7 minute read
CLASS ACT - CHRIS O'SHEA
Words by Bec Doyle | October 13 2021
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GLENN NUTLEY, GROOMING BY DIANE DUSTING, STYLED BY NATALIE MARK
He’s the dashing Brit that graced our screens in Madam Secretary, appeared in Patriots Day alongside Mark Whalberg and won our hearts in A Simple Wedding. Now he’s in the “clique” of affluent parents in the sunny Californian town of Madre Linda, where the new neighbors also happen to be serial killers, in the highly anticipated 3rd season of You, out October 15th on Netflix.
Can two killers raise a baby? That’s the question Chris proposes as we discuss the upcoming season of You. Like anyone who has seen the show, I became hooked, so it was only natural I try and get all the juicy details on what to expect from this season of the Joe and Love saga. Unfortunately for all of us, Chris remained very tight lipped. Luckily we only have to wait a few more days till we can binge watch season 3, with all the excitement, shock and horror we have come to expect from the catastrophic snowball that is Joe’s life. “It escalates quickly,” Chris says, which has me wide eyed. “It can’t be happily ever after, and I dont think I’m ruining anything to say- it isn’t.” Chris explains his character Andrew, is a stay at home dad, that hangs out with the cool crowd that Love finds herself a part of, “my scenes are mainly with Victoria [Pedretti], Love’s character, and about how she seeks acceptance with the popular clique and tries to fit in as the new mom in town.” Although they are killers, we as the audience are invested in their lives, whether you want to see things work out for them, or not. “He’s a killer and I don’t think there’s any kind of redemption for him, and I know that Penn [Badgley] kind of feels the same way,” Chris adds.
“When you get to go to work as an actor it’s such a privilege,” Chris says with genuine humility. And to have been able to work during the second wave of lockdowns in LA, is not something Chris took for granted. Taking in each moment, grateful to turn up for work everyday at the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank. “You’re walking in to work, you’ve got your morning coffee, they’re setting up the stages, the production. The machinery of TV production is in full swing and you’re part of that machine, and you’re making something. You look around and you see where Bogart filmed scenes from Casablanca and you’re stepping on the same hallowed turf. If you’ve got any fandom for film there’s a certain rush to be had from working at Warner Brothers, history was made there.”
"When you get to go to work as an actor it’s such a privilege"
Chris explains although shooting during a pandemic has its challenges, like avoiding contact with people outside of work, robust onsite covid-19 testing each day, the REAL challenge was the workout schedule, which wasn’t without some friendly competition amongst the cast. “Travis Van Winkle who’s another actor on the show, a really nice fellow, his character in the script is like the Alpha Dog, and I was like you just wait, I’m going to really hit it.... I rocked up thinking I was here to play, then the shirts come off and it was like I fucking challenged Hulk Hogan to an arm wrestle. He was going through his regime and I just realized, like in terms of taking it seriously- I thought I’d been taking it seriously. He had DEVOTED himself to it, and the results speak for themselves. It was a real eye opener of what you’ve got to do if you want to be the buff one on set.” he chuckles. Working out and eating healthy is all just part of the job, as far as Chris sees it. And he takes his job seriously. “Part of being an actor is being ready to do the job when you’re called for.” He explains that he has begun trying things like ‘meat free Monday’ to help lessen his carbon footprint, and in doing so, has realized, “it’s really quite easy to live without meat.”
Chris says, without a doubt, the highlight of his career was appearing as Spike in the Tom Stoppard play, The Hard Problem. “He makes very deep complicated and intellectual topics very accessible and emotionally moving and therefore very easy to understand and this play was about whether or not there is room in our understanding of consciousness, for god.” Chris explains theatre is a little more taxing in comparison to being on set for film or tv, “It’s a marathon, you know, when you pull up to a film set you generally do a couple minutes of work, spend quite a long time sitting down, couple hours in the makeup chair and have an hour off for lunch, and get paid for the privilege. I love [theatre], so it doesn’t really feel like work, but it is like 8 hours a day in rehearsal. And when you get into it, it’s like, show on Monday night, show on Tuesday night, two shows on Wednesday, two shows on Saturday. And it is grueling, but you come out stronger. It’s like lifting weights.” A fan of Stoppard from his English Literature days, Chris recalls one day during rehearsals as he was watching from the audience, the single biggest compliment he has ever received and one he will never forget, “Tom was sitting next to me and he put his hand on my arm and went “you’re money in the bank you are,” and that is the highlight of my career. Cloud 9.”
It kind of saved us… It doesn’t take a lot to foster a dog, he’s in a cage, in a shelter. … Lots of people could [foster] if they just realize that all you need is a place for them to crash, that’s better than the concrete cell they’re in
When the pandemic hit, Chris began fostering pups through various LA rescues with the support of the trainers at Humble K9, “They specialize in bully breeds and difficult cases and the work they do is outstanding. We’re so pleased we can support it.” With a soft spot in his heart for the often misrepresented “bully breeds”, he has now fostered and essentially rescued 6 dogs, all Staffordshire Terrier/ Pit mixes, some on death row, just mere hours away from being euthanized. “It kind of saved us… It doesn’t take a lot to foster a dog, he’s in a cage, in a shelter. Shelters do their best with the resources they have, but it’s not an ideal scenario at all… Lots of people could [foster] if they just realize that all you need is a place for them to crash, that’s better than the concrete cell they’re in.” Chris says with a little structure, time to decompress, a warm safe place to sleep and a lot of love, they have all been ‘rehabilitated’ and in turn found their forever homes. Chris largely credits the trainers at Humble K9 in assisting with each of his foster dog’s rehabilitation. When speaking of his current foster, 4 year old Louie who he has had for around 5 months, Chris gushes, “he’s an absolute cuddler. He just wants to lie in people’s laps. He’s a lovely dog, but at the moment he can’t go to a family with another dog.”
Chris is currently on set in Hawaii filming an upcoming episode for Magnum PI, a reboot of the classic TV series, now in its 4th season. It’s clear we will be seeing a lot more of this talented, hard working actor, and I personally can’t wait to see what’s ahead in what is sure to be a very promising career, for an extremely deserving individual. In addition to his work ethic and dedication to his craft, the time, energy, compassion and love Chris puts into fostering is a true testament to his character - he really is a class act. ■