Murray pops up in gritty 'Fruitvale' cameo at Cannes

05:00 AM, May 20, 2013

Chad Michael Murray, shown at a 2011 book signing for his graphic novel 'Everlast,' plays a cop in 'Fruitvale Station.' Harry Scull Jr, AP/


Written By by Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY

CANNES, France — Surprising cameo roles are nothing new to the Cannes Film Festival. One of 2013’s finest is Chad Michael Murray playing a small yet pivotal and tragic role in the gritty Fruitvale Station.

The film stars Michael B. Jordan in the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old California Bay Area resident who had a lethal run-in with transit police on New Year’s Day 2008.

Murray portrays the cop who sends the story into the tragic realm.

First-time director Ryan Coogler says that Octavia Spencer, who is a star and producer for the project, helped bring on the One Tree Hill actor known to his legion of fans as Lucas Scott.

It’s funny. I wasn’t familiar with Chad’s work in television,” says Coogler. “But when we had the opportunity to cast him in the role we took it.”

It helped me that I didn’t see his shows, that I didn’t know the light that he was known in,” Coogler adds. “We started at square one.”

Coogler says it’s a tough role to step into.

He had as many qualms as any other actor playing that part,” says Coogler. “It wasn’t an easy role for him. And it wasn’t an easy role for me to direct, either. But we attacked it.”

Coogler notes that the transit officer portrayed did not look much like the male model Murray.

The actual cop looked different,” says Coogler. “We cast against that for the cop. But (Chad) did a good job with it.”