Written by By Rachael Ross, CNN
Grammy Award-winning musician Lou Reed coined it “pulp.” Designers call it “deconstruction.” Together, they make something new.
Chris Diamantopoulos , star of cable TV show “People of Earth,” where he plays a spaceship programmer stuck on Earth, describes that process as allowing the audience to see outside of the frame. “My role on “People of Earth” is more like, ‘Hey, how do you feel, we’ll find out,’ ” he said.
Some of the newer technologies for actors, and the artiste, can be a real pain, though. The use of robotics and a lot of digital effects, for instance, can take hours. “For instance, we have an alien who falls into the water scene, who falls over, and they put him in a box, and they have this robotic leg, and they say, ‘Look at his legs,’ and you go, ‘Wait, what are you going to do with the robot?’ And someone goes, ‘We’re going to apply lasers.’ And you go, ‘Wait, you’re going to put a laser on a dude’s legs, and you’re going to have him walk around on the red carpet?'”
Diamantopoulos tells how “The New Adventures of Old Christine” turned his career around. “So that was my first job as an actor — that was 12 years ago. I would audition, people would reject me, I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t get it, I’m not right.’ It wasn’t because of some magic word or stuff I can’t explain. It’s just by my own effort and a hard work ethic that it just didn’t work out.”
As it turned out, “Old Christine” lead in front of the camera, and Diamantopoulos had developed a reputation for being a great comedic writer on set. “I just went away and tried to perfect the craft,” he said. “I tried to become a better actor and great writer, and I think that worked for me.”
Watch the video above for Diamantopoulos’ career advice, or read the transcript below:
This has been a wildly incredible year for me. So this year was clearly, I’d say one of the most exhilarating and the most challenging year’s of my entire career. I was very lucky to get cast on “People of Earth,” obviously, for a great show. I have an amazing boss on “People of Earth,” who created the show, and my wife who’s the boss on the production. I got this amazing gig called “Transformers,” which is phenomenal. “Transformers” was the most fun I’ve ever had and I’ve had a lot of fun over the years.
So all these projects have sort of translated to the screen. On-set technology takes a lot of time, and does a lot of work, just for every single thing you do on set. So with all of those things, it’s like oh my God, how is that going to translate into a five-minute show? Well, it’s like, we’re going to do three seconds of videos, then three seconds of words, and eight seconds of still photos on set. And once we get that thing down, it’s like “Okay, now it’s time to actually do the scenes,” and it’s incredibly challenging, and it’s extremely helpful that I have a writing partner. I’m like, you know what? We can actually write in 5-minute chunks. So that’s allowed us to actually create the environment on set, where it’s not just so much space and so much time that you never have time to actually think anything. It’s very much like, OK, let’s turn the camera on now, it’s time to go to work. So that’s one way to learn the trade.
Working on “Transformers” is different. On “Transformers,” they work with me. We have a writer’s room that’s been written, and it’s been written by different people every year — all different writers, it just changes every year.
So they’re writing “Transformers 5.” They are really trying to come up with, what are the next phase of the alien race? They’ve already started, but they’ve set it in a deep future, more futuristic than we’re at right now. They’ve started this sister planet of this planet that’s a parallel in time, and