Today, I welcome as my guest Chris Gorham from “Jake 2.0,” “Ugly Betty,” and, of course, “Covert Affairs.” The randomizer deals Chris a question that has him fondly remembering family. Check it out.
Chris Gorham: I’m ready.
Rick: My guest today plays Auggie Anderson on “Covert Affairs” on the USA Network and is also providing the voice of the Flash in the upcoming “Justice League War” movie. Ladies and gentlemen, Chris Gorham. Welcome.
Chris: Hi, what’s going on?
Rick: I don’t know what’s going on. I’m hoping to find out from you.
Chris: All right, I’ll tell you.
Rick: Well, tell us what you’ve been up to?
Chris: We’re in the last half, right now, of shooting season four of “Covert Affairs.” Right now, we’re just finishing up. We’re in Toronto. We’re about to come back on the air, next week.
We’re changing nights, for the fall. So, we’re going to be on Thursdays at 10 on USA, right after “White Collar.” We’re almost done shooting the season. It’s been fun.
I’m actually getting ready to direct an episode. The second episode of the “Covert” that I’ve directed. Then, we’re going to finish out the season shooting at Hong Kong. In those episodes, you will see soon.
Rick: The arc for Auggie, the Auggie arc. He started out as the funny friend that helped this young girl get used to her new school kind of thing. The relationship has taken a few twists and turns. I think, from what I’ve seen of season four, so far, this is going to be — I don’t know, you can correct me — the biggest change, so far, in the series.
Chris: Well, yeah, it is a big change. It’s been interesting because the show, I think, has grown, along with Annie. We started out…She was a very young agent. She was very new. The show was lighter, as she was getting her feet wet and figuring things out. There were more opportunities to laugh with her and at her. [laughs]
As she made the mistakes that rookies make. Now, into season four, she’s a seasoned spy. She has more responsibility and she knows more about what the job entails. The Annie-Auggie relationship has changed from a mentor-student relationship to a peer relationship. As that transition happened, they’ve also fallen in love.
This season they’ve found themselves single, and therefore find themselves dating. That romantic relationship then makes their work relationship more complicated, and it’s difficult. It’s difficult to be in a relationship just in regular life, but having a job like they have [laughs] makes it that much more so.
That’s been dramatized throughout the season. The stakes have gotten progressively higher year to year, which has also made for a more exciting show, I think.
Rick: Yeah, it keeps the show interesting year to year. You’ve got to change it up.
Chris: It’s been more serialized, too. In season three, we really started serializing the story, and this year have continued down that path.
We’ve had more international travel this year than we’ve ever had. We started the season in Metagene, in Colombia into Rome. We’ve been to Copenhagen, Vienna, and like I said, we’re ending the season, the last two episodes take place in Hong Kong. We’re having, I think, our longest foreign shoot right now. We’ve got almost two weeks scheduled shooting in Hong Kong.
Rick: The show takes place in the US, and you shoot in Toronto, but when you need to go to Venice, or Marrakesh, or anywhere else, you go there. You don’t go to the US, though. You go to Toronto.
Chris: It’s the great irony of this whole thing. You can shoot anywhere except the US. In fact, we don’t even shoot in Puerto Rico anymore, because it’s just too expensive. [laughs]
Rick: How do you deal with the jet lag? I just got back from my honeymoon.
Chris: Where did you go?
Rick: We went to the Mediterranean.
Chris: Oh, fantastic.
Rick: You can’t go wrong with the Mediterranean. Whole cruise thing. But I got home, and for the next week, I was a wreck. How do you deal with that when you’re just going to go off to Hong Kong?
Chris: You just get sleepy, that’s all.
Chris: You keep going. I honestly try to get out of as much of the foreign travel as I can, because I’m married. I have three kids. They all live in Los Angeles. I’m working internationally every day that I’m working, [laughs] so the extra international travel is something that I generally try to weasel out of if I can.
Rick: Yeah. You come home and, “OK, Daddy’s sleepy. He’s going to have to sleep for the next three days.”
Chris: Nobody cares.
Rick: Nobody cares. They’re jumping on you.
Chris: Believe it or not, they have no sympathy for Daddy…
Chris: …who just got back from Venice.
Rick: Oh, man. I miss Venice.
Auggie is the tech guy. He gives tech but he also has his tech of his own to help with his blindness. How much of that is real?
Chris: Everything that we use for Auggie is real with the exception of that laser cane.
Rick: I was wondering about that.
Chris. The laser cane is actually based on two real technologies. There is a laser cane. It just uses a non-visible laser. There’s also a thing called the Sonic Wand which uses echolocation to give tactile and auditory information about your surroundings.
The laser cane, in our minds, is combining those two things and the more advanced version, so it’s smaller, it’s cooler looking, but the idea being that he can shine it around the room and it will vibrate and tell him more or less what the room looks like, what the shape of the room is. He can feel where the walls are and what obstacles are in his way.
The cool thing about the sonic wand ,the real one, is that it actually…It makes different sounds depending on what the sound waves are bouncing off of. A person sound different than a wall and you can train yourself to know the difference. Cement sounds different than glass so you know where the windows are. It’s real neat.
Rick: Very cool stuff. The spy tech that you guys use, is any of that real or is that all just made up for…?
Chris: The spy tech. Look, frankly, I think that some of the things that we do are not real but I really do think that we…In many areas, we only really scratch the surface of the stuff that’s actually…We have an episode that’s aired already where Auggie has created this technology that taps into the entire CCTV network in Europe.
