Craig Chester

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Craig Chester
Born (1965-11-08) November 8, 1965 (age 49)
West Covina, California, U.S.
Education The American Academy of Dramatic Arts
Occupation Writer, Director, Actor

Craig Chester (born November 8, 1965) is an American actor, writer, and screenwriter.

Early life[edit]

Chester was born in West Covina, California, the son of Cecil, lead singer in the rock band “Whiskey”, and Linda, a homemaker. He moved with his family to Carrollton, Texas at the age of twelve when his father accepted a corporate job with Nestlé. At age fifteen, Chester was diagnosed with the congenital facial deformity Long face syndrome. The condition's most striking symptom is an excessively long lower face height. At eighteen, Chester spent a year undergoing multiple reconstructive surgeries. Chester moved to New York City in 1985, with a new face, to study at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Following graduation, he performed in various stage productions in New York, including a play written by Joanne Woodward who, upon noticing his naturalistic acting style, encouraged Chester to pursue a career in film.

Career[edit]

Chester’s acting debut was in the feature film Swoon, a contemporary re-telling of the infamous Leopold & Loeb murder of Bobby Franks which earned Chester an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actor. Janet Maslin of The New York Times described the film as “dazzling”.[1] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described Swoon as “a great film…haunting and visionary”.[2] Chester went on to act in a string of critically acclaimed independent films.[3] He was openly gay from the inception of his career, rare at that time.

As a result, St. Martin's Press approached Chester to write about his life and experiences. His memoir Why the Long Face?: The Adventures of a Truly Independent Actor was published in 2003 and told the story of his unlikely trajectory from born-again teen with long face syndrome to his facial reconstruction and career in Hollywood. In 2009, Showtime optioned the book with Chester set to adapt it into a television pilot with Don Roos, Dan Bucatinsky and Lisa Kudrow as producers.[4] Publishers Weekly described Why The Long Face as “witty, absorbing” with Chester an “engaging storyteller with a fresh voice”.[5] Kirkus Reviews described Chester’s memoir as an “intriguing midpoint autobiography sure to rouse curiosity about what the next half has in store.” [6]

Chester transitioned into screenwriting with Adam & Steve, which he also directed and starred in with Parker Posey, Chris Kattan and Malcolm Gets.[7][8][9] The film was released on April 24, 2005. Writing for The Village Voice, Melissa Levine described writer-director Chester’s debut as “truly enjoyable”,[10] while Ronnie Scheib of Variety praised his performance: “Chester’s Adam, effortlessly able to slide from bathos to pathos and back again with none of the smarmy schmaltz of sitcom humanism, is a marvel of nuanced comic timing.” [11] Chuck Wilson, writing for LA Weekly described the film as “something certain to make John Waters cackle with glee.” [12] Adam & Steve has since developed a cult following.[citation needed]

Since adapting his book for Showtime, Chester has been writing for television. Chester is currently writing for season seven of the hit HBO series, True Blood.[citation needed] He has developed pilots with NBC and Ryan Seacrest for E! amongst others.[13] On the June 5, 2013 edition of NPR's “Moth Radio Hour”, Chester recounted how he has been haunted by the Academy Award nominated actor, Montgomery Clift, who has been dead for over 40 years.[14]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1992 Swoon Nathan Leopold Jr.
1993 Grief Mark
1994 Out of Darkness Bill TV film
1995 Frisk Henry
1996 I Shot Andy Warhol Fred Hughes
1997 David Searching Mercedes Guy
1997 Kiss Me, Guido Terry
1998 The Misadventures of Margaret Richard Lane
1998 Shucking the Curve Steven
1999 Charlie!
2001 The Anniversary Party Party Guest
2001 Circuit White Party Customer
2001 The Experience Box Ryan
2001 Sex and the City
"Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda"

Hermes Clerk
TV series
2002 Bumping Heads Craig short film, 22 minutes; released in 2003 in Boys Life 4: Four Play
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent
"Phantom"
"Anti-Thesis"

Thor
Derek
TV series
2003 The Look Henrik
2003 Quintessence Thomas short film, 25 minutes
2004 Anonymous Auditor
2004 Out on the Edge writer
2005 Adam & Steve Adam Bernstein actor; writer; director
2007 Save Me writer
2007–2008 The Big Gay Sketch Show writer (9 episodes)
2008 Pedro Counselor
2013 Kill Your Darlings Businessman

References[edit]

External links[edit]