If it seems like you’re seeing Supernatural‘s Osric Chau everywhere, you probably are. The 26-year-old Canadian actor is very busy these days – besides his recurring role as Kevin Tran on the hit CW series, you’ll be seeing him alongside Victoria Justice in the upcoming film Fun Size, opposite Russel Crowe in The Man With The Iron Fists, and taking on his gaming audience in the Halo web series Forward Unto Dawn and the video game Sleeping Dogs.
It’s no surprise Osric rarely takes a break (his hectic schedule sometimes keeps him from sleeping “for several days on end”) so we’re glad he paused to talk exclusively with Celebrity Teen Scoop about all of his projects he’s juggling now, how he got his start way back when, and what he’s got coming up for the future. (Hint: It doesn’t sound like he’ll be getting a full night’s sleep anytime soon.)
Celebrity Teen Scoop: It sounds like a busy year for you – feature films, TV, a web series and a video game. First off, tell us a little bit about your upcoming film, Fun Size.
Osric: Fun Size is a comedy about a girl’s quest to find her 8 year old brother after taking him trick or treating and losing him in the crowd. She enlists the help of her best friend and two obscurely costumed schoolmates with access to a car, and what they find instead is the night of their lives full of surprises and adventure.
It’s a very John Hughes-esque type of teen comedy packed with jokes and laughs at every turn. Shooting it in Cleveland over the summer last year was one of the best experiences of my life so if even half of my expectations from that transfers onto the screen, I will be very very happy.
CTS: What was it like working with Victoria Justice?
Osric: Victoria was such a pleasure to work with. Considering her success and her experience, she was very down to earth, and easy to talk to. She gave the time of day to anyone that approached her which was an incredible number of people. And the fact that she’s still young and taking so much responsibility as a role model to her fans is something I admire a lot about her.
CTS: You also work with Russell Crowe in Man With The Iron Fists. Tell us about the film and what it was like working with this veteran actor.
Osric: The Man with the Iron Fists was like working in a circus. Fun Size was too I guess, since everyone was wearing a costume. But this had costumes, people flying around above you, animals, the whole deal. It was such a surreal experience for the most part.
Russell knows what he’s doing, and he knows what works. His experience is very apparent right away and just the way the set of hundreds of people all quiet down when he starts talking (even the majority who don’t speak english) is a sight to see. Very laid back and soft spoken, a few times I was asking myself what I was doing shooting a scene with Russell Crowe in the middle of China.
CTS: Your character Kevin Tran in Supernatural is a fan favorite. What’s coming up for Kevin in the next season?
Osric: As I’m answering your questions, I’m in my trailer on my break on the set of Supernatural! If only I could tell you what we’re shooting right now…I wouldn’t know where to start. Let’s see…
Kevin has found a way to close the gates of hell forever. That could be important, right? This is a year later and obviously a lot has changed for Kevin and all the other characters involved. That’s probably my favourite thing about being part of the new season. Having time go by, which allows our characters to evolve. Kevin having been in advanced placement, his skills lies in learning and reading and he’s had a year to figure out the Supernatural world. He also gets a physical change with a haircut that kinda symbolizes his transformation and facing this new world. That’s as much as I can say without saying anything.
CTS: Moving onto the smaller screen – give us some details about your web series Forward Unto Dawn and your video game, Sleeping Dogs.
Osric: The live-action Halo series, Forward Unto Dawn is the first of its kind. An introduction to the new game, Halo 4, it’s really a clever way to introduce the Halo world to non gamers who will now be able to watch and understand a little bit more of this Halo business that their gamer friends talk about all the time. Having the last scene of the series segway into the first scene of the game also gives the gamers the ultimate intro to the highly anticipated game and helping with the waiting period as well. After a one week training session, full on weapons training, drill, boot camp and obstacle courses, we spent the month shooting in Vancouver doing the same things in our armor, much of it in the rain, mud and for some, in the dead of night.
