Christopher Egan talks Letters to Juliet

Sydney, Australia native Christopher Egan cut his chops in a regular role on the long running hit soap opera Home and Away when he was just 16.  He moved to LA and it wasn’t long before he was hit there too. 

Egan appeared in the TV series Empire, Pretty/Handsome, and Vanished, and the films Alpha Male, Resident Evil: Extinction and Crush.  But he left the TV series Kings when he was offered the leading man role in Letters to Juliet, a romantic tale starring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave.

Bonus – they shot the film througout Italy’s most romantic region, Tuscany.  Egan was one of a small handful of actors under consideration to star in Mission Impossible IV for Tom Cruise.  The part ultimately went to Jeremy Renner, but it’s nice to know that Cruise recognized Egan’s talent. Monsters and Critics spoke to the promising young actor.

You started in Australia’s renowned soap opera Home and Away whe you were just a kid.  What great training for an actor!

It is.  You’re working very fast shooting long hours and being on that set so long and at a young age battling with school, and you do grow up quickly and learn quickly, and you have to learn discipline.  It was crazy, but I learned and then it felt like a natural progression to come to LA and jump into a whole different world.

How is LA?

I have more experience and appreciate it so much and its great meeting talented people.  I was coming from Australia and working so hard where there weren’t many jobs, and then coming to America, where there are so many jobs but more competition.

Have you noticed an upsurge in fame since Letters to Juliet?  Can you still walk the streets?

Yes.  In Los Angeles there so many actors and people tend to get used to it.  You don’t get mobbed or recognized.  But it is different parts of America, people will say hi.  It’s been really nice; I’ve had a great reaction from people. 

Charlie is testy, judgmental, and frustrated when we meet him – but you turn him around to gain our sympathy.  Nice work!

I really enjoyed that journey of Charlie’s and he has a great love for his grandmother.  He felt like a real character that I could really play with and have fun with, I like it.  It’s a different romcom in that way, they don’t like each other in the beginning, and it’s often like that with people in real life who don’t like each other at first. 

His priority is his grandmother, who has been his sole parent.  Anything that threatens her happiness and health is a bad combination.  Amanda is so attractive.  It was nice to break down the walls and barriers and ultimately move ahead.  It was nice.  We had a lot of fun, me and Amanda got along great, we had a silly sense of humor and chemistry between us. 

You worked very closely with Vanessa Redgrave, playing her grandson.  What an experience!

She was wonderful.  It’s seriously one of the real joys of this job being able to work with veterans actors and learn from them and watch them and especially when you’ve watched them growing up.  It’s exciting being a member of their family.  She was so much fun and full of life and intelligent and had so many things to say about the story and character.  Rehearsals were incredible, listening to her thoughts. 

Have you kept in touch with her?

Yes, I’ve been on email with her and we saw each other in Verona for the press tour and celebrated being together again.  We keep in touch.

Does location affect your work?  I don’t see how you could resist Tuscany’s spell.

We felt very spoiled and got all those elements and get along with everyone and it’s the most beautiful place in the world, really, you’re pinching yourself, we’re the luckiest!  It makes the journey so much more exciting.  You audition every week and you don’t get something and then you get something that is magical.  It was like a holiday from slogging it out at home.

What’s it like making out with a complete stranger – even if it is Amanda Seyfried – for “work”?

You get nervous about that meeting a stranger and want to know if there is a chemistry and if you get along.  It was important to get the opportunity to spend time and get to know each other.  We shot in order so we go to know each other as characters and people, colleagues.  I’m so grateful for the chance to make this film.

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