WEST CORNWALL — Many sons follow in their fathers’ footsteps, taking over a business, going into medicine or law that may have been a family tradition for several generations.
When one’s father is an actor it’s a bit more of a challenge. Breaking into that profession is seldom easy, even with an established actor in the family.
For Myles Clohessy this was not an issue. His father Robert Clohessy is a seasoned actor who has been in many movies such as “The Avengers” and television shows like “Boardwalk Empire,” “Breaking Bad,” and most recently in the popular series “Blue Bloods” as NYPD Lieutenant Sidney Gormley. The younger Clohessy knew what the business was like and still chose it as his profession.
“I knew from a young age that my dad was an actor, but he never forced us to watch his movies and it never occurred to me that it could be a real career for me,” says Clohessy.
“Pretty much my middle and high school years were focused on sports. I played soccer and got a soccer scholarship,” he says.
Clohessy grew up in West Cornwall, where his family still has a home, and attended Housatonic Valley Regional High School.
“I had a fairly typical classic country upbringing,” Clohessy said, “which a lot of kids don’t get to experience. Our school was small and the friends I made there are still in my life and we try to get together every month. I met my wife in high school and we started dating when she was a sophomore and we got married last year.”
Clohessy eventually did turn to acting. He attended the Conservatory of Acting at SUNY Purchase, just as his father had. He also studied at the Drama Center in London. After graduating in 2016, he got an agent. Ironically, his first acting role was in an episode of “Blue Bloods” (although he and his father did not have any scenes together.)
Along with pursuing acting Clohessy has also had a successful career as a model, working primarily with athletic brands such as Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas. But acting has been his major concentration. And it has paid off for him. In addition to “Blue Bloods,” he has appeared on television in “Bull,” “Instinct,” “Quantico,” and “The Blacklist.”
Most of the characters Clohessy plays have a dark side, totally casting against type since he is a gentle, soft-spoken young man.
“I’m not sure why I get cast that way,” he says. “But I like being able to tap into an aspect that is not part of my makeup.”
Clohessy’s movie credits include “Marin Eden,” “Equal Standard,” and “Last Ferry,” which he says is his favorite.
“’Last Ferry’ was shot on Fire Island, with a small cast and crew and I was able to really explore my character.”
Although he has appeared in both television and the movies, Clohessy prefers one over the other.
“Television is so quick you need to memorize all your lines at the beginning, get the essence of the character as soon as possible and understand the arc of the whole story. With film acting I tend to take a month before shooting and delve into the role, training and changing my body if necessary. I keep rereading the script and learn something new every time.”
Currently Clohessy is immersed in a new project — a period drama series called “Glow and Darkness,” a two-season mini series, which depicts the life of St. Francis of Assisi, bringing forth historical figures such as Richard the Lionheart, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Pope Urban II. The stellar cast includes two former James Bond girls — two-time Golden Globe-winner Jane Seymour and Denise Richards, as well as Oscar-nominated actor Bruce Davison.
“My character’s name is Walter of Brienne. He was a count and commander of the English forces in the Third Crusade and Richard The Lionheart’s right hand man. We are shooting in Spain, Italy, and Morocco. I never thought when I was a kid dressing up as a knight and running around my backyard that I’d end up as part of this great cast filming in these exotic places. And I feel so honored to be working with such esteemed actors.”
At the age of 25, Clohessy has mapped out successful careers as a model and an actor and he believes in working hard at his craft.
“Thanks to my dad I have a really positive attitude about acting. He is very relaxed but he has worked so hard and I know how important the work ethic is,” Clohessy says. “I try not to get discouraged. You can go on a thousand auditions and then land that one role that changes everything. Acting is playing pretend and it should be fun for you.”
Keep up with Clohessy on Instagram at www.instagram.com/myleswyattclohessy/