Chris Vance is recognized in Wholefoods on occasion as “that guy” from the FOX series “Mental” and the Emmy nominated FOX series, “Prison Break”. Though Vance is probably best known for his lead role as Frank Martin in “Transporter: The Series” which aired on TNT and Netflix in the US.
Vance ended up as Executive Producer on the second season of the show and learnt a great deal about complicated business models for financing television productions. To this day he is unsure if that information is just crowding a part of his brain, or whether it will provide a useful grounding to be drawn upon in future opportunities.
Bit of background… Vance was born unto a very loving Irish family and raised in the UK, way before Brexit. He has three siblings. In his teens he signed youth football contracts with “West Bromwich Albion” and “Bristol Rovers'” donned his skimpy shorts and tromped his way around more muddy pitches in mid-winter than he should have, given his present state of enlightenment.
Vance graduated from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with an honors degree in Civil Engineering, passing tests that he probably couldn’t pass anymore, and yet he is generally more proud of a blurry recollection that he played for an England Students football team somewhere along the way.
Vance embarked on his acting career at age 25, and was breathtakingly awful in his first role, that of “Paris” in a production of “Romeo & Juliet” in Oxford. When he wasn’t engaged in delivering lines that one can count on one hand he was firmly committed to moving furniture around the stage for other actors to sit on. Thus was his debut. If he knew then what he does now, he might surely have questioned his efforts, but the draw of storytelling in all its forms draws a deep cut in Vance, thus to this day he still persists…
Next up, chronologically at least, Vance firmly, wholeheartedly and most passionately butchered numerous roles on the London Fringe and in small Reparatory Theatres, grasping experience where it was badly needed. During this time he also launched his own theatre company, writing, directing and producing plays. Fond note: The company was funded, for the most part; by him selling anything and everything that could be considered as personal possessions, in compensation for the dire lack of appropriate bums on the theatre’s seats.
Vance’s efforts, or solid determination, were rewarded with him landing his first real gig at the Royal National Theatre in a touring version of the play “Closer.” After treading the back-stages of Europe and Russia for several months, Vance returned to London for a role in the play “Speer,” by David Edgar, once again at the National Theatre, under the ever-treasured guidance of Sir Trevor Nunn.
Good times… but not enough for Vance, who ventured further thus…
He made his British television debut in a show called Kavanagh QC. Such was his bearing on the industry at the time, that Vance was more than enthusiastic when called upon to appear bollock naked for a less than critical on-liner in the story. To clear up any misunderstanding, Vance was keen to work, but not keen to liberate his tackle on a “cold” London set, which he has since learnt through experience, should have been a “closed” set. But no harm done… the leading actress, the grips, the gaffers, camera, lighting, the make-up ladies, and the caterers got more than they bargained for in his humble opinion.
When he wised up about the nudity thing, Vance also made guest appearances in the British television shows “Peak Practice”, “The Bill”, “Doctors” and “Family Affairs”.
At about age 30 Vance moved to Australia and performed in several television series there, including “Stingers”, “Blue Heelers” and “The Secret Life of Us”. His first series-regular role in TV was Dr. Sean Everleigh in the medical drama/soap “All Saints”, in which Vance performed from 2005 to 2007.
Somewhere around then Vance also relished a small role in the feature “Macbeth”, directed by the very talented Jeffery Wright.
In 2007 Vance moved to the U.S. when he booked a regular role in the third and forth seasons of the (afore mentioned) hit TV series “Prison Break”, for 20th Century Fox in which he played James Whistler within a cast of peers who outdid him entirely.
The following year, Vance landed his first leading role in TV, playing Dr. Jack Gallagher in “Mental”, for Fox: And yes, it was filmed in Bogota Columbia, which regrettably did not help improve Vance’s proficiency in the Spanish language, but did provide him with enough antibodies to withstand any shooting conditions, in any location, for the remainder of his days.
While in between leading roles, Vance also guest-starred on “Fairly Legal”, “Burn Notice”, “Dexter”, and “Rizzoli and Isles”.
In 2011 Vance was approached to play Frank Martin in the television series based on the Transporter films created by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. Not one to turn down a challenge, especially one filled with fast cars, pretty women and snappy one-liners, Vance embarked on the adventure and brought his own take on the character of Frank to the fast-paced action series.
Vance still has a good few scars to prove it, as he performed all his own fight/stunt scenes during the show: A valiant effort, let it be said, but true humility was to be gained in appreciating the talents of some of the best stunt guys in the world who were employed on the show; their passion, commitment and experience.
Vance finished work on the series early in 2015 and subsequently pursued his passion for writing, while performing modest but fun roles on the shows “Supergirl” and “Hawaii 5-O”.
Vance is remarkably and fortunately in love with a beautiful girl who is surely better by half than himself, happily married, and looking forward to future challenges as an actor of humble merit in an exciting, expansive and increasingly inclusive world.
In addition, Vance is in development with a television series of his own creation, with a bunch of very talented people that know more about getting it done than he does…
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