RM: Did you always know that acting was the career for you?
CC: No, I didn’t. It wasn’t something I was born with, something I knew I had to pursue. I feel like the signs pointing to the obvious were always there, but it wasn’t until the opportunity accidentally came into my life, that I made the realization. I started in an acting school in Indiana and something piqued in my head, heart, and soul. At such a young age, something clicked and everything just made sense. I was engrossed with an overwhelming amount of clarity of what I wanted to do with my life. It was at that moment that I made a choice, a simple choice, and my life/career took flight. From that day until now, an ember of passion sparked into an uncontrollable wildfire. I’ve just been standing back, watching it burn, and allowing it to take it’s course.
RM: How did you first get introduced to your role on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars?
CC: It seems like such a long time ago. Honestly? The opportunity came forth simply like all the others. It started at an audition. I remember getting the sides and immediately being captivated by the altercation of brother and sister being portrayed in the scene. I took it to my acting coach and we worked together to bring the scene to life. I went in for the project and got extremely positive feedback. However, at the time, a decision had been made to move the pilot to Vancouver. Therefore, casting informed me that they would be casting locally for the role. I was pretty bummed out but in this industry, you have to be strong-willed and take it all with a grain of salt. I nearly forgot about the project until a couple months later when they called me back in for the same role. I was very confused. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was filming the pilot, taking on Mike Montgomery.
RM: What do you enjoy most about your character, Mike Montgomery?
CC: I enjoy the level of reality and actuality Mike brings to the show. He exudes a quality we find amongst our society- a definitive quality that reminds us all, that at the end of the day, we share a common bloodline of being human. In my eyes, he exemplifies an accurate representation of humanity. He’s not perfect. He struggles with relationships. He doesn’t make the right decisions. He attacks the ones he loves. He finds himself lost at times but eventually gets through it. I love that. Every altercation with his sister, every mishap, every fight, struggle, situation, it defines who he is. And that’s a human who’s learning and constantly growing.
RM: Tell us what it’s like to be on set with the “A-Team” and the rest of the cast.
CC: It’s very interesting. I find that there’s no room to get comfortable because our amazing cast and team of writers/producers will ALWAYS keep you on your toes. Ultimately, Pretty Little Liars and everyone involved feels like family to me. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, no matter the set, no matter the project I take on, I’ll always feel like I’m reuniting with my family when I return.
RM: What can we expect see from your character, Mike Montgomery, in upcoming episodes?
CC: I think everyone can expect Mike to do a little growing up. Not just physically, but mentally. He’s maturing and beginning to understand what’s truly important in his life. I believe we’ll see a different side of Mike.
RM: The PLL series has such a huge online & social media following. How do you keep up with the fan activity?
CC: I try my best! I always try to interact with our amazing fan base. I try to remind everyone who follows the show that I don’t take them for granted. I want to go the extra mile to show them the gratitude and appreciation I hold for each and everyone. Pretty Little Liars, the show, the characters, it’s a piece of art that will last forever, far surpassing the actual end of the show.
RM: You’re in the upcoming movie, The Starving Games, which is a spoof on The Hunger Games. Without giving away too much, what was the most outrageous scene you had to film?
CC: The whole movie is an absurd amount of outrageous-ness! Everyday on set, I kept telling myself, “There’s no way tomorrow could be crazier than this. This is it. The cap.” And to my disbelief, every damn day, I proved myself to be incorrect.
RM: If you weren’t an actor, what career path would you take?
CC: Growing up, I had the strongest connection to anything athletic. Even today, I find myself in the gym every single day. Wishing I could be on a team playing again. Not only am I in love with the physicality of it all, I enjoy it mentally. I love to compete and push myself to the limit. To find out what defines me, then break/surpass it entirely. It’s an amazing feeling when you’re able to get out of your head and let your heart take action. And I think that feeling is synonymous with anything in life. It’s truly amazing. If I wasn’t pursuing my chosen career, I would’ve dedicated myself to athletics. A scholarship to college for football or baseball.
RM: We’ve seen some of your red carpet style at various events. Who are some of your favorite fashion designers?
CC: I’m not a fan of distinguishing myself with a particular style that others find cool or popular. I’m never really wearing the latest and greatest. I feel my style is very subjective, and it changes all the time. First and foremost, a suit is my favorite. My mom taught me that class goes a long way. However, on a more casual note, recently my favorite two companies have been G-Star (their jeans fit incredibly for me) and Karmaloop. Karmaloop is pretty much a plethora of modern, street, yet classy designs. I love everything they have.
RM: Congrats on Pretty Little Liars and The Starving Games. What other projects are you working on and have coming up?
CC: Hopefully my own television show or more film work. I just finished an independent film, “Submerged”. I love what I do, so as long as I’m working, I’m happy. We’ll see what the future brings. Whatever it may be, I’ll be ready for it.