the best performance ever.”
A man of many talents, Anglin also routinely performs his own stunts and is a skilled precision driver. And not just a talent in front of the camera, although he doesn’t consider himself a writer as “writing is work for me,” he has also penned one police drama not to mention numerous comedy sketches which have been performed live on stage. He is currently working on a feature film comedy spoof in which he will also star and produce.
Chriss Anglin, a man on the move. A man with presidential presence, perfect comedic timing, drive, ambition and talent. A man to watch in the months and years ahead.