Actor/Musician Christopher Showerman (Radio America, George of the Jungle 2...) joins us on The Matthew Aaron Show Wednesday (6/19) as we broadcast LIVE from Taste Chicago in Burbank starting at 4pm PT.
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CHRISTOPHER SHOWERMAN, born and raised in Michigan, embarked on an acting career after school - he attended Michigan State University, where he majored in music - and moved to Hollywood shortly thereafter. After small roles in several studio feature films, including Starship Troopers (1997) and Best in Show (2002), Showerman was cast in the lead in the independent movie Dumped (2000).
Showerman's big break came in 2003 when he was cast to replace Brendan Fraser as George of the Jungle in Disney's George of the Jungle 2.
A year after Brendan Fraser opted not to reprise his role as George in Disney's George of the Jungle sequel, Disney decided to produce the film for the direct-to-video market. Showerman was asked to play the part of George.
The actor said it was an exciting, but exhausting time.
"The script immediately forgives me for not being Brendan so it takes a lot of that expectation away and hopefully primes the audience to be open to a new George", Showerman said in 2004. "I have seen the first George of the Jungle and I thought Brendan was great, but I was careful not to fall into the trap of trying to emulate another performer. I mostly studied monkeys at the LA Zoo to prepare for this role as George was raised by primates. When I booked George, I had to drop about 10 kilos while maintaining my muscle mass in less than 2 months! The intensity of diet and exercise was at such an excruciating level, I thought I would die. The end justified the means, as I got down to 88 kilos and 3.3% body fat. Whew!"
Showerman met his predecessor at a charity event some months after the movie's completion.
"I was in Las Vegas with our visual effects crew shooting some exteriors and stayed at the same hotel as Brendan while he was working on the new Looney Tunes movie. I wrote him a note telling him how great I thought he was and left it for him at the front desk. Five months later, he showed up to a charity event I was at, came up to me and introduced himself. He said he would have gotten back to me in Vegas, but I didn't leave any contact info! He is a really wonderful man - and even taller than I am!".
Showerman looks back fondly on the experience of playing the cartoon character, despite some criticism that followed.
"I loved the challenge of playing a cartoon. He has to have all of those impossible qualities we expect from such a colorful character, but he must also have an equally vivid emotional life so that we can relate to him and feel what he feels.
I have heard a lot of criticism about how my performance was a rip off of Brendan Fraser’s (Disney’s original George of the Jungle). As much as I love Brendan, most of my preparation was done at the primate house at the zoo. I also spent a lot of time with coaches to make George’s stilted broken English sound organic and alive."
In 2006, Showerman opened his owned production company Shorris Film - their film Radio America is due out this year. The movie, in the spirit of "Once" and "La Bamba", tells of a couple of musicians who make it big. Christopher wrote, produced, directed and co-starred in the movie. He also wrote and performed all the music.
Aside from "George of the Jungle 2" Chris is also known for roles in "The Land that Time Forgot", "Big Game" and "Commander in Chief", all three friends with good friend and actor C.Thomas Howell.