'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' Breakout Star Chance Perdomo Teases What's Next for Ambrose
[Warning: The below contains spoilers for the first season of Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.]
Raise your hand if you spent the weekend binge-watching Netflix’s new spooky series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina!
The show is compulsively watchable, treading a line between scary and sweet with a little more depth than your average teen drama. Among the great cast is a new face who definitely steals the spotlight in every scene he appears. English actor Chance Perdomo plays Ambrose Spellman, Sabrina’s cousin on house arrest, who both encourages and warns Sabrina about some of her more farfetched ideas.
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'One moment you’re laughing, next you’re scared and then you’re crying,' she teased.
Perdomo took a few minutes from filming the second season to chat with TV Insider about his character, his background, and even hinted what viewers can expect from next season.
What do you love most about your character?
Chance Perdomo: I love his duality. He is a very old soul in a very young man's body. So that's very fun to play, and interesting from an actor's standpoint, to feel where has he been, what has he done in his life, and what's carried his troubles forward. You have his deep warmth and love, especially for his family. He has a very kind and open heart, he has a very, very kind soul. But at the same time, he can be quite malicious, and he's also quite tortured as a result. I say malicious, but not in the sense of evil; he's malicious in the sense that certain tortured bits about his past have led him to be the man he is today. To try and get a balance between the two is the most challenging, but equally as fun to do.
You’re a new face to most viewers! Where are you from, and what’s been your path to get here?
This is my first acting gig I've done “across the pond,” so to speak. I actually originally was born in Los Angeles. I moved with my mother to North Carolina when I was a baby, so by the time I was 4, we went to Southampton in England. Southampton is so far south that I can get a ferry to France. It really is that far south!
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I've always wanted to be an actor. I said to my mom I wanted to be two things: One of them was be on Barney, and the next was be the first black president of the United States of America. Now, Obama beat me to that one, but there's always the second or third — we'll see how it goes.
I grew up, I went to school, and I tried to learn as much as possible. I started my law degree when I got my first acting role and I took a leap of faith, and dropped my law degree in favor of the acting. It went well, and then I didn't get a single role for about a year-and-a-half. Radio silence. But I stuck it out, I started selling shoes in the mall, I started working at the cinema — the movie theater — and just trying to get enough money to be able to go to London. I had to help my way by babysitting my little brother, my youngest brother, who was just born at the time. My philosophy is very much "right time, right place." If you're always working hard to be in the right place, then it's only a matter of time.
I [moved to London and] joined the National Youth Theater. We did a show that got canceled and, in exchange for it being canceled, they said, "Well, we'll showcase you to all our industry friends and family," and that's where I got discovered. Fast forward, I'm sitting here three months after moving to London and I found out I'm moving to Vancouver [to shoot Sabrina].
Was there an episode of the show that was your favorite to shoot?
My favorite to shoot is a tie between Episode 7 and the pilot, mainly because how invigorating, how much of a rush, when you show up the first day. It's terrifying, petrifying and I love having that pressure. I thrive in moments of pressure, I really feel alive. So I would say Episode 1 with the great Lee Krieger, who actually directed one of my favorite movies, The Age of Adaline. Or Episode 7, where the witch orgy takes place.
When we last see Ambrose in the season finale, he's standing in a circle of men surrounding Father Blackwood and chanting around the new baby. He seems pretty uncomfortable. What is Ambrose thinking in that moment?
He's upset. It’s another question to Ambrose — who am I in this new world? How is the past coming back to haunt me? Because Ambrose very much looks for a father figure in his life, one of his main gripes is that he's so trusting of these powerful men because he's finding a powerful father figure. I can't tell you why, because that's part of his past that comes out to play later on. But what he's thinking about is where he is now and he's also thinking about how this relates to the Spellman family. He's scoping it out, keeping his eyes open, so to speak.
Look out for homages to 'The Exorcist' and 'The Monkey's Paw' tale.
Speaking of next season, can you dish anything?
It gets very witchy, shall we say. You might not know who you can trust.
Do you have any good behind-the-scenes stories about your amazing cast?
Yeah! We have this one time where I was sitting in my trailer and I think I was having kind of a rough day. I'm listening to jazz and kicking back, and one cast member would come in and then another cast member would come in. I go back to sleep and when I wake up again there's all of us kids crowded into this trailer taking naps, listening to 1940s jazz. It was a beautiful moment.
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