Charlie Koznick broke into the acting scene in 2003 after a chance meeting with a rep manager and he hasn’t looked back since. You’re likely to have seen him in his appearances on Las Vegas, Veronica Mars, and CSI: NY. If you’ve missed those here is your chance to catch up on this rising star as his web based series, Coastal Dreams from NBC, is now in its first season online. There’s a lot more in store for this actor as you’ll see him next year sharing the big screen with Eddie Murphy in Nowhereland. Not too shabby, eh?
Last week I got to speak with Charlie Koznick about his character on Coastal Dreams and where the series is taking us next. Read on to find out how he went from a finance major to Hollywood star, why he likes to play the bad guy, and what it’s like working opposite Eddie Murphy. You might even get a few hints at what surprises Charlie’s character, Christian, and the rest of the cast has in store for us on Coastal Dreams.
Charlie Koznick interview with Wild Bluff Media 11-16-2007:
Wild Bluff Media (WBM): Your character, Christian, on Coastal Dreams has the most dark secrets in the series. There’s the man with the ruby ring, the jewelry box and its map, even the alleged murder of your father. Can you give us any insight or a preview for where your character is going with all these mysteries?
Koznick: I feel like from what you’ve seen now just don’t judge a book by its cover. Not just Christian, but everything that’s going on. There’s a lot more twists to come that you don’t see coming.
WBM: Your character Christian and Zoe seem to be getting a little closer. Does that mean the relationship with April was just a front to get closer to the situation?
Koznick: No. I like everyone has been in that scenario and that’s why its so relatable. Everyone’s been in that scenario, you’re in a relationship and someone comes along and takes you by surprise and you end up being in this area of you need to reevaluate what you need in your life or what kind of person you need in your life and who best fits you and I think that’s kinda where he’s stuck at now. I think that what intrigues him is that with April wouldn’t be as supportive to what’s he’s going through right now and show much interest. I think that’s why him and Zoe right now, at this point, are getting along so well is cause she is showing interest in something he really cares about and I think that’s a big deal in a relationship or anyone that you’re interested in, that they show in an interest in what you’re interested in or are there for you.
WBM: At first I thought you were going to be a villain in the story with all your little covert ops, but now that doesn’t seem to be the case as you’ve teamed up with Zoe. Do you think Christian is going to turn out to be a bad guy or will he get to be one of the good guys?
Koznick: I can’t tell you that!
WBM: Okay, well then here’s a hypothetical one for you. If you got to pick in your next project, would you want to be the bad guy or the good guy and why?
Koznick: Bad guy. I love being bad guys. You don’t get to do that in real life. You get to be the murderer or all the things you get to do to dive into these dark characters without the consequences. I get to go home at night and have dinner and go to bed and not have to worry about the consequences, that’s why I love being bad guys.
WBM: Each episode of Coastal Dreams is just a few minutes long, but manages to squeeze in a surprising amount of storylines. Have you already recorded the entire series or is this something where there will be multiple seasons?
Koznick: I think the season is 24 episodes. The first block is done. We finished that this summer. I believe we are going to try to do more based on how it does. We signed on for a couple of them [seasons]. We have not filmed the other ones, but we are signed on to do more.
WBM: Do you think this series could head towards broadcast and get a full 30 or 60 minutes each week?
Koznick: I think it’s very possible. Of course, I would love that. I think it has the potential. I think what has been read in the blogs and the message boards has been that people wish it was longer and that they want more of it and they wish it would go to broadcast TV. But either way, I feel like Internet is such a new medium that it is going to work either way. At some point all TV is headed this way anyways.
WBM: You’ve got a strong credit list of shows and movies, but Coastal Dreams looks to be your first web-based series. How does filming a web series compare to working on a broadcast show?
Koznick: I feel like the main difference, which is great about it, is that it’s a much more collaborative effort. When I showed up on day 1 it was day 1 for all the other cast members, the director, the producer. So we all kinda got to growth through this experience together. I feel like when I get to do the broadcasts I’m more of a guest in someone else’s home, because I am joining them as a guest star, they’re already set. My day 1 is their season 5, so you don’t as much creative input. It’s show up, do your work like how they want it, and get out the door. Where this was much more of an experience with the director trying to create what we wanted rather than the director saying, “this is how I want it. Do it.”
