Whenever you see Chris Messina in a film, you know you’re going to get some rock solid acting from him. An actor with strong taste in material, the movies he picks are almost always incredibly interesting, making him a reliable presence in cinema. As such, he’s the kind of actor who you’re eager to see pop up in just about anything. This year, he’s riding high off of a plum supporting part in Ben Affleck‘s Air, one that often steals the show. Anytime he and Matt Damon spar on the phone, it’s an absolute joy. We spoke on the phone recently about the role, and now, timed to the movie coming to streaming on Amazon Prime this Friday, May 12th, I’m thrilled to present our conversation.
In my four star rave review of Air (here), I had the following to say about the film’s performances, Messina’s included:
This is an absolutely aces ensemble cast. Everyone is just keyed in to the material, having fun with their roles, and embracing teamwork of the movie that quite literally makes the dream work. Matt Damon is as good as ever playing the underdog everyman that is Sonny, while Viola Davis makes her small yet crucial part as Deloris absolutely soar. Her belief in and love for her son shines through, with tremendous results. Chris Messina is the comedy highlight (the phone calls between Falk and Vaccaro are a riot), with Chris Tucker not far behind. The deadpan nature of Jason Bateman is used to great effect, while this is the best we’ve seen from Marlon Wayans in some time. Ben Affleck himself is having a blast playing up the Buddhist and capitalistic duality of Knight, with often hilarious results. Supporting players include the aforementioned Julius Tennon and Damian Delano Young, as well as Asanté Deshon, Matthew Maher (great in a small but pivotal role), Jay Mohr, and more. Everybody more than pulls their weight, even if the bigger names up top will get the lion’s share of the credit.
Below, you can hear my chat with Messina. I was keen to talk Air with him, of course, but also to hear about what interests him about any acting job (I also had to bring up his filmmaking debut, Alex of Venice, which led to some interesting tidbits as well). Considering how he tends to get crucial supporting roles, finding something to grab on to is essential, and he does it as well as anyone. It’s a good discussion, not too heavy but definitely serious about the craft. He’s a good dude, clearly happy to be working and getting to do what he loves. It comes across in the conversation, too. If you haven’t seen Air yet, it’s my favorite flick of the year so far, so get on that ASAP. It’s still in theaters, which is the ideal way to experience it, but this weekend it comes to Prime Video, so you have options…
Here is my interview with Air co-star Chris Messina. Enjoy:
Air is in theaters now and hits Prime Video on Friday!
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