Monty Geer is best known for portraying Cole on MTV’s hit show Awkward. I recently had the chance to chat with Monty about the show and what he enjoys best about playing Cole. To find out what he had to say, read on.
What do you enjoy most about playing Cole?
“I love the complete freedom that I have with the role. Cole’s such a crazy, unpredictable character, that I basically have the free reign to improvise anything I want. I’m able to jump on the backs of background actors or throw objects at people or steal alcohol bottles (laughs). Cole’s just so completely wild that I have the freedom to do anything crazy, which is great. If Cole went to my high school, I would try to stay away from him, because you never know what he might do to you. (Laughs).
I studied a lot in high school but I was the class clown. I was the smallest kid in my class for five or six years, from middle school through high school. All my friends were jocks. They participated in sports so the only way I could hang out with them would be to joke or goof off.”
If you weren’t Cole, is there any other character you would love to play?
“I would love to be Desi’s character, Val. I think she’s hilarious! Even though I’m a guy, Val is the same, zany, crazy type of character. She does really inappropriate things but she’s more innocent. Val would yell through a megaphone, so that’d definitely be my choice. Just give me a wig (laughs).”
You joined the show pretty late in the series. You came on when it was an established show and the actors had been working together for a while. Was it difficult for you joining late?
“Everyone was really friendly. The entire cast and crew are really nice. They were like a family. I felt like the adopted kid coming in from Zimbabwe or something. (Laughs). There were all these things I had to get used to though. It was like this inside joke and I had no idea what was going on.
I was constantly afraid that I was going to get fired during the first couple of episodes. I didn’t know how a TV show worked, so I was really on edge to perform my best. Everyone else was just so relaxed because they’d already done like 60 episodes or so.”
Can you share with us a favorite moment that you have from playing Cole?
“We were shooting the Spring Break episode. We were in this bar and we were spinning around on these stools. We had to do 15 or 20 takes where we were drinking beer, which was actually just water in beer bottles, while spinning. By the end of it we got so sick that we were throwing up everywhere. We got motion sickness (laughs)! It was pretty funny and by the end of it we were so nauseous.
We (Evan Crooks and I) love each other and are always joking around. Our chemistry is just amazing.”
How would you describe the evolution of Cole from his first appearance on the show until now?
“As an actor, I’ve definitely become a lot more comfortable with him. At first I didn’t know how far I could push him or how crazy he could be. Quickly, I learned that I could do anything with him. The craziest Cole ideas I could think of were always the director’s favorites.
Cole’s really an angry character. He hates everyone. At first I wasn’t aware of how much he hates the world. Now two seasons later, I know how mad he is at the entire system and everything.
He’s also been a comic relief forever. Later on in this season (5), there’s drama for the first time with him.”
Is there something you would like to see happen with Cole’s storyline?
“I’d like to see what Cole has in store after graduation. I think Cole would be great at running a biker bar with Theo. An exclusive club where only select people are invited to. I can definitely see him doing something like that after high school, or maybe something with fashion because I love Cole and Theo’s fashion. I definitely think they could start a whole trend.”
What have you learned while playing Cole?
“That’s a good question! I definitely learned a lot. I think the main thing that I learned is just to have fun. With Cole, I just do what I want to do. I look at the lines and say ‘this is the funniest way I would say this line. Or this is funniest thing I could do like climbing some tree. Or jumping over furniture.’ I just get to do what I think is the funniest thing and the show runners love it. They trust me enough. They know that I understand Cole and will do him justice. So what I’ve learned is to just do what you want to. To not be afraid to take risks with your character because it pleases the people who wrote the character anyway. You’re not holding back. You’re adding to the creative elements!”
What is it like working with the cast, especially Beau?
“It’s great! I love Beau! He’s clearly one of the nicest people on set. He’s so genuine. Every time we’re between takes, him and our sound guy Jimmy (they’re in a band together called Jimmy Soundcar) are always playing the guitar. They’ll go off in a corner and write songs together. Beau’s really into music.
He cares about everyone. He’s always interested in what everyone’s doing. He’s just such a nice person and I completely love working with him. He’s really funny too. He reads a lot. He reads Moby Dick and stuff. He’s just a great guy. There’s no ego with him, he’s such a sweet person.”
You’re currently filming an episode on a show called Adam Ruins Everything. Can you tell us bout that?
“TruTv bought it and it’s by Adam Conover. Adam’s kind of like teaching people stuff that they don’t want to know. I’m playing this sixteen year old who’s buying his first car. Adam just ruins the car industry for me. (Laughs). Adam tells my character about how the industry destroyed LA’s landscape and got rid of public transit. We don’t have subways anymore. The whole point is I don’t want to learn any of this stuff. (Laughs). I just want to buy my car and drive away. But Adam’s just ruining everything.”
You’re going to be playing Matthew in a film called The Adventures of Sam Wolf. Matthew is physically challenged. What can you tell us about Matthew and the research you did to play him?
“The film is about Matthew and his brother Sam. Sam loves nature and stuff and Matthew’s more into science. We bicker a lot. In the middle of the film, Sam goes into this fantasy/other world where he’s a superhero. We fight in this other world and he ends up blinding me. So, for the majority of the film I have these huge scars on my face. Those took three hours a day in the makeup chair! It was rough!
So Matthew is blind. For research, I looked at a lot of videos online to figure out how to read Braille and how to use a cane. I sat in my house alone for a long time, closing my eyes and trying to heighten my other senses. To see what it’s like to only hear and feel things. I tried to get around my house with just my memory, by counting steps or whatever.
I didn’t wear blind glasses. I had to keep my eyes opened. So I could see, but I had to train myself to ignore my vision and still just focus on hearing things and act like I was blind.
This film is part one of an origin story. I think they want to do a couple shorter ones. It’s a work in progress. The director has been working on this for ten years. This is his baby project, his blind baby.
It was great playing some one different from Cole. I don’t really dress or look like Cole. So every time I’m on the street and talking to people about Awkward/Cole I’m like, ‘That’s me!’ (Laughs).”
Awkward airs Monday’s at 9/8c on MTV.