Interview with CHRISTIAN OLIVER | Joy is my Indicator that I am on the Right Path
Life wants to express itself through us. There is a big difference in the outcome when it comes to acting through a joyful inspiration or merely because we have to do things. Both can work, but the amount of joy we put during the process will make a difference in our emotional journey towards fulfilling the desire we aim to manifest. As we accomplish that which we want, we always want something more, a new desire will be always born within ourselves, it’s our natural human evolution. For that, when we first tap into the emotional beingness we want to become and then act, our life will be filled with physical evidence of that which we want to exteriorize.
Actor and producer Christina Oliver, who can be seen as a Viennese prince on Ion’s romantic TV movie Best Christmas Ball Ever, says, “We all have our bad days and that’s ok, but life is too short to be miserable all the time. And to experience “joy” in what you are doing is the number one indicator for knowing, you are on the right path.”
In the following interview with Christian, you will tap into his co-creative process during the making of Best Christmas Ball Ever TV movie, as well as his passion and love for everything he does.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Christian Oliver?
Hi! I am Christian Oliver. I am an actor and producer, and that´s why I get interviewed. But I am also a husband, a father of two beautiful daughters and hopefully a good friend. I was born in Germany, but I fell in love with the US as an exchange student and moved to the States the day after I finished school. I am also a sushi-lover, soccer fanatic that loves to spend most of his free time outdoors.
- Originally from Germany, you are currently an American Citizen and lived in the US for most of your life. How does being exposed to two different cultures have shaped your sense of self?
I feel very lucky to have the ability to live the best of both worlds. I love living in the US, both my daughters were born here and are two real ‘California Girls.’ We do spend each summer in Europe though, so they also get a sense of different cultures and their heritage. We still celebrate Christmas ‘the German way’ on December 24th. But we also get together with our friends in LA on the 25th and celebrate the ‘American way.’ It is so important to respect and get to know other traditions and beliefs. At this point, I feel more as a citizen of the World. In the end, we are all pretty much the same. When you allow yourself to really get to know people, you realize our differences aren’t that big at all. I feel moving to the US really opened my eyes to that fact.
- You have been acting from a very young age. How does being part of the entertainment industry has influenced your personal growth?
I acted in school, but it was just a hobby. I really started working as an actor after I moved to LA. It wasn’t always easy of course. There is a lot of rejection and at first, you take it personally, when you don’t get the job or the casting director is more interested in eating his lunch, than watching you do your audition. When you are young, this can really throw you off and it makes you question yourself. I think being an actor for such a long time has really taught me, that these things don’t really matter in the end. You can’t get caught up in the ‘Hollywood Circus’ or it will screw with your self-esteem. You have to surround yourself with good people, friends, and family. If you have a ‘social safety net,’ you can deal with everything else. And I am not talking about likes or followers (smiling).
- The entertainment industry, like any other professional field, is considered very competitive; there are talented performers who thrive and others who do not. In your own experience, how does self-belief shape the likelihood of success?
It’s a tricky business. When you come to an audition, you see twenty other guys who pretty much look like you. And even if you have practiced the hardest and want the job the most and your audition is spot on, there is no guarantee, you’ll get the job. Because in the end, you might be two inches too tall for the part, or your nose is too big or whatever. Things you can’t control. So it is very important to understand that being rejected as an actor probably has nothing to do with you as a person. Once you have learned that, it’s easier to believe in yourself and your work. And that is one of the most important things, in Hollywood and in life in general. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else? So yes, you do need good self-belief to make it in the long run.
- On Ion’s romantic TV movie Best Christmas Ball Ever, you portray a Viennese prince who falls in love with an American girl who is visiting Vienna for Christmas with her brother. How did you get the role and what did you love the most of being part of this project?
I have worked with the production company and the director before and they called me and offered me the job while I was on summer vacation with my family near the Baltic Sea in Germany. I have never done a Christmas movie before and I really liked the idea. But I was a little hesitant because this guy I am playing is supposed to be one of Vienna´s best ballroom dancers. But I agreed anyway, flew my whole family to Vienna and started dance classes the next day. We had the best time in Austria. The cast and crew was amazing and it´s such a beautiful city. On workdays, I was wearing winter coats and gloves, and on my days off, I swam in the Danube River and enjoyed the sun. A little surreal, but super fun.
- Vienna is famous for its Holiday Balls and Viennese Waltz. Did you do a lot of dancing for this TV movie?
Oh yes. My feet are still not fully recovered (laughing). I had dance classes pretty much every day. My teachers were amazing and very patient with me. They are all dancers on Dancing With The Stars Austria and somehow managed to teach me the famous Waltz in a couple of weeks. It wasn´t easy though. Don’t tell anyone, but they had to use duct tape the first week, just to get my posture right.
- From Executive producer Jordan Peele, on Amazon series Hunters, stated to premiere in 2020, you portray The Wolf. How would you describe your character and your emotional journey during the process of becoming him?
I am so excited for this show to air. I am sure people will love it, lots of twists and turns. The problem is until it airs, I am not allowed to talk about my character.
- You are currently starring in as Ronald Baumgarner and co-produced the thriller Animal Among Us. How was your experience to do both, acting and overseeing the entire project at the same time?
I love doing small independent movies. You are part of the process from beginning to end. Yes, it is a lot of work to produce and act at the same time and there are days where you go nuts. But on those small sets, everyone is rooting for each other. You become really tight with cast and crew and the support among each other is one of the best parts of it. I have produced a couple of other movies, that I also starred in. There is always a point during the process where you tell yourself “never again” and once you are done, you can’t wait to hop on the next one.
- What other exciting projects are you currently working on?
I have a couple of movies in development. And I am also executive producing a movie called Wrong Turn which I am very excited about. It will hopefully be released in 2020.
- Are you involved with any other charity organization or humanitarian causes you would like to mention?
I am a co-founder of Viva con Agua California. It´s an amazing non-profit, founded in Germany in 2005. Viva von Agua is committed to ensuring that all people worldwide have access to clean drinking water. Among other amazing projects, they build wells in Uganda, Ethiopia, India… and by doing so, they have provided over three million people with clean drinking water.
Many years ago, I got also involved with Kelly and Sharon Stone’s charity Planet Hope. Planet Hope helps homeless, abused and terminally ill children living in shelters and safe houses. They do amazing things. Just last weekend, my family and I and other volunteers wrapped hundreds of Christmas toys for the Kids in LA’s shelters. We do this every year and it is always a very humbling experience.
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?
I think, joy really is infectious. If you love what you are doing and have joy doing it, other people will feel it, too. If you don’t experience joy for a longer period of time, you need to pause, take a step back and figure out what you need to change. We all have our bad days and that’s ok, but life is too short to be miserable all the time. And to experience “joy” in what you are doing is the number one indicator for knowing, you are on the right path.
- When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words from the Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?
I think, it’s very true and it is something I try to teach and tell my daughters every day. Of course, for some people, this is harder than for others, especially when it comes to the “have anything” part. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and a lot of things are wrong with our society. But it still is true, “You can be, do and have anything you want” if you don’t give up. I really hope that everyone out there has at least one person in their lives that keeps reminding them.