Cody Christian discusses falling INLOVE with acting, music, and the importance of believing in your dreams
“Believing in your dreams, and your ability to achieve them is so important. One of my big inspirations, Kai Greene, constantly reinforces this statement, ‘Thoughts become things.’ What you’re thinking, and more importantly how you’re truly feeling about what you’re thinking, are the foundation of achieving your dreams. We all possess the ability to be great, so I guess in short, don’t give up. On you. Your dreams. They matter.” – Cody Christian
Who’s your favorite Cody Christian character? Is it Mike Montgomery from Pretty Little Liars, Theo Raeken from Teen Wolf, or Asher Adams from All American? Each role could not be more different, yet somehow, the 23-year-old makes every one of his characters so intriguing, that they become intricately woven into some of television’s most beloved shows.
If that’s not enough, The CW star can also add music to his list of many talents. Note: If you have not seen Cody Christian and Kenny Kynoch’s 2013 cover of “Fragile” by Tech N9ne, you must check it out as soon as you finish reading this article.
Fans of Christian’s should not fret as Season 1 of All American comes to a close (thank you Netflix for giving us the ability to binge-watch). The actor also has Notorious Nick in the pipeline which, as he expands on below, is a project where he plays one of his favorite characters to date.
Sari: Tell me about when you first fell in love with acting?
Cody Christian: I can remember vividly when I made the transition from being interested to being passionate, about acting. My acting coach, Richard Brander – who is no longer with us, may he rest in peace – was teaching class and how, what he was teaching, just made sense to me. It’s like it finally clicked. As if I could, for the first time, see the infinite complexities and intricacies within the art form. And from that age on, 12, I would say, I was in love.
Sari: What do you start with as a foundation when you’re creating a character?
CC: In the very beginning, I start with a creative process of daydreaming about the character; that includes his life, choices, background, and things of relevance to the script [in order] to start painting this broad picture of the world in which he was shaped.
Sari: Out of every character you’ve ever played, who was your favorite and why?
CC: Every role has a special place in my heart, but as of recently, my character in Notorious Nick, a one-armed MMA fighter, takes the title of being my favorite. The story was full of so much passion and inspiration and was a very demanding shoot. I learned so much about myself and my own capabilities within that process; also I was reminded of much I love storytelling, which reignited a flame within myself.
Sari: Now that you’ve become part of the Comic-Con landscape, tell me what is the coolest part of that world you’ve enjoyed?
CC: Honestly, the sense of community within the Comic-Con world. Regardless of how you’re attending, you feel as if you’ve been welcomed and embraced with open arms.
Sari: Let’s jump into your love of music now. Tell me about how that started and what we can expect from you with it down the line?
CC: I’ve always had a passion for music. Growing up, I would play CDs on repeat from my little karaoke machine and rap along. That blossomed into writing poetry, rap lyrics, and stories. I always knew I would find my way to music, I just didn’t know when. I put so much effort and focus into establishing my career and theoretically getting on my feet, that music became something in the background. But, last year, I finally made the decision to prioritize that passion and put real effort behind it. I spent most of the first year growing, overcoming doubt and insecurities, and really finding my own truth in the music I wished to make. A year later and lots of hours in the studio, I’m finally ready to share with the world. And I hope to continue to do so for many years to come.
Sari: And you freestyle, nonetheless…
CC: [Laughs] writing is more my forte. From a very young age, I’ve always excelled and taken a strong liking to writing. English was my favorite subject in school. Understanding how to use words and other literal devices to aid in communicating – telling a story – was always so exciting to me.
Sari: Which rappers are you a super fan of? Who helped define your style as a musician?
CC: The list is far too long and forever expanding, but, to name a few: Tupac, B.I.G., Jay-Z, Eminem, J. Cole, Kendrick, Drake, and Logic. I love good music. Music that communicates can elicit emotion, and tell a story. There’s art in abundance, all of which is capable of inspiring. I find myself being constantly inspired the more open I allow myself to be.
Sari: Could you see yourself combining a project with both acting and rapping or singing?
CC: Yes, absolutely! A dream role would be to portray the story of a rap artist and his journey into the music industry. And furthermore, I would love to – and plan to – make music for the projects I star in. Making a song for a movie I’ve acted in would be a dream come true and a true collaboration of two passions.
Sari: Let’s talk about All-American now. What have you loved most about being on that show?
CC: I’m proud; proud of this show, our cast, our crew, and everyone involved in allowing us to tell the story we intend to tell. I believe All American is such a powerful exemplification of relevant issues affecting our youth today. I believe it has a powerful sense of relativity and I’m grateful to contribute.
Sari: What do you see in store for your future?
CC: I see endless possibilities. I see longevity. I see a career and a path I wish to take to inspire and be a voice for change. I see myself, and my team, at the very beginning of all this, and we’re all very focused.
Sari: Since we are INLOVE magazine, I want to get a quote from you on what it means to be in love; in love with life, in love with your career, in love with another person. How would you describe the feeling of being “in love” with someone or something?
CC: Very simply put, you feel whole and complete, and that feeling is worth everything.
Stylist: Elena Vasilevsky
Photographer: Ryan Jerome
Production: Inlove Media & Production
Grooming: Brenda Farrell @B_Readybeauty