STAYING CENTERED. Seasoned actor Matt Czuchry talks about the excitement and challenges for his new medical drama show “The Resident”
DA MAN – After reappearing as one of his most iconic characters 2016’s “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” to much acclaim, Matt Czuchry is set to once again grace the small screen in another drama series with huge potential. Make that a “medical drama.” This year sees Czuchry as the main lead in “The Resident,” which takes on the highly competitive genre with a new take on the tension and turmoil that builds up within a hospital’s walls. And it certainly seems that Czuchry is enjoying his newest project.
DA MAN: Hi, Matt. awesome to have you with us for the magazine. How are you doing?
Matt Czuchry: Thank you for having me. I am doing well. Currently I am in New York City doing press for “The Resident.” It is fun being here and seeing all of the billboards promoting the show.
DA MAN: So, how is 2018 shaping up for you so far? And how do you expect the year to turn out for you in the coming months?
Matt Czuchry: I would say I have a very grounded, centered feeling about 2018. And for me personally, 2018 is about a lot of building blocks, workwise, coming to fruition in this calendar year.
DA MAN: Speaking of which, the first episodes of your new show, “The Resident,” has started airing. How excited are you about the show?
Matt Czuchry: I did the audition for “The Resident” in February of 2016. After getting the job, I went to Atlanta in March and April to shoot the pilot. With a pilot, you work on that knowing that no one may ever see the work you have done on the project. And now, quite a bit of time later, here we are having completed season one comprised of fourteen episodes and all the hard work is out there in the universe for others to take ownership over. The hard work of that journey, overcoming the obstacles along the way, and finally seeing positive results is very fulfilling.
DA MAN: Can you give us a brief rundown of “The Resident” and tell us a bit about your character?
Matt Czuchry: “The Resident” pulls the curtain back on all the good, and bad, that goes on within hospitals across the country. My character, Dr. Conrad Hawkins, is a third year resident at the hospital. What I love about this guy is that he is not afraid of consequences. He is willing to fight the system, the business of health care, in order to protect his patients.
DA MAN: The medical drama genre has been a staple of TV since the 1950s. In your opinion, what makes “The Resident” stand out from its peers?
Matt Czuchry: This show is a bit darker, a bit grittier, a bit more cynical, a bit more unapologetic. This show is willing to tackle themes that past shows in this genre may have been hesitant to address tonally.
DA MAN: On that note, you’ve been acting for close to two decades now. What does being on “The Resident” mean to you? Careerwise, that is.
Matt Czuchry: It is the next step in the journey. This show came at the right time for me both personally and professionally.
DA MAN: Did working on “The Resident” present any new challenges for you?
Matt Czuchry: There has been plenty of new challenges, yes. Certainly, the medical scenes stand out as some of the most challenging work on the performance side of things. When you combine the medical dialog with the fast pace of the show, the medical actions within the scene, the choreography, the intentions, the behavior… it becomes a very complex puzzle for your brain, especially not being a doctor, to try and unravel. And hopefully, the magic trick is that the audience does not see the work at all. They just believe in what they are seeing.
DA MAN: All in all, though, how would you describe your experience with “The Resident”? And were there any particular moments during production that really stood out or were otherwise particularly memorable?
Matt Czuchry: The first three days of shooting the pilot episode really stand out to me. As i mentioned, when you do a pilot you don’t know if the show is going to be picked up to go to series or not. So, the pilot is really a deeply important testing ground for everyone. And within members, and close friends have been affected by the themes found within this show. I thought if I have so many connections to these stories, perhaps as a storyteller I will be able to connect the dots for others who have had similar experiences found within the show.
DA MAN: You are still primarily known for your appearance in “Gilmore Girls” and the 2016 reunion miniseries. Today, what do you remember the most about being part of the “Gilmore Girls” family?
Matt Czuchry: I don’t know if I would necessarily say that is true. I think there are a lot of fans who come up to me for “The Good Wife” and have never watched “Gilmore Girls”. And there are fans who come up to me who love “Gilmore Girls” and have never seen me on the “Good Wife”. And of course there are plenty of folks who just don’t come up to me at all and have not seen either of those projects and have no idea who i am! But… “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” on Netflix, that job was one the best experiences I have ever had working. And that was because the fans wanted that series, they had to wait nine years for it and then everyone—writers, actors, etc.—came back to deliver it to them. So, it felt very pure in that way. It was for the fans.
DA MAN: On a somewhat slightly related note, sequels, remakes and re-imaginings of old TV shows and movies seem to become increasingly popular. What is your take on this trend?
Matt Czuchry: Depends on the project. It depends on the fans desire for the project. Fans dictate the success or lack of success for the re-imagining of old titles. For example, for me, I am so happy that there are more “Star Wars” films out there being made. I feel very grateful for that.
DA MAN: Going through your filmography since 2000, are there any titles you’ve worked on that you’d be happy to see remade for a new audience?
Matt Czuchry: “Gilmore Girls” coming around again came at a perfect time and it came about in the most perfect way for me.
DA MAN: On a more personal note, which of your movies and/or TV shows are you most proud of?
Matt Czuchry: I think over the whole journey I am most proud that my work has gotten a touch better—bit by bit, day by day, episode by episode, year by year. To me, that is reflective of all the time I have dedicated to this profession. I will also say that my character in “The Resident,” at least when I watch the show, feels nothing like the characters I played on “Gilmore Girls” or “The Good Wife,” and I can hang my hat on that.
DA MAN: We’ve also learned that you have quite an eye for fashion. What, would you say, is the most important things when it comes to clothing and styling?
Matt Czuchry: The right fit.
DA MAN: Do you have any fashion related pet peeves?
Matt Czuchry: The wrong fit.
da: When you’re not on set—for a film or a photo shoot like the one you just did for us—what else keeps you busy?
Matt Czuchry: I love playing video games.
DA MAN: A bit of a cliché, perhaps, but do you have a resolution for 2018?
Matt Czuchry: Just to try and stay open and present in the moment. That is not a resolution per se, but rather something that is always ongoing.
DA MAN: Last question: What motivates you to wake up and face whatever each new day throws at you?
Matt Czuchry: The opportunity given to wake up … grow, learn, improve and fight through the obstacles of yesterday
Photography Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
Styling Melvin Chan
Grooming Robert Bryan with State Artist Management using Tom Ford
DA MAN Magazine Interview
Photo Sessions > Photoshoots from 2018 > Session #002