Movie Article

You May Recognize Chris Messina From...Almost Everything

''I'm sorry you've had to see me so many times,'' says Chris Messina, 38, who has eight film or TV projects this year. (You may also know him from ''Six Feet Under,'' ''Julie & Julia,'' and ''Vicky Cristina Barcelona.'') ''It's been one of those years you dream of when you're struggling in your studio apartment with two roommates, taking acting classes, and wondering if you'll ever work.'' Here's our guide to Messina Madness.

Argo

What's it like to get a call from Ben Affleck, asking you to play a CIA operative in his movie about the Iran hostage crisis? ''It's a very nice feeling,'' he says. ''I was thrilled. It was also educational for me because one day I aspire to direct. Ben was very open and kind to me — he'd invite me to come to the monitor and watch what we shot.'' (Out Oct. 12)

The Mindy Project

On Mindy Kaling's new series about an ob-gyn practice, Messina plays ''Danny Castellano, a man who considers himself the best gynecologist in the office,'' the actor says. ''I have a combative relationship with Mindy — we have a love/hate thing. I've been enjoying it — the writing is incredible. It's very funny, but it also has a huge heart. There's a lot of layers you don't often see in a sitcom.'' (Debuts Sept. 25 on Fox)

Celeste and Jesse Forever

''I had worked with Rashida before on Monogamy and really loved it,'' says Messina of the 2010 indie he and Rashida Jones costarred in. In this one, he plays a yoga devotee who attempts to woo Jones' character. ''My girlfriend, Jennifer Todd, produced Celeste and Jesse and is old friends with [Jones and co-writer Will McCormack]. They wrote this part for me.'' (Now in theaters)

Ruby Sparks

''I met Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan through a mutual friend and we started to hang out a little bit,'' he says. ''I read the script that Zoe wrote and was blown away.'' (Now in theaters)

Damages

This season, Messina reprises his role as Chris Sanchez, a PTSD-suffering soldier who gets drawn back into Patty Hewes' (Glenn Close) web. (Season finale airs Sept. 12 on DirecTV)

The Newsroom

''It's a nerve-racking set to be on because everyone on it is so good and the dialogue is incredibly difficult. My goal really was not to f--- it up,'' he says. He must not have: Aaron Sorkin told him he'll be back as the snaky network suit Reese Lansing for season 2. (Now on HBO)

The Giant Mechanical Man

In this romantic comedy released in April, Messina stars as a street performer who wins the affections of a zoo worker (Jenna Fischer). (Now on DVD and iTunes)

The Trouble with Bliss

In theaters this past March, the offbeat dramedy features Messina as the showy pal of a guy (Michael C. Hall) whose life is unraveling. (Now on DVD and iTunes)

Originally posted Sep 07, 2012 Published in issue #1224-1225 Sep 21, 2012 Order article reprints
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