American actor Hans Christopher is also a poet and activist who lives in Venice, California. Hans got his big break starring in a six-episode television series titled “Waco,” and he even acted alongside Margot Robbie in the forthcoming film “Dreamland.” Hans was initially studying pre-med before deciding to switch to acting—a risky move that has paid off. Eventually, Hans would like to write and star in an epic western film. When not acting, Hans enjoys writing poetry and skateboarding.

Hans recently discussed his career, his hobbies, and his hopes for the future in an exclusive interview.

Big breaks, events, and Margot Robbie

Meagan Meehan (MM): You initially went to school to study medicine, so what made you leave that field to pursue entertainment?

Hans Christopher (HC): I actually wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do coming out of high school. I knew I loved biology and with my dad being a doctor I said, “Well, I guess I’ll try this.” As far as me pursuing entertainment, it’s actually funny, I started dating an actress while studying and I would help her read lines, and I found myself more interested in what she was doing than what I was doing.

I was absolutely fascinated by it.

MM: It can be risky to try and break into the acting world, so how did you manage it and what was your big break?

HC: That’s true it can be really hard, and I’ve definitely experienced my share of ups and downs. But after a certain point, I found myself really falling in love with the stories and people I was playing. The pressure to succeed I guess started turning into duty to serve the story or the person.

When you can do that you aren’t thinking about booking the role or making money, it becomes bigger than that. I think if you can capture that things just start feeling a little easier. I’d have to say my first big break was probably “Waco.” Getting the opportunity to work with Michael Shannon was special - especially considering just a month before it, I went to see him speak at a premier of Nocturnal Animals.

So that was cool.

MM: How did you get a role in “Waco” and did you do any research into the real-life cult-centered events that went on there?

HC: I actually flew myself to the audition and originally went in for a different role. The casting director liked me and had me read for something else. She walked out to me and said “so in this scene you’re holding your son who’s just been shot and killed. Take as much time as you need.” I just remember walking outside and saying to myself “well, this is what you signed up for.” And yeah, I did quite a bit of research on “Waco,” but more so on The Ruby Ridge Standoff and Randy Weaver the person.

It was just a crazy time in America then, and it was my first time playing a real person. I think there’s definitely a sense of responsibility that comes with that. Wanting to honor the story and the person the best you can.

MM: You worked alongside Margot Robbie in “Dreamland,” so what was it like to work with her and what character did you portray?

HC: Working with Margot was an incredible experience. She is such a talented and driven artist - I admit I was a little intimidated when I first got there, but she was so great, and everyone was so nice and welcoming. It’s pretty clear how much she loves and cares about the projects she works on and the people she works with.

Genres, poetry, and entertainment

MM: You’ve said you would like to write and star in a western...so why that particular genre?

HC: You know it’s kind of weird; I grew up not liking Westerns at all. But it was about the time that I made the decision I wanted to be an actor that I started watching the HBO series “Deadwood.” It was incredibly inspiring to me. Because of it I started reading and researching these stories of the Wild West. They were so tumultuous, beautiful and tragic.

MM: You also write poetry, so what’s your style of choice?

HC: I’m all over the place when it comes to that. I have my book, this little blue journal thing; it’s probably one of my most prized possessions.

It’s got little quotes, and sayings, and poems I’ve written about all sorts of things. I have no idea if they’re any good, but they mean a lot to me…my little moments of creativity or inspiration that I jot down and stow away. Maybe one day I’ll type them up and turn them into something.

MM: You’ve described yourself as an activist, so what causes get your attention and why?

HC: Well the issue that I think is doing the most damage right now is money in politics. We’ve allowed corporations to be able to give unlimited sums of money to candidates and superpacs that directly oppose the issues that would benefit people the most; things like Medicare for all, free college, a livable wage.

People in this country are hurting right now, and I believe money in politics is directly responsible. It’s the most overarching problem that’s preventing change from happening. I mean, here in California we have a politician whose estate is now worth nearly 100 million dollars; a public servant making ‘private fund’ money. You think she’s serving the people? It’s definitely an uphill battle, but I hope to eventually use my platform to spread awareness in causes such as these. Mark Ruffalo and Rosario Dawson have been two people that I think have been incredible activists as well as amazing actors.

I would love to follow in their footsteps.

MM: What are your biggest hopes for the future of your work in acting, poetry writing, and entertainment in general?

HC: You know I didn’t know I wanted to be an actor at the time, but when I was in high school I had to get up to read a poem. I had terrible stage fright. But I got up there, my hands were shaking, and I started reading. I don’t know what happened, it was like the poem spoke through me, and I just remember looking up when I was done, and everyone was completely silent and still. I felt like I had somehow given the poem life. So, I guess my hope is that I’m lucky enough to give voice to some of these incredible stories that make people feel, think, love, and change.

If I can do that I’ll be happy.

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