Chris Messina on ‘Sharp Objects’ and Why He Wants Roles That “Scare” Him

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Actor Chris Messina in Sharp Objects

“I seek out jobs that scare me. Usually the more scared I am, the more fruitful the experience” – Chris Messina

Though Amy Adams is getting the lion’s share of praise for the HBO miniseries Sharp Objects, Argo and The Mindy Project star Chris Messina plays a key role on the show as a detective who, like Adam’s character, is investigating two murders. In an interview with Esquire, Messina spoke about his uneasiness with the role and why that uneasiness drew him to the character.

Messina explains that he sees his character as having similarities to Amy Adams‘ Camille. “I didn’t share this with the director or the actors, but I really felt like Richard was a different side of the same coin as Camille, where he has a lot of pain and he carries heartbreak with him. I think he’s a lonely guy that wants to be seen and heard. If you were to follow him home or back to his story, I think you would see a dysfunction.”

In fact, Messina reveals that one of the main reasons why he took the role was because those character traits made him uneasy. He says, “I seek out jobs that scare me. Usually the more scared I am, the more fruitful the experience.”

Once he began work on the series, Messina admits that he had trouble trusting his own performances. Ultimately, he learned to trust director Jean-Marc Vallée regarding his portrayal of the character. He says, “I often left the set feeling like I didn’t get the scene right or I could have done more, but he has a very strong, unique philosophy on filmmaking, so after a while you just kind of trust him.”

More: Chris Messina: I think as an actor, you’re constantly putting yourself out there…”

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