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Who's That Babe, Chad Murray, 03.14.01 ...

Name: Chad Michael Murray
Age: 19
Height: 6'
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Status: Single

How you know him: He plays Tristan DuGray on the WB's "Gilmore Girls." Chad has also done some modeling for companies like Skechers, Tommy Hilfiger and Gucci.

Crowded House: Chad comes from a pretty big family, he has three brothers who are 15, 18 and 22, a 14-year-old sister, and a half-brother who's six. Luckily, their father works as an air traffic controller, so he's used to keeping a lot of moving things organized. His younger brother and sister are both interested in acting too.

School Days: Instead of an upscale prep school like the fictional Chilton, Chad attended public school in Buffalo. "It was kinda like a rich school, but I was poor. So it was a lot harder than a regular school would be," says Chad. "You know, everyone else has the coolest clothes and the greatest cars. They would get a beautiful new Lexus for their birthday, and I was driving a 1979 Cougar."

Sports Star: In high school, Chad's focus was football. He played quarterback and receiver on the team, but was sidelined halfway through high school. "Sophomore year I got hit in the stomach playing football, and I was out of school for four months. I was in the hospital for two and then out of school for two." Luckily, Chad eventually recovered and went to state with his team senior year. "It was my life," Chad says of football. He was even planning on playing in college until he decided to move to Los Angeles and pursue acting instead.

Big Break: "I was always an entertainer," says Chad, but his career got a jump-start when he won a scholarship to attend a modeling convention in Orlando. There he met an agent who encouraged him to go to Los Angeles for a week and see what happened. He quickly got a manager, moved to L.A. after graduation (in 1999) and landed the part on "Gilmore Girls."

On-Set Laughs: On the set of "Gilmore Girls," Chad hangs out with Jared Padalecki (who plays Dean) when he can. "If we're working together, we do nothing but screw around. It's really, really immature," says Chad. "When we did the fight scene in one of the episodes, it was a lot of fun because we got to scream at each other, and we weren't really worried that we were gonna hit each other. But, sure enough, Jared was getting pulled back by the guys, and he was swinging his arms. And they let go of his arm, and it popped me right in mouth. I had a big ol' fat lip for the rest of the day."

Modeling Myth: According to some web sites, Chad and Alexis Bledel, who plays Rory, knew each other before they starting working together on "Gilmore Girls," but Chad says that's not true. She's from Houston and modeled in New York, and Chad's modeling career was based in Los Angeles. "I never knew her until I met her the first day on the show," says Chad.

More time for Tristan?: When asked if Tristan's role on the show will be expanding, Chad says, "Yes! Thank God!" He elaborates, saying, "I just shot two really big episodes. The shows gonna get really interesting, and everybody should definitely watch because its gonna get even better than it has been." Is that possible? I can't wait to find out!

Tristan's troubles: Chad explains what he thinks is going on with his character on "Gilmore Girls" and why he's acting like such a jerk to Rory. "Tristan got everything he always wanted," says Chad. "The way he sees Rory is, 'Well, what the heck's going on here? Why isn't she falling for me?' I think he took it personally." Chad also gives us a hint into the future, saying, "He's learning, and you're gonna see a different side of him."

Free Time Affairs: When he's not filming "Gilmore Girls," Chad often works on his acting skills or hands out with his best friend, J.D. Pardo, who is also an up-and-coming actor "I hang out with him all the time," says Chad. "We just chill at Starbucks and talk about life. Get real deep. The whole guy thing, I don't know what that's all about." [laughs] Chad met J.D. because they both have the same managers. "We just hit it off, it was really cool," says Chad.

Role Model: Chad really wants to reach out to young people. "I want to get to a point in my career where I can be a role model. A good one," explains Chad. "I want to say, 'I got here without drugs, and I got here without drinking or smoking. If I can do it, you can do it. I have no doubt.'" This is something the young actor really cares about. "I really want kids to have a chance in life," he says.

Looking up to Dad: "I idolize my father," says Chad. "I mean, he has worked so hard in his life." When Chad's mother left the family when he was 10 years old, "He stepped up, and he said, 'You know what? I'll take care of what I need to do. I've got responsibilities in life.'" Chad goes on, "He took care of all five of us and raised us well. He would be so tired, and he would help us study to make sure that we got the grades that we wanted. He was never hard on us." Chad is very close to his father, and he says, "the hardest part of moving out here was that he wasn't going to be there every single day."

In the Future:Chad is currently looking for some good roles to work on when he's not shooting "Gilmore Girls." "A period piece is something I really want to do." He thinks it would be a big challenge to tackle a period role, and he wants to prove he can do it.
Credit: Teen Magazine

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