Chester Rushing [Interview]

Today I feel very confident in saying that we are interviewing the future of television and film. Inevitably, a new class of actors are going to have to take over young Hollywood, and Chester Rushing is definitely going to be one of the highlights of them all. He has already had some pretty amazing performances in his career, especially on the beloved Netflix Original Series, Stranger Things.

On Stranger Things, Chester is known to be the main bully of the program’s main characters, but my experience with him and the words he shared below, it couldn’t be further from his actual personality. Which is simply further proof that this cat has some pretty amazing acting chops, and is destined to be the next big star, burning even brighter than he already is. He is a multi-faceted human being on top of that! He is an accomplished musician, philanthropist, and so much more!

So with that, I am going to shut up and leave you all with some amazing words from the brilliant Chester Rushing! Enjoy!


When did you first realize that you wanted to play pretend for a living Was it always a passion you had or did you just sort of land in the world of acting?

Honestly, I have always been performing for as long as I can remember. To be able to tap into your imagination and creativity is something powerful that is inside of all of us. I am very fortunate to have grown up in an incredible family that has encouraged me to entertain the world around me and follow my dreams.

I understand you are also an accomplished musician in your own right. Including reaching #2 on the Italian EDM charts! For our readers who are unbeknownst, can you tell us about your life in music?

I remember the exact moment I wanted to take music seriously. YouTube had just launched and I was checking out some videos and clicked on Coldplay’s, “Swallowed in the Sea”. The emotional connection I experienced while watching that video was so intense that it became a turning point in my life. I knew at that moment I wanted to try to recreate that experience for others in my own way so I signed up for my high school Jazz band. Instantly they realized I had absolutely no idea how to read music so they put me in theater class the next day. Music is my great escape and I will always love creating and sharing my music with anyone who wants to listen.

You appeared in several episodes of the runaway success of a show that is Stranger Things, playing Tommy H. How has this experience been for you? What is it like to be a part of one of the biggest television series of our time? What is set life like on a project that fuses so many different genres together?

“Life changing” might be an understatement but seriously, all I can say is life changing. During the first table read the room was full of electricity and everyone fell in love with the story and characters. Being on set was like jumping into a DeLorean and going back in time to some of the classic 80’s movies and shows I grew up watching. We
just wanted people to like the show and honestly no one had any idea that it would become part of pop culture and a global phenomenon. The show has given me the opportunity to connect with so many awesome people of all ages from around the planet and share their passion for the world we created.

It has been well documented that personality wise, you couldn’t be further from the likes of Tommy H, as nobody really should be, haha. It always fascinates me how such nice people can play such mean characters. So what is your process? How to create the mindset of a person like Tommy H.?

GREAT WRITING! I love playing the antagonist and getting the various reactions that come with it. Life gives you plenty of personalities and situations that you encounter everyday to help build a character. It’s always fun and interesting to explore and develop the layers that make a character into a person. You might see a character as mean but, you also need to see the world from their eyes. Tommy
was in a committed relationship, loyal to his friends, and just liked having a good time. The funny thing about playing Tommy is seeing people when I am out and to see them go though the process of elimination in their own heads like, “Who is that guy and where do I know him from?” Then you see it in their eyes and that look when it clicks, the “OHHHH I HATE YOU IN STRANGER THINGS!” look. I always go back to this quote by Gnihsur Retsehc to put it in perspective, “Actors allow themselves to become monsters, so it may inspire others to rise up against them”.

In 2016 you appeared in a brilliantly bizarre film that we have covered here at TWS entitled Cold Moon. I really, really dug this film and it featured two other past guests of the site, Joe Chrest and Laura Cayouette! So how was it making this film? Your character was based around some very dark stuff. How did you enjoy working on a project like this?

Cold Moon will always have a special place in my heart since it was my first real break as a lead in a feature film. A big thank you goes to Brent Caballero for casting me and taking a chance on a kid from a small town. Reading for this movie which was based on the novel Cold Moon Over Babylon by Michael McDowell who created Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas was literally a dream come true. Then when I was on set I stopped dead in my tracks because I heard the iconic voice of Christoper Lloyd, “like REALLY?” Needless to say it was incredible to be around this talented and experienced cast for my first lead role.

Beyond Stranger Things and Cold Moon you have worked quite a bit in the thriller/horror world, to include Don’t Look in the Basement 2 and Jeepers Creepers III. And we love the world of horror around here, so I have to ask…What do you enjoy about working within this genre/ What sets it apart from the other work you have done?

I remember being a kid sitting in my living room with my friends and family watching Steven King’s IT on VHS. I also remember being the only one in the room that was not completely grossed out or frightened. I loved the stories and the costumes as well as all the blood and the overall excitement I got from watching these types of movies. There is nothing like a horror film to elicit a vast range of emotions from an audience around you and I became addicted to the reactions I saw in from the people around me. I knew I wanted to be a part of something that took people on a rollercoaster of emotions. What I love the most is that there is something eerily different about horror and what it creates: that feeling that drives you from the pit of your stomach and the human curiosity that tells us to forever venture into the unknown.

If you were given the opportunity to portray any figure, living or dead, that had a profound impact on American history, who would it be and why?

The Legend Stan Lee… imagine a world without Stan Lee’s imagination. His work gives everyone an escape from reality but also shows us that there is always good in the world and average humans can become superheroes. I was lucky enough to meet Stan on a few occasions while appearing at comic cons and got to sit down and talk with him. He is a very smart guy and a great inspiration to millions of
people. He made Superheroes! What more is there to say?

I read your interview with the Dallas Observer from a couple of years ago, and was very intrigued with your involvement with Brilliant Futures and your work with those on the spectrum. I was wondering if you would care to elaborate on Brilliant Futures specifically? And how can outsiders lend a hand on the organizations efforts?

I started getting involved with the Special Needs program at my high school by playing guitar and making fun videos with them. They will always have a place in my heart and were one of my first musical audiences. I think one of the best things to remember is that the Special Needs community is a strong one that is of full of beautiful, smart, and compassionate people. Spreading awareness and getting involved in your community, at your school, and online is a bigger help than you can imagine.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I have some very exciting stuff coming out this year including an original comedy series on Hulu called All Night but since we are on the subject of horror let’s talk about some movies. Party Crasher is from the producers of A Nightmare on Elm Street and was directed by Brant Sersen. Simply put, it’s the best version of a fraternity party that you could ask for in a horror film. I will also be in Monster Party which was written and directed by Chris Con Hoffmann about a secret dinner party hosted by a serial killer cult for the social elite. What could go wrong? There are a few more things that I am sworn to secrecy about right now but follow me on Instagram @chesterrushing and you will be the first to know.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

The thought of food and honestly I wasn’t hungry before you asked me this… why did you do this to me? I guess I have no choice but to end this interview.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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