Prof Andy

In September 2004 Kieren went to Wilmington, North Carolina, to guest star in the second season of the WB hit show "One Tree Hill". He plays professor Andy Hargrove, the love interest for Lucas' mother Karen Roe (played by Moira Kelly), who meets him when she goes back to college for a business class.
Initially brought on to appear in only four episodes, Kieren's character quickly became so popular that he not only stayed on for more episodes, Andy even became a New Zealander.
Kieren kindly took the time to answer a few questions about his work on "One Tree Hill".

Tell us about the audition for the part.
I auditioned for One Tree Hill in August 2004. The way things work here is that after the initial audition there tend to be a few callbacks with less and less actors as it goes on. Over a three week period I did something like 3 or 4 callbacks until there was only two of us left. We read two scenes, one was the 1st classroom scene in episode 204 where Andy meets Karen and the other was in episode 205 in which Andy invites Karen to dinner. Fun scenes to play around with. By the time I came to shoot them in Wilmington I knew my lines pretty well!
Something interesting about the audition process was that all of my readings were in American accent, 'cos Andy had been written as an American. It wasn't until the final audition when they found out I was from New Zealand that they asked to hear me read in my own accent as well. Andy from New Zealand was born!

How do you like the development of your character and how much input, if any, did you have on that?
I've found it very interesting where the writers have taken Andy throughout the season. I think they created a character with a lot of layers. The love story with Karen is very sweet and sincere and yet the standoffs with Dan scratch the surface a little bit and show that Andy is no push over. He didn't amass a million dollar fortune at such a young age by accident! I don't have any input with the writers about character development, I get to add my own take on Andy by interpreting their scripts.

If you could be a teacher in real life, is there a subject you would like to teach?
That's easy. I'd teach History. That was my favourite subject at school and I even considered pursuing it for a while there.

How did Andy turn into a Kiwi and when did you find out about that?
I think I got ahead of myself and already answered this one! It came from the final audition when they heard me read in my natural accent. The idea that he was this internet millionaire who had come to teach in Tree Hill after traveling through Nepal amoung other places suggested that he could have been born anywhere. I think that played a part too.

How is working with Moira Kelly?
Moira's awesome. Such a good actress and a really nice person too. She was very welcoming when I arrived, I had dinner with her and her husband very early on and met their two beautiful children. My wife has always had a copy of The Cutting Edge starring Moira and DB Sweeney, so she was sure to tell her that when they met. I respect a lot of the things she's done in her career such as Chaplin and The West Wing, so I learn a lot from her.

How is working with Chad Michael Murray?
Ahh, CMM. The scenes I do with him are really enjoyable because we have become friends off the set and so I feel like there's a naturalness and a rapport between Andy and Lucas as a result of that. I don't feel like we're "acting" too much in them. He's a great guy, a lot of fun. Nicole and I had the pleasure of seeing him get married to the lovely Sophia not too long ago and I went to the House of Wax premiere with the other guy from the show I really hit it off with, Tyler Hilton.

How is working with Paul Johansson? Andy really seems to be the only one who can get under his skin and it looks like you two are enjoying your verbal fencing.
I think that's the storyline I'm enjoying the most, whenever Andy decides it's time to try to reign Dan in. I'm not sure that it's ever going to work, but it's fun to be one of the people who tries! And you're right, at least Andy has the resources and the smarts to at least get under his skin. I've had a few drinks with Paul in real life too, I'm happy to report that we're not out to destroy each other like Andy and Dan! He's a very funny, passionate guy who really wants to make those scenes great. He likes to play around during the takes and test the situation, so you've got to be on top of your game and I like that.

When did you find out that you find out that you would stay on for more than 4 episodes?
I guess by the time my 5th episode came around! My contract in Season 2 was as a Recurring character, which means they check your availability just before they write you in to the next script. They indicated that I would be in at least 4, but after that it was anyone's guess. As the episodes kept rolling on, I kept being written in. I wasn't expecting to do 17 in total, so I'm very grateful. •

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11 June 2005 © kierenhutchison.de

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