Chris Gorham talks responsibility of playing blind CIA agent on 'Covert Affairs' [Video]
Portraying a blind man on primetime television would be a daunting prospect for most actors, but Chris Gorham has embraced the role of Auggie Anderson on USA Network's hit spy drama "Covert Affairs."
Anderson is a CIA military intelligence operative who lost his sight after sustaining injuries while serving as a Special Forces commando during the war in Iraq. "It's a tricky thing to do, and it's also something that is very important that you do right" says Gorham, explaining how he began working with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) before shooting of the pilot began in Toronto, and has been working with the CNIB ever since, to bring as realistic a portrayal to the screen as possible.
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However, there is much more to Auggie than being blind. Gorham explains that in bringing this character to life, there has been a real effort to strike the right balance between what he is good at, like his athletic ability and technical skills in the field, and some of the more negative sides of Auggie, so that he "stays as real a person as a fictional character can be."
"Covert Affairs" finished its second season in December last year to record ratings, and a third season is on the way this summer. One of the keys to the show's success to date is the undeniable chemistry between him and leading lady and recent Golden Globe nominee Piper Perabo, who plays CIA field operative Annie Walker. Gorham attributes the spark between them to "the fact that we approach our work in a similar way. We both take what we do very seriously and work really hard at it, but neither one of us takes ourselves particularly seriously" laughs Gorham, adding that "we're able to have fun and keep things loose."
Talking with Gold Derby about the show and his highlight episodes from season two, Gorham agrees that the episode entitled "Half a World Away" is his best showcase, where Auggie, vacationing in Istanbul, is forced to relive the traumatic events in Iraq that led to him being brutally blinded. "You get to see what kind of soldier he was and what kind of man he was before he had his accident."