Chad Rook is a man of many talents who plays to those strengths. The 35-year-old actor from Alberta has been in many popular shows over the years, such as Supernatural and The Flash. Rook has even covered other aspects of filmmaking besides acting, like directing and producing other films in multiple genres from comedy to drama. In terms of his work schedule, Rook has a sufficient amount on his plate and never feels that he should stop. Ever since he used modeling as a stepping stone to acting, he has always tried to push himself as an actor by searching for roles that are complex, challenging, and multitudinous in personalities. On the other hand, Rook is a man who very much differs from the types of his characters. Here, we chat with him about his role in War for the Planet of the Apes and other memorable experiences.
Cliché: How did you get your first start in acting?
Chad Rock: I started in junior high school doing theatre plays and sketches, and then I did a musical straight out of high school. I knew it was definitely what I wanted for a career at that point, so I saved up enough money to move to Vancouver, got myself an agent, and immediately started auditioning.
You were also a successful model that transitioned to acting. What made you want to switch to acting?
Modeling was always just a means to get to where I wanted to be, which was acting. Where I was raised, there wasn’t much of a film industry, but I was scouted by a modeling agency out of Tampa, and I used the entertainment industry contacts from that to get me into acting.
Were there any memorable experiences that you had when you first started acting?
I remember my very first day ever on a set was for a horror feature film. It was not only uncomfortable just because it was my first day, but the director thought it would be a good day for me to film a passionate sex scene. So the very first day, in my very first role, and in the very first scene we did, was this sex scene. Needless to say, it was one of the most awkward and uncomfortable days I’ve ever had on set. It was not exactly how I imagined my first day to go. [Laughs]
Is there any particular genre that you favor or feel more comfortable with?
I’m very comfortable with comedy. I used to do stand-up and ran my own sketch comedy show. But on-screen, it’s not so much the genre that makes me feel comfortable as opposed to the character itself. If you give me a character with different traits or quirks I can work with, then I feel right at home and as comfortable as can be.
After wrapping up War for the Planet of the Apes, were there any stories that you took away from the experience?
Honestly, the four months of filming was such a crazy experience. There are many moments I’ll remember for the rest of my life. One in particular that stands out right now is when I introduced my fiancé to Woody Harrelson on set and she totally fan-girled over him. [Laughs] She’s gonna kill me for saying that, but it’s true.
You have also spent time on the other side of film and TV when you created your own production company, Checkmate Films. When first starting up the company, did you face any challenges?
Yes, and unfortunately, there are always challenges that come into the picture when making films—everything from financing to scheduling to distribution and sales. Unfortunately, when we first started out, there were a lot of shortcuts that make a producer’s life a lot easier that we just didn’t know at the time. It’s definitely getting easier as time goes by, but there’s just so many stages and steps in making a film that challenges always seems to creep up.
There are always challenges that come into the picture when making films.
After being a writer, director, and actor for your comedy feature film, The Perfect Pickup, how did you feel being on both sides of the camera?
It was different. On one side, I loved having full control both in front and behind the camera. On the other hand, there’s a lot more pressure when you are acting and directing. You don’t really get to just sit back and enjoy the performance process as much as you would just acting. It has its ups and downs on both sides.
How do you balance your time between focusing on creating your own films while also being an actor?
Honestly, I don’t sleep much. [Laughs] If I did, I wouldn’t get anything done
You have been known for taking on certain menacing characters, such as the first weather wizard villain, Clyde Mardon, on The Flash and Desmond, the vampire on Supernatural. Do you feel like these characters are more interesting to play and figure out?
I just like playing “characters”—roles that aren’t just your typical boring, normal guy. In fact, I’ll turn down some auditions if I don’t feel interested or intrigued by the character. Clyde and Desmond are characters with a lot of layers to them and are the types of characters I go for. They don’t have to necessarily be menacing or villainous as opposed to just characters with edge. Those are the roles that make it fun to act.
What do you feel that people should know about you?
That I am nothing like the characters I portray on screen. [Laughs] Nothing.
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Chad Rook on Acting, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes,’ and More: Photographed by Chris Singer