Carl Chase has a musician’s soul, eschews pride and embraces the spirit of always endeavouring to do his best and never looking back
His journey began in Liverpool, England, but he’s called Lanzarote home for the last nine years. While his name may not immediately ring a bell, his filmography is undoubtedly impressive. He has graced the silver screen in films such as Jimmy Grimble’s Dream (2000), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), George and the Dragon (2004), Batman (1989), The Island of Severed Heads (1995), The Mummy (1999) and Aliens III (1992). He has also captivated audiences on stage and in television productions, including the 1984 play Lennon, in which he portrayed the Beatles’ George Harrison.
After his military service and eight years as a fireman, which left him with many scars and injuries, Chase sought a different path. He switched to driving taxis and alternated between acting jobs and singing in pubs. One night in 1981, theatre producer Ken Campbell saw him perform and cast him in the role of legendary American singer-songwriter and Country and Hillbilly icon Hank Williams.
“That’s when my career took off. When my parents, who are blind, came to the show my mother didn’t even recognise my voice because my American accent was so thick! Then, more and more people came to see me, leading to opportunities in television, more theatre, and film.” explains Chase, who identifies more as a musician than an actor, distancing himself from the notion of celebrity.
“My heart belongs to the theatre. Cinema is more intimate but not necessarily easier. Like the difference between writing with a pen or a keyboard”. However, he doesn’t have a favourite role or film. “I don’t believe in pride. I’ve always done my best, and that’s good enough for me. I’ve never seen the films I’ve been in. I prefer to remember how it felt to be on set and all the enjoyable moments I experienced. It’s like not wanting to go back to the places where you were happy,” he says. He humbly makes zero song and dance about having worked in Hollywood.
He arrived in Lanzarote one March day nine years ago and has never looked back. “I fell in love with the island,” he says, “the friendly people, the climate and the fact there were so many musicians. Many of them are now my friends and family here. I love getting together, playing guitar and singing. Long divorced, Chase has five daughters and one son, all living in different corners of the globe.