Ascendant soap actor Tyler Christopher serves up Catfish, charm and moreAscendant soap actor Tyler Christopher serves up Catfish, charm and more
-- by Laura DeBrizzi
Despite having a toned torso, chocolate brown eyes and killer lips, Tyler Christopher is not your typical up-and-coming heartthrob. Every word he speaks during our interview is carefully chosen, and yet, there are no uncomfortable silences, only an easy rapport that rolls itself around numerous thank yous and other sincere pleasantries. Fans of The WB may recognize Christopher from his guest-stint on Charmed or his recurring gig as Bret Folger on Angel. But now this twentysomething thespian, who was nominated for an Emmy for his role as Nikolas Cassadine on daytime's General Hospital, is catching more than just the eyes of teenyboppers thanks to Chi Muoi Lo's independent flick Catfish In Black Bean Sauce, which hit theaters earlier this spring. It's a film that explores a Vietnamese brother and sister's reunion with their mother, after being adopted by an African-American couple 22 years ago.
"It has a lot of things going for it," says Christopher about the film, which took home top honors at both the 1999 Florida and 2000 Newport Beach film festivals. Even better for Christopher was the fact that his character Michael offered him a chance to confront situations he never would in his own life: "I play a guy who is in love with a transvestite! You don‚t get more controversial than that." Still, the open-minded actor also found a lesson to be learned beyond Catfish's multi-cultural subtext. "I saw the vulnerabilities first-hand and accepted this person as a woman," he says of his film‚s love interest. "Although it‚s not how I choose to necessarily live my life, and I‚m not sure if I necessarily agree with it, I understand what this person has to go through to some degree."
While Christopher, who has the indie films Out of the Black and Face the Music currently on his plate, is not quite ready for life in a Vera Wang dress, this Ohio native is ready to protect his Midwestern humility from being tainted by the vapidness of Hollywood. "I just like to have friends come over for a big dinner and grill some stuff," says the unattatched Christopher who was once linked (and engaged to) Beverly Hills 90210 siren Vanessa Marcil. " Some people have a barbecue on weekends, I have one like four times a week!" And what is his specialty dish? "Marinated flank steak," he says with a laugh. „I do the grilling and my friends bring the marinade."
Reprinted with permission from Entertainment Today --September 8, 2000