Chris Chalk, 2001 UNCG graduate, and Michael Flannery, assistant professor in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, were interviewed by the News & Record regarding Chalk’s role in the Oscar-winning movie, “12 Years a Slave.”

Chalk said via e-mail that working on the film was “an incredible experience” and that “‘12 Years’ is the kind of work we as artists set out to do.”

“Though the subject matter and each day’s work was challenging, it is so necessary,” Chalk said. “Any hard day we had was nothing compared to the people in the story we were creating. We got to go home and take off makeup and costumes — they did not. It is an honor to work with such incredible artists — the cast, crew, director, producers — that are willing to risk everything to tell such important stories in an honest way.”

Not a stranger to the big leagues, Chalk’s acting resume includes roles in TV shows “Homeland” and “The Newsroom,” amongst others. In 2010, he won a Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut in the revival of August Wilson’s drama “Fences,” which starred Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. He just recently finished filming the movie “Lila & Eve,” starring Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez.

While at UNCG, Chalk played roles as diverse as the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood” and the Virgin Mary in “The Bible: The Complete Word of God.” He also showed his range in comedies “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Sport;” in musicals “Hair” and “The Rocky Horror Show;” and in dramas “The Perfect Party” and “dragonflies.” He returns to UNCG on occasion to conduct master classes and speak with students.

UNCG theater professor Michael Flannery — who as a UNCG graduate student was a cast mate of Chalk’s and later taught him in a class — said that Chalk was “such a vital part of the theater department when he was in school.” He also mentioned that, in the years since, “[Chalk]’s been a great friend to the school.”