Chris Sullivan plays the beloved Toby in NBC’s hit show “This is Us.”
We caught up with Chris at NBC’s Mid-Season Cocktail Party at the Four Seasons Hotel.
How life changing the show has been for you?
Chris Sullivan: Well, I got a new Subaru, that’s pretty exciting. It brought me back to Los Angeles, which is fun because I’m born and raised in California, and I was living in New York, but the show brought us back to California. And the show has provided me opportunities to continue to do the thing that I love, which is tell good stories.
What do you admire about Chrissy?
Chris Sullivan: The thing that I love about Chrissy, not only her work ethic, but her ability to be vulnerable, and her ability to reveal herself to the audience.
Speak about the challenges of portraying your character?
Chris Sullivan: I feel pretty at home in this character and the challenges on the day to day are purely logistical and maneuvering emotionally through some of the ups and downs.
What do you love about the show’s writing?
Chris Sullivan: I think that our writing staff is probably the most heartfelt and sincere group of people working today.
Are there any actors you would love to see guest star on the show?
Chris Sullivan: Judith Light, is one of my favorite actors. I’d love to see John Lithgow. I’d love to see … Kelly O’Hara. Some are very good friends of mine, some I’ve met a few times. But I think there’s a lot of room for ensemble work on this show.
Who is an important mentor in your career?
Chris Sullivan: I would say Ed Trapton, my high school theater professor, was the first adult outside my parents to treat me like an adult and to treat me like an artist. And I would also say Judith Light has been a huge spiritual and practical guide through this industry for me.
What else would you like to do in entertainment? Do you hope to direct?
Chris Sullivan: Yeah, I’d like to direct a few episodes of television, especially This Is Us. I’d kind of like to get back on stage as quickly as possible. That’s where my heart lives.
Speak about your passion for theater. Did you discover it in high school?
Chris Sullivan: Yeah. I started in high school and went to college. Got my theater degree, studied quite a bit, and it is the most interactive form of acting that exists. The collaboration between the director, and the writer, and the actors, and then eventually the audience is kind of hard to beat.
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