From acting in movies such as Hunger Games and 21 Jump Street, to television shows like Stranger Things and Looking for Alaska, LSU graduate and film teacher Joe Chrest has hardly had a dull career.
“It's pretty non stop," said Chrest. "This is really the first full break where I'm not sure what I'm doing next."
Chrest graduated with a BFA in Directing from Marshall University in West Virginia before continuing on to earn his MFA degree from LSU.
“My first role in film of any real substance was Stephen Soderbergh's King of the Hill," said Chrest. "It kind of changed my career.”
Chrest lived in Los Angeles for 18 years before returning to Baton Rouge where he teaches a film class at the LSU School of Theatre.
“I teach about every other year just because I love being around the classroom," said Chrest. "When I teach a class, whatever I tell my students I'm really telling myself.”
One of his most prominent roles is portraying Ted Wheeler on the Netflix hit series Stranger Things, which Chrest regards as one of his most rewarding roles thus far.
“I almost have to put Stranger Things in there as most rewarding because of the joy it brings people of all ages,” said Chrest.
Chrest also explained how the 80s-themed set along with playing the role of a father in the show makes his role feel less like acting and more of a natural response.
Chrest’s most recent project is Hulu’s Looking For Alaska, which he explained was his most challenging role due to the original book being the renowned author John Green's personal memoir of his early childhood.
“I was essentially playing John's father because Myles is his alter ego,” said Chrest. "I wanted to make sure I portrayed him right so I spent some time talking to John and figuring out what I was going to do to make it as realistic as possible."
Chrest currently resides in Baton Rouge with his wife and two kids where he will continue his acting and teaching career.
Viewers can look forward to seeing Joe Chrest star in a short film titled “Turducken,” which will be available for streaming next year.