Fans of NBC’s Chicago Fire know Christian Stolte as firefighter Randall “Mouch” McHolland, but this week the actor uses his coolness in a different capacity when he joins the web series Boyband as Dennis “Damn Straight” Stevens.
Before his episode premieres on Tuesday, Starpulse spoke to Christian about his new character, if people like Dennis are actually out there, and how being in a comedy isn’t as much of a reach for him as you might think.
“Off camera in my personal life, I live for comedy,” he told us. “It’s basically my religion. I love stand-up specifically but I love sketch comedy and improv. It’s my favorite thing.
“I’ll say the group of people I’m working with on [Chicago Fire] are easily the funniest group of people I’ve worked with,” he continued. “You wouldn’t necessarily know that because our show isn’t really putting that on display, not frequently anyway.
“In these tiny little glimpses you see a little bit of it, you see the relationships we have. But these guys are just drop dead funny day in and day out. It’s a pleasure to be able to bring some of that in front of the camera.”
He’s one of several Chicago Fire actors who also appear in Boyband, including Yuri Sardarov, Joe Minoso, David Eigenberg, Randy Flagler and LaRoyce Hawkins. Working with his friends only added to the appeal of the project. “It really made it so easy to want to jump into it,” he said. “I was eager to be a part of that.”
If you missed some of the past cameos, they’re here in episode three:
All of the Chicago actors play characters who are these seemingly larger than life people who each have designs on the members of the boy band, whether they’re a stylist or a nutritionist or whatever else they think they know better. But as Christian told us, they’re not that far removed from the actual industry.
“These characters that seem too out there to be real are in fact real,” he said. “This business makes room for people like that and so it’s really almost impossible to parody it. You’ve got a pretty wide margin in terms of the spectrum of human behavior and [how you can] play with it and still be believable.”
In fact, the entire world of Boyband isn’t that foreign to Christian, who is quite musically inclined. “I play guitar and I sing,” he told us. “Truck 81, the various incarnations of truck 81, it’s always a very musical experience. Someone will just break into song and suddenly four other voices are joining them. That happens all the time. I can be drawn pretty much into anything; if I know the words, I’m in.”
He was also impressed by the five young actors who make up the fictional band that Dennis tries to corral. “When i saw the pilot, before I really met the guys in Boyband, I thought these guys have some chemistry there for sure,” he recalled.
“Then when I met them and sort of saw them interacting, it reminded me very fondly of when the guys on Chicago Fire first started working together.There was just that instant spark – it went in no particular direction, there were no little pockets, it was just everybody with everybody. We all hit it off. I’d never seen anything like it.
“The guys on Boyband, who are strangely mature for their age, had the same,” he concluded. “These guys are pretty composed for their age but they relate pretty quickly and readily with each other. I said, I kind of want to see this go awhile. I’d like to see where they go and mature a little together. I’m still hoping that’s the case.”
Christian Stolte’s episode of Boyband premieres Tuesday, Mar. 15 on YouTube.