'Good Sam's Eric Hayes was based on a real-life rescue worker's inspiring journey, shares actor Chad Connell
Chad Connell, who plays the role of Eric Hayes, dreamt of becoming a firefighter as a kid and had an old friend help him prep for the role
'Good Sam', Netflix's latest "feel-good" flick is essentially a romantic, ideal whodunit, and revolves partially around the relationship that blossoms between its two main characters, Kate Bradley and Eric Hayes, as the mystery unfolds. Tiya Sircar plays the role of Kate Bradley, a "bummer beat" reporter who is assigned to cover a supposed fluff story about a mysterious good Samaritan who leaves wads of cash on random doorsteps in New York. Eric Hayes is a diligent firefighter in the film, who has his own motivation and finally turns out to be very central to the whole plot, apart from his romantic liaison with Bradley.
Eric Hayes is your formulaic ideal hero for any narrative — selfless, kind and too good to be true. But, as surprising as it may be, the character is based on a real person, "a rescue worker in Los Angeles who flies all over the world to help people in wildfires or earthquakes," said actor Chad Connell in an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW).
Connell said that listening to him talk about his experiences was "so incredible" because "he describes being in a 7.2 aftershock quake in Nepal with more calmness than I would describe having to get up early to get to set."
Connell himself had dreamt of becoming a firefighter as a kid. "When I imagined being a firefighter as a kid, I think it was more about the sirens and trucks," he said, adding that people like Eric "really don’t see themselves as heroes — it was something our writer wanted to get across… that when Eric is rescuing people, he’s just at work, like anyone else." Eric is trying to make amends for his brother's death in the film, by taking it onto himself to save lives and help certain people without revealing his identity. The character seeks to deliver the message that the whole film is based on — that there is good left in the world.
Connell said that an old friend of his whom he "shot a movie with several years ago had left the business to pursue his passion of being a firefighter" was "a great resource for my prep-work". Connell added that his favorite line from the movie is when Kate asks Eric why he didn’t just tell people where the money came from and he says "I thought they'd enjoy more if they weren’t weighed down with where it came from." Eric just knows all the perfect chords to strum, doesn't he?