We can basically pull up any security camera on any street and use facial recognition technology to find people. I literally just read an article where they’re talking about how they have this technology now that they’re implementing where they can find people by uploading the facial recognition technology and cross referencing it with video images and video data that comes in to find people with security cameras.
What was interesting, now coming on to these new episodes that we’ll see, that’s actually becoming a big…It’s a big theme throughout the last six episodes of the season is the separation that has happened between the two of them. I don’t know. In talking about this, we’ve actually stumbled on a big theme of the last six episodes, which is great.
Rick: Are we getting into “Do not talk about this,” kind of territory?
Chris: That’s basically all I can say about that. I can’t really tell you anything else.
There’s one other thing. I did a movie. There’s a little movie called “The Stream” that I did that benefit Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The film was actually crewed by high school students from Boys and Girls Clubs from across the country. They would come in and they would spend a week training and then a week on set making this movie.
It’s a really extraordinary project. It’s a really sweet film so if you get a chance, it will be in a few theaters, I believe, and should be available on DVD. Check it out. All the benefits go to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Rick: I’ll definitely look up some links for that. That sounds like an amazing project.
Chris: Yeah, it’s really sweet.
Rick: I want to talk about the “Funny or Die” video that you mentioned while we were setting up.
Chris: Sure. I got my directing start at “Funny of Die.” I wanted to start getting in directing and my agent suggested that I approach “Funny of Die” about it so I called over there and they essentially said, “Well, look, if you want to write something and do it we’ll give you some equipment and one dude and you go and shoot something for them.”
I wrote this short called “Pet Hunt” which is relatively controversial in its ideas but I stand by them. It’s very funny. It’s very much tongue in cheek but it was great and it’s been very successful. It had almost 150,000 views. We made it in a day. It was great.
I did two more for them after that that I didn’t write. We did a couple “Rant Writer” videos with Ty Burrell, who did the first one, which was wildly successful. Then, we did a sequel three years later, “After the fall of Charlie Hoard,” which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Chris: Yeah, it all started with “Pet Hunt.” Every once in a while, I’ll throw out the link on Twitter or on my Facebook page. About half of my new followers, since the last time that it aired, yeah or you can click.
Rick: Yeah, I’ll link it up.
Chris: Right here.
Rick: [laughs] A little higher. OK, good.
Chris: And check it out. Half of you are about to hate my guts. The other half are going to think I’m a genius.
Rick: [laughs] Well, that’s fair.
Chris: Listen, you can’t make everybody happy. I gave up trying a long time ago.
Rick: 50/50 is pretty good. As you know, the show is called, “One Question Interviews,” I have about a thousand different questions ranging from the profane to the profound. I’ll choose one at random and you’ll answer it seriously or in a funny voice, if you like. Everyone goes home happy.
Rick: All right, let me see what I got. You can help me out here. I got the stack.
Chris: I see it.
Rick: I’ll just flip through it and just say, “Stop.”
Chris: Right there, stop, no see, you kept going.
Rick: OK, that’s not fair. I’ll go again.
Chris: Great. Stop.
Rick: All right, we’re going to get teary eyed now. What do you think of when you think of your grandmother?
Chris: It’s going to make me weepy. Which one?
Rick: Oh, that’s up to you.
Chris: I have two grandmothers. I’m not going to play favorites. I’m offended by your question.
Rick: We could choose another one, if you want.
Chris: No, there are two things that pop into my head. One thing about each grandmother, that pops into my head, immediately.
One is my grandma Haff, is the smell of roses. Honestly, any time I smell roses, it reminds me of my grandmother. She used to have rose perfume, I think. So that always reminds me of her.
My grandma Gorham, the word “ornery,” because every time I would call or we see her and say, “Hey, grandma, how are you?” “I’m ornery, ornery.” Every time, no matter how she was feeling. I just loved it. That word makes me smile.
It’s only my dad’s side of the family that I’ve ever heard really use that word. It’s just always stuck with me. I love it. I was very lucky. I had really, really, sweet loving grandmothers. It’s nice. You miss grandma.
Rick: That’s a great answer. I write down these questions. I have no idea who I’m going to ask them to. I have no idea what it’s going to trigger. That’s very cool.
Chris: My question is, did you design the back of that card? It’s like a game show.
Rick: This card?
Rick: Yeah, that’s the look.
Chris: It’s nice. I like that.
Rick: Thank you.
Chris: Yeah, well done.
Rick: That’s my thing. If you need logos done, people, it’s right here.
Rick: Thank you, Christopher. It’s been great to have you on the show and to finally talk to you. I hope to have you back again, if our schedules will allow. Check out Christopher in “Covert Affairs,” which confirm this, returns next week.
Chris: Next week. Thursday, 10 o’clock, on USA Network.
Rick: And nine central. I won’t go through all the different time zones. Those are the ones I know.
Chris: Listen, you guys are smart. You’ll figure it out. Set your DVR.
Rick: Season four is in full swing. If you need to catch up, you can check out iTunes for seasons one to three. Follow Chris at ChrisGorham, no underscores or spaces, just ChrisGorham, if it was one word. It’s right here, anyway. You see it.
Chris: Right here. It’s coming out of my mouth, right now.
Rick: That’s cool. How do you do that? [laughs]
Chris: I am incredibly talented.
Rick: All these links are right here below our faces and coming out of our mouths, or you can just go to One Question Interviews, if you are disturbed by the video. [laughs]
Everything we’ve said will be listed there. A whole bunch of links. You can click them, it’s all fun. Everybody, this is Rick Yaeger for One Question Interviews. Thank you so much for watching. We’ll be back next week with who knows. Come back and see. Bye, bye.