Colin Ford is Taking Over Hollywood like a Monster
Colin Ford is coming into own as he starts picking up credit after credit, becoming a veritable force among the new kids of the Hollywood brigade
Colin Ford is coming into own as he starts picking up credit after credit, becoming a veritable force among the new kids of the Hollywood brigade
Hollywood’s next generation of cinema stars celebrate Moncler, as the Italian luxury house gears up for their latest landing in Los Angeles at 340 N. Rodeo Drive.
Colin Ford beat up zombies in post-apocalyptic Glendale, moved to a zoo with Matt Damon, and even lived inside a mysterious transparent dome. And now, he’s going to school with Jeffrey Dahmer — with the help of Ryan Murphy. These chameleonic transformations, from one otherworldly character to the next, have become something of a specialty for Ford. “That’s the best part about acting,” he says, “getting to shed any preconceived notions of what you think my character might be, just walking on set, playing, and having fun.”
Ford’s dreams are expansive, and have been since he started acting at the age of five, and they’re currently shaping up with his role in Murphy’s Dahmer deep dive, “Monster.” “I think the audience is going to see me in a new way,” he says, not wanting to reveal too much about his character, Chazz. “And I certainly think they’re going to be excited with what they see happen.” But that’s just another Colin Ford for you. Doing Marvel and Jason Bourne, working with Chloe Zhao and Quentin Tarantino, as well as writing scripts and short stories are just some of the items on Ford’s genre-leaping wishlist.
This mystical blend of youth with experience gives the 24 year old an unbridled excitement and drive to live his best on-screen life. “Getting to just drop Colin for a few months or weeks and getting to be somebody new, that’s just what attracts me to being an actor so much,” he says.
V Magazine: Hey Colin! So excited to be talking to you!
Colin Ford: Thank you very much! It’s been a crazy year. So I’m just happy that we’re able to get started and start working on projects again, since it’s been a real pause over here in Hollywood, as you know. It’s nice that things are going now.
V: For sure, now that we’re shifting back into a little bit of normalcy, it’s good to be able to celebrate the people who are actually getting the chance to do work again.
CF: Totally! It’s awesome, too, because there’s some great components to the COVID protocols on set that they’re adopting, and then the ones that we won’t have to use because they’re unnecessary anymore we can get rid of, so it’s great!
V: Very true. And I think that’s a really nice progression to my next question, how have you been keeping yourself busy during the quarantine?
CF: Oh wow… in the beginning, it sure was tough. I was just watching a lot of television, catching up on things that I’d missed, which was so nice. It was so nice to be able to absorb all of the shows and films I’ve missed over the years. I feel like “Tiger King” was a century ago.
V: Oh my god, I forgot that existed.
CF: Exactly! But other than that, I really picked up the free time that I had and started using it to round out my craft as an actor. I started writing a little bit more, it’s something I’d never really done. So I started writing short stories. And there was a possum that fell into my pool one day in my backyard, and I was like, ‘I’m gonna write a story about a possum.’ It was really fun, I got the script-writing software and started figuring out that side of things. I really enjoyed putting together little short stories. I haven’t written a feature or anything like that yet, but starting small and really enjoying the process. I was actually able to work on a small quarantine project before the rules and regulations for the pandemic were all set, got together with a group of friends and we filmed a COVID-safe project in this bubble.
V: As someone who’s tried his own hand at script-writing before, it’s definitely not easy.
CF: No, it’s not, it’s one of those things where you go, ‘oh, I have this great idea,’ and when you sit down to do it, your mind splits in different directions. It’s a little bit of this God complex, getting to create everything and thinking, ‘what am I going to do?’ and just making that decision and going with it. That’s been the biggest thing for me, just being definitive and believing that, even if it’s wrong, I’m going to go down this path. We might turn back around, but it’s okay, we’re going down this path right now.
V: Exactly, just getting that idea on paper is the biggest part of it.
