Ryan McPartlin is an all-American guy with big dreams. Also known as Captain Awesome in NBC’s hit comedy show ‘Chuck,’ McPartlin started out his career as a model for popular fashion brand Ambercrombie & Fitch.
McPartlin’s career also includes a starring role as Hank Bennett on the popular soap opera of the ‘00s, Passions. He has also starred alongside Fran Drescher as her much younger and hunky live-in boyfriend in the comedic sitcom ‘Living With Fran.’
13 Questions with Ryan McPartlin
1. How do you keep your work on the cutting edge?
I try to watch all the other comedies that I respect (past and present) and see what they’re doing like Modern Family, The Office, Cheers, Extras, etc.
2. How do you reset yourself to become creative? Do you have any rituals?
I read. It lets me zone out and come up with a new perspective. Currently, it’s “The Onion Field.”
3. What is an example of a time where you have thrown away an existing idea to force yourself to find something new?
I just did a Zyrtec campaign and I was involved in writing the commercials. After I wrote a spot that was really funny, the lawyers got involved and had a lot of influence of what could and couldn’t be said. We did our best to still make them as funny as possible but those damn lawyers forced me to come up with something new…and not nearly as funny.
4. How did you get involved in acting and what motivates you to continue?
I made a conscious decision to become an actor after seeing the movie “Braveheart.” I wanted to be a part of what I saw up on that screen. Funny enough, I’ve become more of a comedic actor but what still motivates me is the storytelling process. I get a thrill out of seeing the audience react to the finished product.
5. How significant are the topics of cool hunting and trend spotting in the world of entertainment?
In the entertainment industry everyone is chasing what’s cool or trendy but they’re always looking in the wrong places. They’re trying to duplicate it from another show, idea, etc., instead of just putting their time and resources into trusting their gut and working on what turns them on.
6. How do you define cool?
I define cool as being able to do what makes you happy or turns you on and having confidence in it, no matter what stigma it has. For instance, I dig minivans and I think that’s going to be my next car. I think they’re cool, so be it.
7. How do you define a trend?
I define a trend by something that I’m doing or wearing because other people say it’s cool even if I don’t think it is. Sometimes, I’ll be wearing something and say, what am I thinking? I don’t really like this but I’m wearing it because I’ve been brainwashed.
8. What is the coolest aspect about your role on Chuck?
The coolest thing about my job (besides being called Captain Awesome) is that I can actually be myself and take risks without feeling insecure or judged. It’s a great environment for bringing the funny.
9. Professionally, what do you want to be doing in 10 years?
I hope to be writing, directing and possibly starring in big budget comedies.
10. If you weren’t in entertainment, what would your dream profession be?
I’d love to be a football coach in college. Maybe Illinois.
11. What are your favorite hobbies?
I don’t have many hobbies, I spend time with my family, watch movies and read.
12. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be and what would you do?
I would love to work with Meryl Streep in a very dramatic role. I’d be scared to death but I think she raises the game of everyone around her and I would love to see the best actor alive at work.
13. Who is your favorite actor/actress of the moment, and what makes them cool to you?
I just answered that but I also think that Daniel Day Lewis is as cool because he is just so damn committed to his craft. I feel like we’re all entertainers but there are very few that can call themselves actors. Daniel Day Lewis and Meryl Streep are at the top of that list because of the obvious work they put in.
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