I did the voice overs for Sleeping Dogs without knowing too much about it. As more and more was released about the game, I started to see just how many of my friends and fellow Asian American/Canadian actors had worked on it. Then the live action teaser came out which features the bulk of the Asian Stunt community in Vancouver and it was just mind-blowing how well they put that together. The game’s out, I’m actually going to play it for the first time this weekend, I’ve been getting messages from a lot of my friends that are playing the game and finding out that I was apart of it. I don’t condone violence, but this game will more than quench my thirst for it.
CTS: When did you start acting and how did you choose it as a profession?
Osric: I took my first acting class when I was 8 and dabbled in it for years and years and kinda lucked out with my life experiences helping me with the training for it. I did a lot of public speaking when I was in high school which was the best thing for my training. I also ended up doing the school play playing John Proctor for two separate casts in the Crucible in my senior year which was the first time I felt like I was acting anything.
When I was 21 I got a lead role on a mini-series with David Carradine playing his protege disciple. When I was done, I chalked that off as a stroke of good luck and went back to school and tried to find a good part time job somewhere close to home. Then I booked the supporting role in “2012” and that took me out of school for another semester. When that was over I chalked that off as another stroke of good luck and went back to school, trying to find a good part time job. I probably quit about 20 of them that year.
By the time the movie came out, I had realized that I had to be working in this industry. So I made the decision then. Two weeks later I ended up moving to China because that was the smart move for my career with the Olympics closing down Vancouver’s film industry for half a year. Missed out on the experience of a lifetime, but built the stepping stones and foundation of what my career is now. No regrets, as I have a hard time enjoying myself when I feel I haven’t earned the time off to do so yet.
CTS: You’re also very accomplished in the martial arts. How long have you been training and did you ever consider pursuing it full time?
Osric: I started training when I was 13, and kept it up for about a decade. How long you have trained for is a deceiving fact though, because someone can be training recreationally once a week for 20 years or someone could be running his own gym training living there 24 hours a day for 5 years. Who would have more training after that time? For about 4 of those years for me, it was a full time job. During my semester at the Beijing Sports University, we were doing three two hour sessions a day, with only every other Sunday off.
In between workouts we’d be watching other athletes training and when we got home we’d be watching videos on our own before going to bed and starting over again. It was a full time job that I paid to do with a lifestyle that fully supported it as well. I loved training and I had wanted to run my own gym one day or being a stunt performer or action star. These days I’m more than happy for the chance of doing my own stunts, it brings back good memories, so here’s hoping the characters I play get into big trouble!
CTS: With all of your projects it sounds like free time is scarce but what do you like to do when you’re not working?
Osric: I’m lucky enough to say that I enjoy my work. When I’m not working I make work for myself to do. The last two years I’ve been doing short films with my roommate in Beijing. Most of the time these projects will keep us both from sleeping for several days on end because we both put on several hats and the work load becomes so much more than my normal day on set. During those moments I wish they would end, but as soon as I have a day free to myself, I wish I had a reason not to sleep for days on end again. I write as much as I can, and much of what I do is research for those scripts, although I have just started getting into ice hockey. Need to practice that skating.
CTS: Who are some of your role models?
Osric: Matt Damon and Tom Hanks are the two that usually come to mind. I like the way their careers have evolved, the different types of projects they’ve been able to do, and the experiences they have off screen is also something that I aspire to.
CTS: What other medium will Osric Chau be conquering next?
Osric: I want to finish one of these scripts. Writing and producing is the next step for me. As much as I love acting, I love the idea of creating something and writing and producing offers me that outlet. I’ve decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to wait around for life to give me opportunities. As an actor that’s sometimes something you have to accept, so this is my way of dealing with it.
Photo: John Agcaoili; Stylist: Charmaine Adrina & John Nguyen; MUA: Ivadell Vida; Hairstylist: Mary Craig