CF: 100%! I also used the downtime a lot, when I wasn’t writing, to work out. I’ve been a physical guy, I’ve been an active guy my entire life. I played sports in high school, until acting took precedence of my time. But I really used this time to put on some weight, to lift heavier weights. I got the full gym set-up in my garage, like the squat rack and the bench press and all that stuff. Now that gyms are open, I’m not even going to go back to the gym. Just got everything here at home, which is nice. And I wanted to do that because as I’m getting into my 20s, I want to be able to play some substantial roles. I’d love to bring some physicality to the projects that I potentially play in the future.
V: Before we talk of the future, I wanted to take it right back to the very beginning. Was there a formative moment or something of the sort that inspired you to find a career in film and television?
CF: I think it’s something that I always wanted to do. I started at a young age. My parents put me in front of the television at a very young age, and I quickly gravitated towards it. However, it wasn’t until we made the move to California when I was about 10 or 11, and then started going through the audition process more and more, that I truly fell in love with it. Working with Matt Damon on We Bought a Zoo when I was about 13 or 14, it was such a wonderful experience. We got to work for about five or six months together, and he was just such a humble guy. The process of working with him and the rest of the cast and crew on that particular project really shaped me as a young man and made me realize that this is definitely what I want to do, it’s something that I’m going to pursue with 100% tenacity. I had horse blinders on all the time, always just trudging through it and just always believing in myself. And this is a tough business with a lot of rejection, so having that tough, thick skin and trying to just remember that those that I watched and I admired gave me good advice and trying to remember that along the way is always something that has shaped me.
V: Determination, we love to see it! And since the age of five you’ve been playing a bunch of different characters in a bunch of different genres. There’s “Supernatural,” there’s coming of age stories, dystopian sci-fi dramas, family movies, like We Bought a Zoo. How do you adapt your personal methods and styles to these different genres?
CF: I just love to bring as much truth as I can to the character. With “Supernatural,” it was really fun to get to play young Sam because Jared Padalecki had led the character in such an amazing way. And I just really wanted to bring truth to him. So with that particular character, I would always just study Jared’s mannerisms, and figure out how I could layer in some of those mannerisms to his younger self to where we can see, ‘oh, that’s where he got that from,’ or, ‘oh, he started doing that at a young age, that makes sense, that’s totally the same thing.’ And I wanted the audience to recognize those little nuances of the character because that just makes it more real. Of course, like you said, every genre is different. So it’s just about realizing not how Colin would feel in that situation, but how a version of Colin would feel in that situation, or how parts of me felt at other times and how I can plug that into that situation. I don’t know if I have a favorite genre, but I think I just love playing so many different characters. That’s the best part about acting, getting to shed any preconceived notions of what you think my character might be, just walking on set, playing, and having fun.
V: Totally, and I guess that makes it even more fun when you’re playing roles like on “Daybreak,” where you were essentially playing two different characters.
CF: But to that same effect, there’s a version of myself that felt like both versions of Josh. When I was in high school, there was a time in my life where I didn’t feel the coolest, I didn’t feel very popular. I had friends and that was cool but I stayed in my own lane. It wasn’t until I got out of high school where I felt like Josh in the apocalypse becoming his best self. It’s not until we can break through certain barriers in our life where we really discover who we are. So that was what was so fun about playing Josh, I had felt like him before the apocalypse, and I definitely had felt like him after the apocalypse. And I think we all want to be Josh after the apocalypse.
V: Considering this is like an apocalypse situation we’re in right now, it’s the perfect time to become Josh.
CF: I know! I’m serious, “Daybreak” really couldn’t have come out at a more timely moment, it’s relevant in so many weird ways. And [Josh] was such a fun character to get to play.
V: For sure! And I wanted to talk about Ryan Murphy’s “Monster.” So you’re playing the role of Chazz, could you tell me more about your character?
