NOC Interview: Cody Christian on The CW’s ‘All American’

Cody Christian portrays Asher in All American, which is currently on season 3 and has already been renewed for a season 4. New episodes air Mondays from 8PM ET on The CW. He is best known for his roles in both Teen Wolf and Pretty Little Liars.

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All American follows talented high school football star Spencer James as he goes from breakout player at South Crenshaw High to state champion at Beverly Hills High. Everything in his life is changing and evolving in ways he never imagined and after a tough year, Spencer makes the decision to return to South Crenshaw High for his senior year. With Billy Baker by his side as the new head coach, their plan is to bring home a football championship to save the school. Now in season 3, the stakes of the Beverly/Crenshaw rivalry are at an all-time high, becoming very personal now that it’s friend versus friend and father versus son. Senior year is bound to be very complicated and secret-filled at both schools for all of our favorite characters.

I got to ask the actor about what’s next for his character, what he hopes audiences learn from the series, how the show represents diversity, which past role he’d like to revisit, how he stays motivated, what other parts of the entertainment industry he wants to try, and more!

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What can you tease about what’s coming up for Asher in the remaining episodes of the season? Any big jaw-dropping moments for him?
Cody Christian: There’s definitely some unexpected things coming his way later this season, some for the best and some for the worst. I can tease that Asher will finally start making decisions about what is best for him and what he truly wants out of his future.

What attracted you to All American originally and how has the show helped you evolve as an actor?
I was interested in the potential development of the character. From season one to mid-season three, Asher has had so many ups and downs, in a way he’s kind of like a wildcard. I was excited to see that journey play out over the course of the series. Additionally, the physical aspect of playing football seemed very exciting. As with any project, the show has provided an abundance of on-set experience, and with this experience, growth is bound to occur.

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What lesson do you hope audiences learn from the show and what has the show taught you?
The show depicts an array of characters in their best/worst light. In a way, it shows what being human looks like. It’s not always pretty and comfortable. My only hope is the audience can see a sliver of themselves in our characters as they seek to discover their own identity. The show has reminded me that life is about the journey and this journey is ultimately what shapes us.

Any fun behind the scenes moments from this season that you can share?
Too many to share. We’re all professional when the cameras are rolling but when they’re not, we’re always joking and goofing off.

What is a normal day of filming like for you? How have all of the COVID precautions affected filming for you?
For the most part, everything is pretty much the same. Prep the scenes ahead of time, show up to work, go through hair/makeup and get dressed, head to set, rehearse the scene, and shoot it. Rinse and repeat throughout the day. There are extra steps and protocols to follow due to COVID such as regular testing, 6 feet distancing at all times, and wearing masks/shields at all times except filming. It’s been a different experience for sure, but our cast and crew have adapted quite well which has allowed us to stay in production.

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What was your reaction when you found out the show was renewed for another season?
Very simply put, grateful. It’s a blessing to be working and to have the opportunity to continue telling these stories. We all know this show isn’t going to last forever so any time we’re granted to prolong the experience is a dream come true.

What does representation in entertainment mean to you and what do you think All American does to support diversity and representation?
Being part of All American is definitely special. Not only is this show not afraid to tackle real-time social issues, it also represents diversity. The title speaks for itself, All American. Our country is made up of people from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexuality and the show brings some of that to life. I think it’s important for our audience to see characters and stories that they can relate to. The show is based on a real person. Although the show is scripted, these stories happen and are very real. So it makes me proud to do whatever I can to help tell these stories.

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If you could revisit any of your past roles, which would you pick and what would you want to explore?
I would like to go back to Theo in Teen Wolf. It was a dynamic role with so many layers and truly quite the experience to embody such a character. Playing a supernatural werewolf is so out of this world, I’d like to go back and continue to explore the environment in which these entities could exist.

What do you consider to be more challenging scenes or storylines and how do you prepare for them?
Any emotionally heavy scene/storyline is always a challenge any actor yearns to take on. As with anything, the preparation is mostly time invested. The more time you spend diving deep/exploring the headspace of the character, the less intimidating these performances become.

How do you stay motivated and positive with everything currently happening in the world?
It has been difficult for sure. I’m far from perfect and I have days in which I feel heavily impacted by the weight of the world. I do my best to remind myself this is all temporary and even if we can’t see it clearly, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Are there any other aspects of the entertainment industry that you want to explore in the future?
Yes! All kinds. I’d like to think my journey through this industry will open many doors to further explore who I am/wish to be. I have my eyes currently set on producing and creating enticing stories to share with the world. Also, have an interest in directing at some point in my life but I have no real timeline for that.

What originally started your interest in acting?
In a way, I stumbled into it. I never had a strong desire to be an entertainer. At first, I wanted to try it because the idea of it sounded fun. But as I began to study the art form, it taught me so much about life and the importance of striving to live in the moment. I learned how powerful/impactful storytelling could be and I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my life.

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What would you consider a dream role and what do you look for in roles?
A dream role for me is anything that demands the most and intimidates me. I wish to transform and have to become a completely different person with a perspective that is foreign to myself. I look for depth and all the nuances under the surface that make the character an individual and unique human being.

What is one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?
I’d tell him to slow down. I’ve spent a lot of time focused on what’s next and in a way, it took away from me truly enjoying what I had in the moment. I’d tell him that everything that is meant to be will find its way to you and that always living in the future creates a past in which you were never present.