COVERT AFFAIRS Set Interview: Christopher Gorham

Covert Affairs Set Visit - Christopher Gorham 2

A couple weeks ago I traveled to Toronto to visit the set of COVERT AFFAIRS and interview some of the cast. You can check out my set visit article and photos here, plus my first interview from the set with Sendhil Ramamurthy here, and my interview from the set with Piper Parabo here.

Chris was kind enough to come out to the set where his fellow cast mates were doing some filming on location at a small airport. He joined us in the lounge and opened up to us about what it’s like playing Auggie on the show.

On a possible romantic connection between Auggie and Annie

When asked about the friendship between Auggie and Annie and the possibility of it turning into something romantic, Chris said that he definitely thinks that those two do have a lot of chemistry. He doesn’t think that it will happen any time soon, but will probably happen slowly as part of a very long-term arc. He also added (about Annie and Auggie): “I like those two characters a lot, and they get along very well, they compliment each other very well. I think they’re growing to need each other, which is nice”

On how he prepared for playing the role of a blind person

Before he filmed the pilot, Chris started working with an organization in Toronto called the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and is still working with them even now. Earlier this year he got a tour from a man who is basically a real-life Auggie and showed Chris how he texts on his iPhone with a tiny little Braille keyboard that connects via Bluetooth, his Braille printers, and more gadgets.

Chris said that he also did some blindfolded mobility training this year out on the streets of Toronto – crossing intersections, and walking down sidewalks. He called the experience terrifying, but said he had really wanted to do it because he wanted to see what it was like. He told us that it was immediately disorienting and discovered the it’s actually physically impossible to close one’s eyes and walk in a straight line (which is something I never knew).

On how difficult it is to fake being blind

Asked about the difficulty of playing a man without sight and making it look real to an audience, Chris remarked that it was tricky and required a team effort from everyone. He said that it has been a learning experience, making it look right, but that he’s gotten better at it over time. At first there were many technical issues due to camera angles. Chris would purposely look away from an actor while talking to them, but often when the shot was set up again to film a close-up, that particular spot had him looking directly into the camera lens. So he’s had to learn how to plan ahead for where he’s going to look during a scene.

On where Auggie gets his strength

When asked about where Auggie gets his inner-strength and confidence, Chris said: “[Auggie]’s one of those very special people on this planet who has an extraordinary amount of strength in him.”

He said that he thought some of it came from the fact that Auggie used to be in the Special Forces, pointing out that Auggie was a guy like those on Seal Team 6 (known for recently taking out Osama bin Laden). Adding: “In addition to that, he’s lost people in battle, he’s been through the fire, he lost his sight,” and “he has been through more in his life already than most people will ever see.”

Chris also said that he thinks part of what makes Auggie so attractive to women is that confidence (I whole-heartedly agree with that assessment).

Finally he added: “And also, [Auggie] got beat up a lot as a kid. He’s got four older brothers and they were not nice, so that had to help.”

Check out the second season of Covert Affairs, which airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on USA Network.

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