In the Limelight

Versatile actor Chris Owen, who starred in the American Pie series, The Mist, October Sky, and several teen flicks of the late ’90s attended Texas Frightmare. The man who played “the Shermanator” chatted with Scoop about his career, auditioning for a death scene, and his first convention experience.

Scoop: What did you enjoy about the American Pie series?
Chris Owen (CO): What matters to me making it or watching it?

Scoop: Both.
CO: Oh, a two-parter. Making it was awesome. Especially the first one. It was one of the most laidback sets. Everybody always talks about how great a set was and most of the time it’s true, but some sets are not fun. I’m not going to say which ones, but there are definitely sets where, it’s work. The Pie films, especially the first one, nobody had any idea what we were making was going to be a movie that we’re talking about right now and it’s 2017. We had no idea. There was no ego and it was just a bunch of people having a good time. I remember Seann, who played Stifler, being nervous before a take because it was new. Making those films stayed consistent throughout all of it, it was a bunch of really good people having fun.

Watching it – Seann William Scott is my favorite part. He’s just so good as Stifler. Everybody’s great in the movie, don’t get me wrong. After meeting him and knowing that he is genuinely one of the nicest people that you’ll meet and kind of an introvert most of the time, just makes it that much more incredible that that’s his performance.

Scoop: Your American Pie character, Chuck Sherman “the Shermanator” loves The Terminator. Now, do you like The Terminator series?
CO: Oh, The Terminator series. Of course! [laughs] Of course, I do! They kind of lost me in these later years…

Scoop: But the first two?
Of course, you have to. Classics! They’re classics!

Scoop: You’ve done comedy, you’ve done drama, you’ve done horror. Do you have a favorite genre that you like to work in?
It’s always whatever I’m doing I want to be doing the other thing. I’ll admit it. Honestly, I think it happens to so many actors. If they’re doing comedy they want to be doing drama and if they’re doing drama they want to be doing comedy. I actually have a lot of fun doing drama. Especially when there’s a little bit of action involved. For me, I get sucked into it, and a lot of times I get to play a bad guy, which is always fun. I actually do have more fun doing the drama stuff than the comedy stuff. I don’t even consider myself a funny person.

Scoop: You just ended up in some funny movies?
Yes, I had good writers.

Scoop: As far as horror, what kind of work do you do to get into the moment for scary scenes?
I’ve always been imaginative, especially as a child. The fact that I just never really grew up, which definitely has some cons for my girlfriend [laughs], but acting wise, definitely has some pros. In The Mist, my death scene is very long and very brutal. My character only has a couple of lines and then I die. In the audition they were having everyone do death scenes, so I had to mime. I had to full-on mime. In the room, you’ve got the casting person, camera set up the casting assistant is running the camera, they’re just looking at the paper and looking up at you. So, it’s not an immersive world at all. You just have to go for it. You have to put yourself in it. I did it. I was throwing myself into the wall and dropping to the ground and screaming. It’s one of those things where you make it real for yourself. We filmed that for days. I was so bruised and beaten. I spent days walking around stiffly. The blood just becomes hard and sticky. Just days of being cold and wandering around, not being able to move.

Scoop: Sounds like fun.
It was amazing. It was amazing.

Scoop: Are you enjoying yourself this weekend?
I just did, before this, a tiny little convention. It was their first year, so it wasn’t even really a convention. This is, really, my first real convention. So far it’s been great. Everybody tells me that I picked a great one to start off with. The crowds here are really nice people, which is great, because people can be however they want, so it’s great that they’re nice. So far it’s been fun. I’m looking forward to the next couple of days. I’m sad that I won’t really be able to go to the convention myself. But other than that it’s great. I hope they’ll have me back next year.