Actor Chad Michael Murray is best known for playing Lucas Scott on TV’s “One Tree Hill,” though he’s had a robust career in feature films as well. Next year, he’ll be appearing in “Left Behind,” a reboot of the popular end times movie and book series.
Murray plays Buck Williams, a television journalist who gets left behind on Earth following the Rapture, an event in Christian theology in which believers are taken up to heaven. He recently spoke with TheBlaze about why he was attracted to the role, saying he views his character “as a young Anderson Cooper.”
“I just liked his demeanor. I like the fact that he’s always investigating and always trying to put (the pieces together),” he said. “Buck leads with compassion. He’s seen the dark aspects of the word, he’s seen the light.”
As a journalist, Williams investigates the cause of the mysterious disappearance of millions of people across the globe after the Rapture takes place.
Murray is one of a number of familiar names in the new “Left Behind,” slated to hit theaters next year, including actor Nicolas Cage and singer Jordin Sparks.
“I knew about the ‘Left Behind’ book series … I knew that the story had been done before, and I knew that they could do a really, really rad version,” he said, adding that Cage’s involvement also attracted him to the role. “I grew up watching him and I’m a Nic Cage fan. It was interesting to get to work with someone you look up to.”
The character of Williams was played by Kirk Cameron in the original three “Left Behind” films, though Murray said he didn’t watch them because he didn’t want Cameron’s acting to impact his own interpretation of the character.
“I never want to do that in any circumstance, because I never want to muddle the waters with anyone that has previously (played a role),” he said.
Murray said he hopes viewers “enjoy the ride” and see the humanity in the storyline.
Murrray, who has been acting for more than a decade, also spoke openly about all he has learned in Hollywood so far.
“They need to create a course Hollywood 101,” he said. “I swear — it’s an industry where you need to know there’s millions of people that want to do what we do. … You need to invest yourself everyday. If you work harder than everyone else you’ll put yourself in a position to win.”
Murray grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., where he still has family. He said he hopes those close to him are proud of all he’s accomplished.
“I think they’re just proud at the end of the day. They love watching it,” he said. “But when I come home it’s just, ‘Chad do the dishes, please.’”
TheBlaze has extensively covered the filming of “Left Behind,” visiting the set in September and interviewing the film’s writer Paul LaLonde and Murray’s fellow cast member Quinton Aaron, among others.