Christopher Gorham circles back to Netlfix for which he starred in two season of the original dark comedy series “Insatiable“ for their anticipated legal drama, “The Lincoln Lawyer“ series with Neve Campbell based upon Michael Connnelly’s best-selling novels.
Gorham previously starred as fan-favorite blind CIA operative, Auggie Anderson, in USA’s hit original series “Covert Affairs,” for which he was awarded the Seeing Beyond Vision Loss: Special Achievement Award from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. His “Covert Affairs” presence extended off-camera as well. He directed episode 313, “Man in the Middle,” as well as the Auggie centered season four episode “Covert Affairs: Sights Unseen” which he also produced. Additional directorial episodes include 414, “River Euphrates,“ and 512, “Starlings of the Slipstream,” during the final season.
Tell us about your background. Where are you from and what was your upbringing like?
I was born and raised in Fresno, CA by an RN and a CPA, so nowhere near Hollywood! Honestly, I had a pretty great childhood and I feel incredibly fortunate. I had a supportive loving family, a little brother to push around, a few good friends – I was a lucky kid.
How did you find your passion for acting?
I feel like I kind of took to it like a fish to water. I started performing in school, then at our local dinner theater (Roger Rocka’s Music Hall!) before finishing my last three high school years at the local arts magnet school (Roosevelt School of the Arts) and then majored in Theater at UCLA. I knew what I wanted to do from a young age and kept at it. Now, twenty plus years into my career, I still love performing. Acting, I believe, is the ultimate practice of empathy and the beautiful thing, for me, is that it elicits empathy from the audience.
How do you achieve higher consciousness?
Ha! Well, that’s very subjective isn’t it? I don’t know that we all agree on what higher consciousness is. For me, I feel that way when I’m surrounded by people that I love – my family, born and/or chosen. A moment that comes to mind is a visit from an old friend of mine, and my wife. We were sitting and talking in our living room and I just burst into tears! I felt so full of love that the emotion just kind of overwhelmed me, in a beautiful way. Sometimes I feel like that just driving somewhere with my family in the minivan (I love my Pacifica!) or listening to my kids tell a story, sometimes I get that feeling tied to work but most often it’s about family.
Why is gratitude so important?
Gratitude is key to mental health. It just is. I’m a big believer in ambition and drive but if you don’t have a healthy base of gratitude for who you are, and where you are, then it’s too easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for yourself – and that’s a party no one else is coming to. That being said, I’m a cisgender hetero white guy that grew up wanting for little in America so please keep that in mind when I’m handing out advice.
One’s reality is achieved through the thoughts one believes in their head. How do you take a thought and manifest it into your dreams?
There’s a lot of truth to that. Of course, no amount of belief is going to change certain facts about who you are, where you are, and what you can become. I can believe I’m an Olympic sprinter with all my heart, but I know an Olympic sprinter and no amount of belief nor effort on my part is going to get me there. That said, a healthy dose of faith in oneself combined with heaps of discipline will always serve you well.
Everyone has a past…sometimes, it can be quite dark. How would you suggest letting go of your past so that you can achieve great results for the future?
I think it’s interesting how you phrased that question. To me, it suggests by letting go of your past you’re somehow leaving it behind. I don’t think that’s how it works. We talk about “baggage” as if our past experiences are somehow weighing us down and can be dropped off in exchange for more positive experiences in the future. I think of people more as trees. We can’t control where we sprout, and in our early years we’re extremely vulnerable to outside influence, but as we grow we build on those early years. We can’t really “let go” of what we’ve been through, but we can grow from them, around them, even over them. The key to me, and again please keep in mind the privileged messenger here, is to be kind to yourself along the way.
What is the best way of connecting with someone?
Your son was born with autism. How have you become an advocate for autism?
Our son, Lucas, was born with the genetic condition 22Q 11.2 Deletion (also called VCFS or DiGeorge Syndrome.) One of the symptoms of that condition is ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder.) Our activism, including my wife Anel who has taken the lead on this in so many ways, sprung first from our experience as parents and later from our education about self advocacy in the community. Most recently we were board members of Kulture City, whose work focuses on accessibility and acceptance rather than awareness and medical intervention.
Tell us about your health/fitness routine.
Alright, here it is in broad strokes. I have two training modes. “Normal life mode” – where I eat a healthy diet, enjoy junk food and booze moderately while lifting weights two out of every three days (a rest day is mandatory now that I’m in my 40’s.) And then there’s “Holy shit I have to take my shirt off for work mode” – where I eat a VERY healthy diet with no junk food nor booze and add 20 minutes of cardio twice a day to my usual weight lifting workouts (rest days as usual.) This is my least favorite mode.
What about your diet?
Healthy. Balanced. What does that mean? High protein, very little red meat, very little processed foods, very little dairy, loads of vegetables and dark leafy greens. Try to keep processed sugars low because I find it highly addictive. The more I eat, the more I want to eat, and vice versa. Oh, and black coffee. Light roast. Mmmmm.
Who inspires you?
My wife. My kids. My family. And then so many wonderful artists like Pina Bausch, Riz Ahmed, Daniel Kaluuya, Alfonso Cuarón, Kehinde Wiley, Beyoncé, Rachel Maddow (not technically an artist, per se, but,) Henry Winkler, Ramy Youssef, Michaela Coel, and on and on.
What projects are you working on now?
The Lincoln Lawyer is playing on Netflix currently, and I’m waiting to hear the fate of a comedy pilot titled, “Unplanned in Akron,” that I filmed recently. I’m a bit tied down until that’s resolved, so I’m focused on getting our 18 year old ready to leave for college in the Fall. By that I mean, of course, trying to emotionally prepare myself so I don’t fall apart when he leaves. Ha!
What would be your ultimate dream project?
I never know how to answer this question. I truly feel that I’ve already been a part of multiple dream projects. The fact that I’ve had a career of over twenty years itself is the fruition of a dream. Every show I’ve been a part of, every film, has been filled with wonderfully talented, passionate, curious people who come to work every day with creativity and a drive to make something great. What more can I ask for?
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is that intangible, subjective, something that takes your breath away, dilates your pupils, warms your heart – and you can find it almost anywhere.
How would you describe success?
For me, success is a journey not a destination. Success can be big or small, and I’m a fan of finding it in the little things. Some days, particularly on the difficult days, I find it helpful to call out my wins even if it’s just to say “My family is safe and they know I love them.”
What is the greatest struggle in your life that you have overcome?
Oh, brother. Look, do I have struggles? Of course. Am I a work in progress as much as the next guy? Yes. But folks out there have STRUGGLES, you know? BIG, intractable, systemic, oppressive, STRUGGLES. I feel like mine are more…issues, lower case, you know?
Where can we find you?
I’m on Instagram and Twitter at @chrisgorham , on facebook at facebook.com/chrisgorhamfan , and online at www.realchrisgorham.com .