Most aspiring actors based in the boondocks of New Hampshire know they've got a snowball's chance in heck of making it to the big time in TV or movies. Still, Nicholas Purcell has seen his own career, starting with a lead role in the Pittsfield Players "Send in the Clowns," snowball into success as a model and actor, all while commuting to NYC or LA from his home in Concord. His manager, Kathleen Longsderff of N.E. Models Group, knew he had something special when she sent him to an acting conference where he was quickly "discovered."
Now he's about to fight bigfoots and mythical monsters as Jake Collins in the new Nickelodeon TV pilot "The Troop." It's the kind of break that could put his mug on glossy Tiger Beat Magazine covers alongside the Jonas Brothers, but friends know Purcell's boy-next-door demeanor is the real thing.
You've been modeling and acting for a while. Where are readers most likely to have seen you?
There's one Campbell's soup commercial where I'm eating a chicken casserole and smiling a lot. It's been running for more than a year now. I'm in a "Law & Order" episode with Chris Noth, Mr. Big from "Sex and the City," and he's interviewing me. I'm part of this group of sperm donor children, all with different mothers. Our father is a suspect in a murder investigation.
Is there any advantage to living here and working in NYC?
No, not really. I'll get a call for an audition and need to be there tomorrow at 4:45. I have to come home the very same day. Sometimes I'll get a call while I'm on the train home about another audition for the next day.
Dish on some of the stars and famous people you've worked with.
I'm in a scene with Bruce Willis in a new sci-fi movie "The Surrogates." He always just makes a beeline to the set and is very driven by exactly what he has to get done. He's probably a lot more personable off the set. On the other hand, I met Jimmy Fallon on the set for the movie "Fever Pitch." Jimmy is always trying to make people laugh. He's not someone you'd be nervous to go up and introduce yourself to.
What's the most glamorous moment so far in your acting career?
I was still in high school when the Law & Order episode aired and a kid might come up to me and say, "Hey, didn't I see you on TV last night?" And it wasn't a friend of mine or anything. It sort of hits you in small doses like that, or I'd go into Walmart and have someone recognize me.
What's the most awkward moment?
I try not to swear around people but while filming with Chris Noth, I messed up a line and I said, "Oh, frik." Chris said, "Frik? What the heck is frik?" Everyone started laughing. I've said that ever since.
This article appears in the February 2009 issue of New Hampshire Magazine