CF: “Monster” is going to follow the point of view of [Jeffrey] Dahmer’s victims in this particular situation, which is really exciting. I love crime and I love true crime shows, so it was really wonderful to get to be part of such a great story and work with such a great camp like the Ryan Murphy camp. Chazz is an interesting guy, I don’t want to give too much away or spoil too much about the show. We see that he was someone that Jeffrey went to school with and they had a relationship. We’ll see how that develops and what happens through the episodes, I’m going to leave that for the audience to discover. But it’s going to be so exciting. I remember when I walked on set, and I met Evan [Peters] for the first time, just the way that he carried himself in character from the get go was just so inspiring to watch. I remember auditioning originally for the Jeffrey Dahmer role. And there’s an age range that the character is going to be playing because it covers some time of his life, and I felt immediately that I was going to be too young to play the latter years of his life. And I immediately thought, ‘oh my gosh, knowing Ryan Murphy’s projects and knowing that Evan has worked on several of them, what a wonderful fit he would be.’ So when I found out that was what happened, I was overjoyed to get to work with him. Because I knew that he would just walk on set and become the character, and he did. When we were on set, it was as if Jeffrey Dahmer was in the room. He walked around and held the the energy as if he was there, it truly didn’t feel like I worked with Evan Peters, but that I was on set with Jeffrey Dahmer.
V: That’s very cool. Unsettling, but cool.
CF: It was unsettling, I had almost like a knot in my stomach every time, it was riveting. I can’t wait to see it and I can’t wait for everyone to see it, because it’s going to be absolutely insane.
V: That leads me to ask, what was it like working with the team? Ryan specifically, how did he help you shape your character?
CF: I worked closely with the directors of my episodes, and we were able to dial in some of the intricate parts of some of the looks that Jeffrey and Chazz are going to share. It’s going to be exciting for the audience to see, because you get to see this dynamic between two characters who normally maybe wouldn’t interact, but in this world you get to see it. I think the audience is going to see me in a new way, they’re going to see something that they’ve never seen before. And I’m looking forward to working with Ryan again, it would be so great to work with him closely on something. I’m just a huge fan.
V: After “Monster,” what kind of roles are you looking forward to doing in the future?
CF: It’s tough, there’s so many different things I want to do as an actor. It’s like popping a kid in a candy store and being like ‘pick!’ I want to get it all. There’s so many different ways to go. I always talk about Matt Damon, because I’m just a big fan after working with him, but I was such a massive fan of the Jason Bourne series. If they were to ever redo something like that in a new light, I think that would be so fantastic to work on, I’d love to play Jason Bourne. I love the superhero avenue, the Batman and Robin type of vibe, or I would love to work with Marvel on another film, that would be a dream come true. I have so many different directors that I have dreams of working with. I loved Nomadland this past year, Chloé Zhao is such an awesome new director, I would love to work with her. Minari was so great Lee Isaac Chung would be so cool to work with. And then you have the greats, you have David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, they make more films, I’d love to be in one of them!
V: And it’s exciting to see because you’ve been in this for so long, but you’re still so young. So there’s still so much more to do.
CF: I think that’s so exciting because as certain actors get older, as they’re not able to play types of roles anymore, that leaves an opportunity for actors like myself and my peers that I’m often auditioning with. And it gives us an opportunity to take over those roles. And I’m really looking forward to being given the opportunity to do that.
V: One thing that’s really great is the industry has really become friendlier to new talent as well. So there’s a lot of new directors, new writers, who keep coming up all the time, and who always have stories to tell.
CF: I’m with you. I love collaborating with new people and traveling and, like I said, getting to just drop Colin for a few months or weeks and getting to be somebody new. It’s just what attracts me to being an actor so much.
V: And career-wise, life-wise, what’s next for you? What other projects do you have in store?
CF: 2021 is getting started, which is so nice. There’s a famous football player from back in the day, his name was Johnny Unitas, [I’m] potentially going to be working on the Johnny Unitas story. But I’m taking all different types of meetings. I’m really looking forward to just finding that dream role and getting to pursue more and more different exciting things.
V: Do you have any idea of what that dream role could be?
CF: I would love to dial into the physicality thing even a bit more. I’m such a big fan of our military and our Navy and armed forces, I think it’d be so great to represent them in a way that’s exciting for the country to see, and for the whole world to see. I love Taylor Sheridan’s projects, he’s such a great developer, so it’d be fantastic to work with him on something. That would be super cool as well.
Moncler’s latest Los Angeles flagship at 340 N. Rodeo Drive opens on July 24th.