WBM: Out of all the guest star roles you’ve done, do you have a favorite?
Koznick: Las Vegas. I actually just went back and shot another episode last week.
WBM: So that was your third episode then?
Koznick: Yeah, that was my third and it was a pretty big cliffhanger so there’s hopefully more episodes for me in the future. I love that show. It’s fun. Everyone is great. I had so much fun working on that show.
WBM: Did you work with Tom Selleck then now that’s he the big guy on the show?
Koznick: I did. I had a couple of big scenes with Tom last week.
WBM: Your IMDB profile shows you’re in the middle of filming NowhereLand which sounds like it has a pretty cool premise and even has some big names attached. Can you tell us about the movie and your role?
Koznick: The movie is NowhereLand with Eddie Murphy who is divorced from his wife and he is a busy financial guy who is struggling to make time for his daughter and when his daughter comes to stay with him for the weekend they go through a bonding process through playing in her imaginary world. They end up forming a much tighter relationship and bond. It’s a very good family story. I play the ex-wife’s new friend who he [Murphy] believes is the new love interest in her life.
WBM: That must put you front and center for a lot of it.
Koznick: Definitely. I’m very excited about it. It’s a little surreal. Your first day on set and you do a scene with Eddie Murphy and it’s like, “my God, you’re Axel Foley.”
WBM: So you’ve worked with Eddie Murphy and Tom Selleck. Have there been any other big names that you’ve walked on and been surprised to meet?
Koznick: I worked with Craig T. Nelson [on The District]. He was great. The interesting thing is they’ve gotten progressively bigger. I wasn’t thrown for a loop and having it be Tom Cruise. They’ve gotten progressively bigger and bigger each time so I don’t make a fool of myself. I’m easing myself into it.
WBM: You’ve done the guest star roles on TV, you’ve got a lead role in Coastal Dreams, and are working on a movie now. Of all of those what’s your favorite venue for acting and why?
Koznick: I really like the TV world the best. Shooting the web is great, but you shoot so many pages in a day that it’s crazy hectic. So I like the median. In movies you don’t shoot enough pages in a day and with the web we shot so many pages in a day. So the middle ground is TV. In TV right now we usually shoot five pages a day and in the Eddie Murphy movie we’re shooting maybe 1 and 1/8 pages a day. It’s crazy how slow you guy, how much attention to detail. So I’d have to say I like the TV format the best, shooting wise.
WBM: Looking at your IMDB profile you jumped onto the acting scene just about four years ago. How did you get your start?
Koznick: I was a finance major in San Diego. I had never been in any plays, never done anything, nothing. I was interning for Morgan Stanley for awhile. I came up to LA for a friend’s birthday and there was a manager who asked me if I had ever been interested in acting. I said, “no, never crossed my mind before.” He said, “why don’t you come up and take some classes and see what you think about it. If you’re interested, we’d be interested in representing you.” That’s why I just kinda came out of nowhere.
WBM: That’s a pretty impressive, lucky break.
Koznick: Very lucky break. It was a little slow the first year. I had no idea what I was doing. Not a clue. I had never taken a class. I didn’t know what an audition was. My parents weren’t very happy that I gave up on a financial career to do acting in LA. It’s turned out to be great.
WBM: You’ve got Nowhereland in production right now. Are there any other projects on your horizon?
Koznick: The Las Vegas episode will air in January and the movie is due out in September , but with the writers’ strike everything is kinda just… There’s no more TV to be done. There’s maybe one more week where you can go audition for a guest star, but other than that TV is done. There’s not enough scripts ahead. Movies are still kinda around, but they’re definitely starting to slow down. By December there will be no more movie auditions either. It sounds little bit quiet.
WBM: Well before we wrap up are there any Coastal Dreams secrets or surprises you can leak out to us?
Koznick: Yeah, watch out for the body that we’re looking for. It may not turn out to be what you think. Or maybe it will. I don’t know. There’s a twist to who we’re looking for, that’s the easiest way to put it.
WBM: Charlie, we really appreciate you talking with us.
Koznick: Thank you.
Watch episodes of Coastal Dreams online at NBC.com.
Learn more about Charlie Koznick at IMDB.