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Chirstopher Darga: The faces of Darga

You might not know his name but you’ve probably seen him

By Ian Thibodeau
On April 4, 2012

  • Darga on set of a Capital One commercial.

 

 

Few people can name one decision that kick-started their career.

Even fewer can tell you that they are truly happy with their job.

But Christopher Darga, a professional actor and graduate of University of Detroit, might be able to tell you both.

"I've never had a bad experience when I'm working," said Darga. "It is such a pleasure to be making a living doing something you

Darga he earned his BFA in acting 1980. He then went to the University of Nebraska to earn his MFA, shortly after which he began his professional career with a detective role in the television show "LA

The detective role came in 1987, but since then Darga has gotten camera time in over 100 titles.

He's had parts in dozens of shows, including "Full House," "Family Matters," "Seinfeld," "ER," "Boy Meets World," "Friends," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Bernie Mac Show," "That '70s Show," "Scrubs," "NCIS" and many more.

Darga was even a writer and voice of Kenny Blankenship in the series "MXC" (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge), which aired on Spike TV from 2003 until 2007.

Still can't put a face to the name?

This might help: 2003's "Bruce Almighty" featured an opening scene in a not-so-hygienic bakery with a baker named Vol Kowolski.

Darga played that baker, and it was one of his favorite roles.

"I got to improvise with Jim Carrey," said Darga. "He is an amazing performer, one of those naturally funny people. I don't think we got many takes of that scene where I wasn't laughing."

Darga's most recent and recognizable role has been as one of the Vikings in the Capital One commercials.

"I really love playing a Visigoth in the Capital One commercials," he said. "We get treated like rock stars wherever we go."

Darga said that he gets recognized every now and then, but no one ever knows his name.

"They say they think they know me from somewhere," he said.

He doesn't mind that those who recognize him don't know his name, though.

"It's always flattering when someone comes up to you and says 'I loved you in this' or 'you were funny in that,'" said Darga.

Occasionally, Darga gets recognized while on set.

"I was recently shooting a Capital One commercial in New Orleans," he said. "We were in our full costume and make-up, standing on a big float with a huge crowd of extras around us. Someone in the crowd pointed at me and yelled, 'Hey, it's the limo driver from Seinfeld.' That was very funny and surreal."

Darga lives about 40 miles outside of Los Angeles, but he said that he misses his family and also his Detroit sports teams.

He hasn't forgotten his alma mater, either.

"What I remember most is the people," he said. "I have many life-long friends from my days at U of D."

Darga met his wife doing a play, "The Woolgatherer," at the university.

But perhaps the most important decision Darga made came while studying at the university.

"The first real influence I had was taking a beginning acting class at UDM with David Regal," he said. "He had a real passion, and was completely dedicated. That class made me change my major from communications to theater."

That was a decision that has allowed Darga to thoroughly enjoy his career.

"I get paid for having fun," he said. "The 'work' of being an actor is the business of finding work. When you are working, that's a vacation."

 

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