Actor Chris Kramer: Faith, Film and Finding His Path
CINCINNATI—Canadian-born actor Chris Kramer, 33, credits his faith life—and his promising career as an actor—on one unfortunate blessing: insomnia. He recalls a period of his life when he was 22 years old and living in Vancouver, British Columbia—jobless, directionless, crashing on a series of friends’ couches. Sleep was elusive. But from this wakefulness came two awakenings: Chris was desperate to reconnect with God; and he was determined to succeed as an actor. He would achieve both in the coming years.
The life, faith and burgeoning career of Chris Kramer are explored in the May issue of St. Anthony Messenger in the cover article entitled, “Chris Kramer: Acting on Faith,” by Assistant Editor Christopher Heffron. After April 20, the article will be posted at: http://www.AmericanCatholic.org.
Chris recalls the years that he fell away from the Catholic Church: “I didn’t have any real focus,” he says. “I was depressed, away from family, probably steeped in sin. When I was a kid, I used to pray Hail Marys to fall asleep. And I fell asleep. I continued to do this more and more, and a kind of peace came into my life and I started to get some desire again.”
Chris’s desire to act started to bear fruit: After working odd jobs and going on countless auditions, he landed the lead role of Morgan in the hit Canadian series The Collector (2004-2006). His character is a time traveler and advocate for people who bargained their souls to the devil. It was an extremely popular series in his native country.
After The Collector ended (it is now syndicated in 66 countries worldwide), Chris moved to Los Angeles. In a town with more actors than parts to play, he has nevertheless been able to find steady work. He uses his faith to steer his choices when reading scripts.
“When I look at a project, I look at what it is they’re promoting. If it’s something that I’m totally against, then I won’t even audition for it,” Chris says. That firm morality has hardly inhibited his options, however. In the few years he’s been in Los Angeles, he’s landed roles in TV’s 24, Saving Grace, The Twilight Zone and Jericho. He’s also worked in independent films, such as Stellina Blue, in 2008.
Chris’s affiliation with Family Theater Productions—a Catholic, Hollywood-based media production company and member of Holy Cross Family Ministries—has been both a creatively enlightening and spiritually strengthening relationship. Chris’s most recent work with the company was as a participant—and assistant director—for a DVD called Rosary Stars: Praying the Gospel, which features 21 young-adult Catholic celebrities offering personal reflections on the Rosary and its role in their lives. The program had its premiere screening and product launch last February in Hollywood.
Being so grounded in the faith is essential for Chris, especially when navigating the roads of Hollywood. But the actor has a firm policy by which he lives: “Because we are made in the image and likeness of God, we’re supposed to strive after perfection. So in everything we do, whether work or play, we are supposed to do it perfectly.”
Permission is granted to reprint this release.
The other article posted will be “Rediscovering the Rosary” by James Rurak.