During a conversation at SCAD aTV Fest, the actor opened up about his unorthodox route into acting and how much he learned on the set of Gilmore Girls.

By Ruth Kinane
February 27, 2020 at 05:19 PM EST
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The Resident (TV series)

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Just call Matt Czuchry Mr. Charleston from now on!

On Thursday, Czuchry was awarded the Maverick award during the first day of 2020 SCAD aTV Fest. The Resident star started his speech with a Kobe Bryant quote. "It’s not the destination, its the journey," the famous quote said in part. "And if you guys can understand that, then what you’ll see happen is that you won’t accomplish your dreams. Your dreams won’t come true, something greater will.”

For Czuchry, as he explained to the audience, the dream was to have jobs like those he has landed over the years — Gilmore Girls, The Good Wife, and The Resident. But, he continued, "Experiences... that is the currency. That’s greater than the dream."

After an advanced screening of next week's episode of The Resident (and OMG, let's just say you do NOT wanna miss the final moment!), the actor sat down with EW to talk about all the career decisions that led him to the set of the Fox medical drama. Back in his college days, after realizing that his double major in history and political science wasn't the right course for him, Czuchry entered a Mr. Charleston pageant at the College of Charleston — but he had deeper intentions than just confirming his own good looks. "I was in this Mr. College of Charleston thing that was a charity event for the school and I was backstage and I saw that as part of that you could win acting classes," he explains. "We were all joking around but I saw on this piece of paper "Win acting classes," and, truly — I don't know if you've had these moments in your life — but I knew it was very, very important moment for me. I knew it was going to make a difference in my life. It was just crystal clear in my head." Needless to say, he won the competition (natch) and starting acting in earnest.

Cut to a few years later and, a still reasonably inexperienced, Czuchry found himself being put through his paces on the set of Gilmore Girls. "I worked on that for three seasons so that was my first extended period of time of a job," he said. "So that was really a training ground for me. Studying the craft and the technique of the craft is a big part of the job and, for me, with Gilmore Girls, I needed a lot of help. Thankfully the crew was very generous to me in terms of teaching me and I was open to learning. That was a big piece of my learning process."

Though most people assume it was The WB/CW show that gave Czuchry his break, he actually had a turn on canceled-too-soon, Paul-Feig created series Freaks and Geeks before heading to Stars Hollow. Czuchry gets why people aren't aware of every step in his career, though. "Going back to the Kobe Bryant mention, and to make the comparison with athletes, we see a final performance," he explained. "We see the game but we don't see behind the scenes — in terms of them working on their jump shots constantly, or their free throws...There's so many little steps throughout my career, behind the scenes, that people haven't seen that ultimately get you to a place where you do an episodes of television. One of those pieces was Freaks and Geeks."

The Resident airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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The Resident (TV series)

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