Casey Deidrick has been around the block in Hollywood; for 5 years, he was Chad DiMera on Days of Our Lives and he had roles on the MTV shows Eye Candy and Teen Wolf. But his role as Max on The CW’s newest show, In The Dark, could potentially be his biggest and most notable part to date. It also doesn’t hurt that he oozes charm and is extremely easy on the eyes, both on the show and in real life.
I got the chance to talk with him about his path into acting, how he grew as an actor during his time on a soap opera, whether Max is more similar or different to the person he is, and much more. Keep reading to get to know this week’s MCM!
Tell me a little bit about how you got into acting originally.
I’m still trying to figure that out. I went from dropping out of college and getting ready to enlist into the Marine Corps to packing all my clothes up and moving to LA. I’ve always been a performer in the comforts of my own home but I never took theatre classes or was in any school plays. I think I was too nervous growing up and I stuck with skateboarding. I’d lock myself in my room and rewatch the same movies over and over again. I was always obsessed with film. I’d just imagine myself as the characters in the movie. I think my mom noticed that about me. At the time I was getting ready to enlist, there was a sign-up in Denver for this AMTC convention (which is like a beauty pageant for actors and models). My mom just asked me to please reconsider and give this a try. So she paid my way through this course and I ended up going to Florida for the convention and getting quite a few callbacks in my group. They all told me to let them know when I was in LA. About a month later, I went to LA and was signed to an agency within a couple days. [That was 13 years ago and] I’ve been in LA ever since.
Was there a specific person or experience that you would credit with helping you decide acting is what you wanted to do for a living?
Definitely my parents. I think the reason I sometimes have such a vivid imagination is because they would let me watch whatever I wanted as a kid. They’d let me watch the original Halloween, Child’s Play, Friday the 13th. I’d also watch every Jim Carrey film over and over again; he was one of my favorites growing up. That being said, I’ve always been a very emotional kid growing up and I think I learned how to channel that through acting. I never looked at acting as a job but a way to process and cope with my mental illness and depression.
Your breakout role came playing Chad DiMera on Days of Our Lives for 5 years. I know soap operas are notorious for doing things extremely fast and efficient and a lot of actors say it’s some of the best training you can get. How did you grow as an actor during your time in the soap world?
It gave me a safe space to make mistakes, and I made so many during my time on that show. I was still very new to acting at that time and it was before I ever had any formal training. I was a mess; everything I was putting out was just raw and I’d always have to turn my head watching me on TV because I couldn’t watch. But it did get me comfortable in front of a camera and I was definitely a master at memorizing my lines by the end.
Fans probably best know you from your work on the MTV shows Eye Candy and Teen Wolf. What does it mean to you to still have fans telling you how much they enjoyed watching you on those shows/how much those shows meant to them?
I’m always flattered to hear anyone tell me how much they enjoyed those two shows. I tell them that I still think about those two shows to this day. Those were life-changing experiences for me. The fans of Teen Wolf grow up watching that show so in a sense they’ve grown up with the characters of that show. I felt really lucky to be able to play such a fun and interesting character during my time there.
Let’s talk about your new show, In the Dark. What was your audition process like for the show?
It all happened so fast. I remember going to the audition and then 10 minutes after I got into my car and started driving, my agent called and said, “You got a test offer and it’s in two days”. [I] went to the test at CBS studios where I met Perry Mattfeld, who plays Murphy, and read with her in front of the producers. Then, about a week later, I got the call and was flying to Toronto a couple days later.
For our readers who might not have seen the trailer, how would you describe what the show is about?
It’s not like any CW show I’ve seen. I love that CW is pushing the boundaries and taking risks. This show is about a woman in her 20’s who ends up investigating the potential murder of her best friend, and she’s also blind. But she’s so flawed beyond being visually impaired. She’s got a knack for drinking, cigarettes and casual sex, just a total mess. I think audiences can relate to every character on this show, and by watching, I hope it will create conversations at home about alcoholism, depression, and relationships.
On the show, you play Max. What is he like? How does he fit into the story?
Max is unlike any character I’ve ever played. He’s this fun, potentially dangerous, mysterious guy who’s immediately smitten by Murphy. He runs a food truck company, which is a money laundering front for a drug enterprise with his business partner, Darnell. He’s also very passionate about food. Ultimately, I think Max was brought in to help crack Murphy’s guarded vulnerability and break down her walls. They bring each other out and I really love the dynamic our writers created for the two of us.
Would you say that Max is more similar or different to the person that you, Casey, are and why?
I think Max taught me so much about who I am and that’s a gift in itself. Max is not your typical guy with toxic masculinity, in fact the roles are reversed in his relationship with Murphy. Max taught me a whole new language and that there are other ways of communicating in arguments besides anger. He taught me to respond from a place of love and it’s carried over into my personal life.
What are some acting, industry-related goals or benchmarks that you aim to reach in your career over the next couple of years?
I’m just trying to savor every moment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to quit and give up. I almost walked away from acting before In the Dark hit, so in a way Max saved my life. I’d love to just keep doing what I’m doing, always learning and evolving as a person. Since I didn’t get my chance to be a Marine, I’d love the opportunity to play one. I’d love to work with Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf at some point. Both of those actors really inspire me.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd, so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
Well, I’m one of the biggest nerds I know; I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent online with my friends playing Halo, Destiny, and Fortnite. Months worth of hours. Growing up, my Dad and I would turn off all the lights at night and play Resident Evil on PlayStation together. I cherish those memories. I’m a huge survival horror game fanatic. I loved The Last of Us, The Evil Within, I’ve played all of the Resident Evils, and Silent Hill. I think being in an industry where everything is so out of your control, I was able to control what was going on in these video games and they gave me an escape.
Featured Photo Credit: Marc Cartwright