The Multiple Versions of Chace Crawford

With the finale of The Boys out now, Chace Crawford is ready to get started on season three.

The chances of wandering down a Los Angeles boulevard and running into Chace Crawford are slim. But, if it happens to be a fortuitous day and the shimmering stars align and you do, in fact, happen to cross paths with Chace Crawford, the chances of him genuinely wondering about how your day is going are extremely high. 

He has achieved an ultimate goal, a unique talent: the ability to keep his work and public image detached. Onscreen, we see many versions of the 35-year-old actor like the cult-following murderer, or the ethically-questionable ultra-rich Manhattanite, or his most recent role, the asshole superhero, all while his public image remains chipper. 

Chace wears a suit jacket, pants, shirt, and tie Giorgio Armani and watch Pasha de Cartier.

Chace Crawford IRL is bright-eyed, soft-spoken with a warm drawl. On an afternoon in early October, we spoke on the phone about the finale of the second season of The Boys and it appeared that our interview had, at times, morphed into a bit of role reversal where he was asking the questions. But unabashed niceness isn’t rare for him, recently, he seemingly happily indulged Drew Barrymore in an eyebrow dance-off on The Drew Barrymore Show. Even during our conversation, when his usually chill (a personality trait that he said was a major plus) Tibetan Terrier was being un-chill, he politely asked him to sit down. 

Chace wears a suit jacket, pants, and shirt Giorgio Armani, necklace Cartier and watch Pasha de Cartier.

That’s the magic of Chace Crawford, he plays darker characters so well but seems to be nothing like them. There are no lingering dark traits. But, don’t assume this balancing act is easy. When he accepts a new role, he becomes like a sponge, diving into the world of the character. “I’ve always come from a place where the character drives the story,” he admits. His approach to Tex Watson in Charlie Says (2018) developed after copious research. “I read all the books and listened to all the podcasts I could and really, really researched what was going on there,” he says. But sometimes, that level of immersion became detrimental. “It was obviously intense and super dark, so it’s almost tough to watch anymore Charles Manson documentaries because I researched so thoroughly.”

Chace wears pants Canali 1934, coat Coach, boots Dr. Martens and top stylist’s own.

His nice guy energy could stem from a genteel upbringing in Lubbock, Texas or it could be that he takes his process so seriously that the separation of the fictional and authentic personalities is just a consequence. He developed a creative process during various acting courses after leaving Pepperdine University in Malibu to pursue acting full-time. The big break came in 2007 when he was cast as Nate Archibald in CW’s Gossip Girl. For a blooming model and actor, he remembers “going into the studio seven different times in front of all these different people.” But it was worth it as the role cemented his place as a heartthrob to teenagers worldwide. 

Chace wears pants Canali 1934, coat Coach, boots Dr. Martens and top stylist’s own.

Fast-forward 12 years, with varied roles underneath his belt, and the experience was much different. Something must’ve quickly clicked between director Eric Krupke and Crawford because after one take he was cast in Amazon Prime Video’s series The Boys. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s a satirical action series based on the comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. It centers on The Seven, a group of highly commercialized superheroes who besides having powers are anything but super. In two seasons, the show covers a lot of challenging issues including (but not limited to) racism, sexual assault, power struggles, and abuse of alcohol and drugs. It’s fair to say that the series challenges viewers, “They wrote the comics maybe 15 or 20 years ago and they’re more prescient than ever now, shockingly enough,” Crawford says. “I think people like that, it’s not glib and glossed over. They don’t gloss over these issues.” 

He plays The Deep, an aquatic superhero who can communicate with animals and breathe underwater. After (spoiler alert) sexually assaulting another member of The Seven in the first season, he is outed from the group. In an effort to save his reputation, he’s shipped to Sandusky, Ohio to go through an interesting mix of pseudo therapy and psychedelic drugs. Last night, the season finale premiered and The Deep wasn’t reinstated. But even Chace isn’t sure his character has undergone a full transformation, “Is he really ready to be back? Is he redeemable? I don’t even know,” he wonders. 

Chace wears all clothing MSGM.

However, viewers and Chace alike won’t have to wonder for too long, after much success The Boys has been picked up for a third season. We’ll have to tune in to see where The Deep ends up. Until then, Chace may continue with the hobbies he picked up during quarantine like virtual writing courses or refining his cooking skills, but is mostly just excited about getting back to work with his cast mates, “They knocked it out of the park with this one, I love these people.”

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