Chad Michael Collins chats about one of his all-time favorite roles as Gerhart Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s Monster in “Once Upon a Time.” Of course, he is loved for his badass character of Sgt. Brandon Beckett across the Sony Pictures “Sniper” films he plays alongside Tom Berenger, Billy Zane, and Dennis Haysbert. Collins has had guest spots in favorite shows like “Castle,” “NCIS,” “Bones,” and “Blue Bloods”. Now he can be seen in BYUtv’s new series “Extinct” that premieres Oct. 1, 2017 on BYUtv. Collins stars in the sci-fi action-adventure series about restoring human civilization after humanity was wiped out by an alien invasion. Get to know a fellow geek who happens to play World of Warcraft and Magic: the Gathering.
Colleen Bement: Tell us all about your very cool new series on BYUtv called “Extinct.” What can you share?
Chad Michael Collins: It is very cool, agreed! “Extinct” is a new sci-fi action-adventure series premiering October 1st on BYUtv. The main question it poses is: If the human race became extinct, what would you do with a second chance? The series takes us 400 years into the future after an alien invasion wipes out humanity, and the story follows several humans who get reconstituted, or “reborn” by a seemingly benevolent alien species. The small band of reborns find themselves on an Earth that is at once familiar and a strange new world, and they journey together to restore human civilization while also wrestling with memories of their past, trying to survive in the present, and holding out hope for their future. The show itself is an amazing mix of primitive and medieval but also futuristic and advanced, as it brings together alien technology with a feudal mix of costumes and weaponry.
CB: You’re so well known for your role as Sgt. Brandon Beckett from the “Sniper” films. What is it like to be known for such a badass and amazing character?
CMC: Anytime I can be associated with being “badass” and “amazing,” I’ll take it! But yes, it has been a blast playing ‘Brandon’ across four “Sniper” films now, with our latest “Sniper: Ultimate Kill” out on October 3rd. I think this is the most complete ‘Brandon’ we’ve seen so far, as there is plenty of “badass” that he brings to the action, but you also see a lot of different shades to his character as well. He’s wrestling with the psychological toll that comes with killing an endless amount of bad guys for the greater good. He’s also trying to figure out the dynamic between himself and his father, original “Sniper” star Tom Berenger. Plus, he finds himself partnered up with a very determined DEA agent in Danay Garcia’s Kate Estrada with whom he doesn’t always see eye-to-eye. Take all of this and add in the fact that he’s doing urban warfare in Bogota, Colombia, and we find him a bit out of his element across the board. Oh, and also: Billy Zane. He’s back in the fold in this one too, and that’s worth mentioning!
CB: My readers would love to hear about your experiences on the set of “Once Upon a Time” and “Castle.”
CMC: Well, I have nothing but great things to say about both experiences: I’ve loved being a part of the ABC family! “Once Upon a Time” was truly fun, as I got to work in Vancouver playing the great David Anders’ kid brother Gerhart Frankenstein, an earnest and honorable young man following in the footsteps of his military general father. After big bro gets me killed, however, the fun really began. Usually at 5 am to get started on the three hours of makeup, airbrushing and special FX it required to turn me into a dead guy, aka ‘Frankenstein’s Monster.’ It is still one of my all-time favorite roles I’ve played to this day, and it’s been such a pleasure getting to know and interact with the lovely “Oncer” community at conventions and online.
“Castle” was also a nice experience, working with Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. It was brief though, as I just shot for a day, and mostly in a hospital bed. Laying down on the job, now that just speaks to me! But both Nathan and Stana were lovely and accommodating, and I had actually met Nathan a couple times before through mutual friends. He’s as charming and witty offset as you’d imagine him to be. I’m a big fan of “Firefly” and to this day!
CB: I read that you’re into MMA. In what martial arts do you train?
CMC: Well, being into it and actually being able to do it are two very different things! But yes, I’ve always been a fan of boxing and MMA, the UFC in particular. I used to do a little kickboxing, a little Muay Thai, but mostly for the workout and just for the fun. It’s incredibly challenging but engaging, and there’s hardly a better way to get fit. I guess at some point I was good enough to tough my way through a big guest starring role on “CSI: Miami” as a champion cage fighter, where we did two straight days of shooting MMA fight choreography. I might still have the bruises to show for it! But in general, I still like to take some boxing classes here and there when I’m in town, mostly with a former fighter and actor named Grant Sullivan. I’m by no means an expert, but I’d say I’m decently proficient; unless someone who was truly proficient started throwing leather at me. Then I’d be exposed as a fraud for sure.
CB: Do you have any “hidden talents” that you can share with your fans?
CMC: Hmmm…hidden talents. I’m not sure that I do, honestly. I’m a guy who’s generally like a Swiss Army knife – I can do a lot of things decently enough, but I’m a master of none. I’m not as sexy as a machete or a longsword, but I’m practical and get by with most things I attempt. But, strange blade analogies aside, I think that some of my “hidden talents” might stem from my geeky side: I used to be an ace World of Warcraft player, and I’ve been playing Magic: the Gathering on and off since the late 90s. I’d definitely declare myself “above average” at both if I’m going to toot my own horn!