On Location with Chris Gorham

When we last checked in with Covert Affairs star Chris Gorham, he teased a bit of what was coming up for his character, Auggie Anderson. In last week’s episode, “All the Right Friends”, the detail that he revealed about a potential promotion came to light. During our recent set tour in Toronto, Chris joined us on location to continue the conversation about Auggie in Season 2, and his involvement in adding descriptive video to the Season 1 DVDs.

You were part of a descriptive Video project for the visually impaired. Can you tell us a bit about that experience?

Last, last year, as a thank you to the CNIB (the organization that has helped Chris become Auggie), I wanted to arrange a screening of one of our episodes at their building, so when I talked to them about it they said it would be great if you could get descriptive video on it so that the blind people could really enjoy the episode. What it is, essentially, is they take out the ambient music from the show and insert narration about what’s going on – what people look like, the action, and then the dialogue, of course, all stays in. So I called up the network and said I’d really love to do this thing, could we have the episode, and would you guys mind footing the bill to have the descriptive video process done. They were great and said, yeah, we’ll do it, just tell us where, where should we go. We hooked them up with this company in Vancouver and USA made it all happen, and it was a big success.

I ended up doing press in New York for Auggie’s episode last year and we did this event at the USA Network offices. I was talking to the woman who was handling all the DVD stuff and I said look at this, this descriptive video is amazing, it’s not very expensive, and you guys should be doing it on all your shows’ DVDs. If you’re going to do it at all, you have to do it for this show. Please at least for my episode, but if you can do it for all the episodes it would be so great, and I know the blind community would appreciate it. And then when the DVDs came out, they did it, it’s on every episode on our DVD.

It’s a small thing. It just takes that extra effort and people really appreciate it. I’m really proud to be on a network that will take somebody like me seriously, and then do something that’s really important.

Auggie has a really big epsiode coming up when we learn how he lost his sight. Was that an emotional scene to film?

It’s a difficult scene to describe without giving away how it happens. It is an emotional scene. How do I describe it? Honestly, we shot 136 set-ups that day, and everything was moving so fast, but that moment was very still and very special somehow, and I think probably the biggest production day we’ve done to date.

Despite his obvious challenge, Auggie is a strong and confident character. Where do you think that comes from?

He’s one of those very special people on this planet who has an extraordinary amount of strength in him. I don’t know how much you know about the Special Forces, but even the stuff you read – Seal Team 6 has been in the news because of killing Osama bin Laden – and Auggie’s one of those guys. These are some of the strongest, most ambitious, toughest, really smart guys that this planet has to offer. In addition to that, he’s lost people in battle, he’s been through the fire, he lost his sight … he has been through more in his life already than most people will ever see. So I think he’s built up a lot of strength and a lot of confidence in what he does. I think it’s part of what makes him so attractive to women, that confidence, he’s a good looking guy, he knows what he wants and I think people are attracted to that. And also, he got beat up a lot as a kid, he’s got four older brothers and they were not nice, so that had to help.

Where will The DPD lead Auggie this season? Will he accept the promotion? And are fans prepared for the emotionally harrowing moment when we witness Auggie lose his site? Catch Covert Affairs, Tuesday nights at 10/9C on USA Network to find out.

Photo Courtesy of USA Network

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