On Jan. 28, Netflix dropped the spy-thriller series In From the Cold. Diving into the story of a Russian spy turned single mom living in America, Jenny (Margarita Levieva) must confront her past as the product of a highly-classified KGB experiment. She re-enters the spy world after the CIA tracks her down, at which point hacker extraordinaire Chris, played by Charles Brice, becomes her eyes and ears. Following In From the Cold’s premiere, LA Confidential caught up with Brice to talk more about thrillers, taking on the role of a CIA hacker and his other upcoming projects.
Before we dive into all your great projects, let’s look back a bit. What inspired you to become an actor?
My mom was an actress for a short while in her younger days. She was initially pretty apprehensive when I said I wanted to pursue acting, though, once she saw how dedicated I was she became very supportive. I've always been an artist. Before I was an actor I was studying visual art. Learning and mastering the craft has always been the driving force in my pursuit of creating art whether I am acting or painting. However, there is an element of catharsis and transformation that is very distinctive to performing.
We hear you are a fan of the crime/thriller/ horror genre. What captivates you about this kind of storytelling?
I think what I notice in these types of genres (when the project is good) is that there are so many elements at play beyond just the horror/ thriller aspect. When the storytelling is good and you are invested in the characters in a dramatic or comedic sense and then you add the element of horror, it's like the cherry on top of a sundae. The fear of rooting for the survival of a protagonist or the thrill of rooting for the downfall of an antagonist now has stakes that are sky high and everything becomes more intrinsically complicated.
Let’s get into In From the Cold. How would you describe your character, Chris?
I would describe Chris as intelligent and sensitive, yet strong and formidable. Audiences will enjoy Chris's genuine reactions in extraordinary situations and his ability to bring levity to otherwise grave circumstances. His moral compass never really falters and he has no problem taking Chauncey to task, especially when it involves Jenny.
We can imagine that playing the role of a CIA hacker took some research. What preparation did you do to be ready to play someone with that level of intelligence and tech expertise?
My first day on set I asked props to bring me all of the gadgets that Chris uses in the show so that I could get a feel for handling them and explaining how they worked. Some of the gadgets required very elaborate explanations or demonstrations of their use and it was very important to me that the audience felt like Chris does this often and with ease.
Overall, what do you think audiences will enjoy most about In From the Cold?
It's filled with pulse pounding action, but then heaps of heart to keep you invested in the relationships on screen. It's a bingeable show with cliffhangers that make it impossible not to watch until the very end.
The Survivor comes out later this spring. What was it like to play Coley Wallace?
I really had to dig to find information on Coley because there wasn't much information out there that delved into his personal life. Still, I was able to find just enough to create a performance I felt was very truthful. He is the sparring partner and friend of Harry Haft (Ben Foster) when he comes to the United States to train for his big fight. I trained intensely in boxing for a year in preparation for the role. Still, it was a challenge because the way people boxed during that time period was very different from our modern day style— very flat footed and not so flashy or swift. It was a bit of a learning curve that I learned to adjust to.
What other projects are you working on that you’re excited about?
I'm currently shooting a recurring role in season three of City On a Hill. I play Louie Ward, an NYPD police sergeant who is the older brother of main character Decourcy Ward’s (Aldis Hodge). The new season will premiere on Showtime soon.
This interview has been edited.
Photography by: Christopher Fenimore