Everything about Currie Graham is cool. Even how he got his name was in a cool fashion. In Scottish tradition, if there are no male heirs to carry on the family name, the eldest grandson takes on the mother’s surname as his first to keep the legacy alive. It not only honor’s your maternal grandfather, but makes for a great story.
Just as cool as his name is, Graham’s job is one of most fun you can have in this world. You get paid to pretend to be a major SOB, like his character Mario Siletti on the TNT original series, Murder in the First or in the unfortunately cancelled Marvel series, Agent Carter where he played Calvin Chadwick, which garnered him a larger following for his work.
Graham is one of those guys that you can sit and shoot the shit with for a few hours and never once feel like he’s being, “Mr. Hollywood.”
“I have no complaints, the roles are diverse and weird and fun. I was really flattered to get the call from Marvel because they hype all these products and are willing to do some risky stuff. I had a really great time on that show with Tara Butters (Executive Producer, Agent Carter) then the cast and crew who were just phenomenal. Here’s the thing, you work for Marvel, then you get all popular,” said Graham, as he referred to the experience as the “perfect storm” where everything brilliantly fell into place.
Some of the joys that Graham has found has been in franchise projects, whether it was Agent Carter or Stargate, allowing him to play morally ambiguous characters that are no longer one dimensional villains or heroes, but that are just like real people, even if the general population wants to hold these characters and others to a higher standard.
Graham has been lucky enough to be labeled as one of the, “good guys.” He’s not a ball buster or a primadonna. He shows up on time and is ready to work without having everyone walk on eggshells for him, nor does he have outlandish requests like some legendary rockers who always made sure there were no green M&M’s in their candy dish.
“No, no I have not checked for green M&M’s, no. You know, having worked for Steven Bochco, no one has checked for green M&M’s. Steven’s saying, ‘You want to check for green M&M’s? I can put a bullet in your character’s head, roll you up and throw you in a dumpster. I’ll take your parking pass on the way and go f*ck yourself. Don’t look for a letter of recommendation coming from me,'” joked Graham about how easy it is to lose a job in Hollywood with a bad attitude.
Graham continues his adventures in the world of sci-fi and fantasy, with the HBO series, Westworld, a re-imagined version of the 1973 classic that starred Yul Brynner. Airs October 2, 2016 9 p.m. Only this go-around, it looks like a $100 million picture shot for television.
“It’s shocking that nobody ever thought of it and then when it was mentioned to me it was, ‘Of course they are, of course they are, how could they not have thought of this before?’ I think Jonah and Lisa Joy (Nolan) have done a great job in re-imagining Westworld. It’s going to be an exciting adventure that they put together,” said Graham without revealing what the big takeaway.
In a world of quantity over quality with everyone having their own network and needing product, which advertisers are willing to throw money at in order to fill airtime. Luckily, with stations like HBO, who are known to have outstanding programing, they are making sure all their shows rise to the top, and Westworld will definitely be able to grab an audience.
Graham has worked in virtually every world, whether it was a legal show, a western, comics or sci-fi, it allows him to explore different aspects of himself and go places that are only limited by his imagination.
“The sci-fi constituency are some of the loyalist fans in the world. I talked to Nathan Fillion and a bunch of friends of mine who go to Comic Con, there aren’t anymore loyal people than those who show up at that stuff. You want a fan base? Those are the people you want to target. In high school, they were the geeks they were the loners, but now with the internet and social media you can share ideas and beliefs and you went from being an individual to having an army. It was like as a kid, being a little off you thought, ‘F*ck, I’m a weirdo and then all this stuff comes and you can reach out, find people who are exactly like you and you are no longer alone,” said Graham, who was valedictorian of his graduating class.
On top of Graham’s busy work schedule, he has added one more role to his resume, fatherhood. Graham has a daughter in elementary school and is glad that she thinks her dad’s job is absolutely boring.
“She was in the talent show at school and sang a song from The Sound of Music. I’ve taken her to set a few times and she thinks it’s really boring. The first time I took her to set, we were shooting Murder in the First, she was sitting in the director’s chair and they called action, and she turned to me and she said, ‘Daddy, this is the worst day ever.’ As soon as they yelled cut, we went home. She asks me now, ‘Daddy are you going to work? What are you going to be now? Are you going to be a cowboy? Are you going to be a lawyer? ‘ and I tell her, ‘Today I’m going to be a gangster or a junkie or a lawyer.’ She goes, ‘Okay, have a good day!’ It’s that kind of relationship,” said Graham about fatherhood.
What’s most refreshing to hear from Currie Graham, who knows how hard the business is, with as many disappointments that come in not getting a certain role or having a series picked up, at the end of the day you meet a lot of smart, interesting people and that adds to the life experience. On the same day you can talk to a key grip and then to a studio executive an hour later and that is what will keep you grounded.
“I am blessed to be able to do what I do. Even if I was retired, I would still want to be doing this. I gave up a scholarship to med school to become an actor and I don’t regret it for one second,” said Graham.
Currie Graham can currently been seen on Murder in the First on TNT, Sunday nights at 10 p.m.