Be still our beating hearts! Chad Michael Murray made his acting debut opposite of Lindsay Lohan in Freaky Friday in 2003, then starred as Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill, and most recently, the actor joined season 3 of Riverdale. No shocker here, but Chad still looks as good as he did 15 years ago. Scroll through the gallery below to see his amazing transformation.
“I was always an entertainer,” the 38-year-old told Seventeen in 2007 about how his career began. Chad won a scholarship to attend a modeling convention in Orlando, Florida, and there he met an agent who encouraged him to go to Los Angeles to see what could happen. Shortly afterward, Chad moved to the West Coast and quickly landed a part on Gilmore Girls.
In 2003, the New York native got his big break when he starred in the comedy Freaky Friday which also featured Lindsay and Jamie Lee Curtis. The handsome hunk admitted in April that he made out with Jamie to make Lindsay less nervous about their onscreen kiss. “I was Lindsay Lohan’s first kiss,” he said during an appearance on Busy Tonight. “Jamie Lee Curtis was there, and she was kind of trying to settle the situation. Lindsay’s nerves were all over the place, as you would assume, right? [It’s] your first kiss … You’re like 16 years old.”
Chad detailed how the smooch went down. “Jamie’s like, ‘Get in my trailer, c’mon.’ So, we get in Jamie’s trailer, and she’s talking to Lindsay, trying to get her to … ‘Just kiss him. C’mon. Just give him a pop kiss. It’s no big deal. Break the ice now.’ She goes, ‘Oh, c’mon.’ She just grabs me by the back of the head and makes out with me in the moment. And at this point, I went [to myself], ‘Dude, I just made out with Jamie Lee Curtis, this is great.’ Then that was it.”
In 2004, the model starred in A Cinderella Story with Hilary Duff. In 2016, Chad spoke about how life would be different for the main character Austin Ames and Sam Montgomery since they used flip phones to communicate in the film. “They can make that story time and time again, and it’ll always be evolving due to technology and society,” he told InStyle at the time. “I don’t really know what’s cool anymore, but I think they’d be Snapchatting each other if the movie was made today. I don’t think you can hide under an email anymore.”
Hilary, 31, also dished about her time with Chad while filming. “I definitely had a crush on him,” she told Cosmopolitan magazine in 2016. “We had a few kissing scenes in the movie, and I remember feeling pretty nervous about that, but then we became friends, and I wasn’t so nervous anymore.”
While filming A Cinderella Story, Chad started working on the CW series One Tree Hill. The dad of two dated his costar Sophia Bush, and they ended up getting married in 2005. However, things didn’t work out between the Hollywood A-listers since they decided to call it quits only five months after tying the knot.
The teen drama show ran from 2003 to 2012. Unfortunately, Chad exited the show after season 6 with his costar Hilarie Burton. “I’ve spent the last few years working with some great mentors, people and teachers, going to different theater classes and learning about what you’re trying to say and how you represent each of those feelings,” he told TVGuide.com about his character Lucas Scott.
The CW alum dabbled in other projects including the thriller movie House of Wax in 2005. Chad explained how the producer Joel Silver approached him for the role. “Joel came to me and said, ‘You’ve been doing a great job with everything else and would love to have you a part of this film.’ I always thought in the back of my head, ‘Can I really do a horror movie?’ And I was like, ‘Hell, yeah! I can’t wait to give it a shot,’” he recalled.
It seems like Chad loved his character on One Tree a lot, though. “Lucas was just very simple,” he told TVGuide.com. “He was the moral center of the show, so to step into that and to pull it all back into this very simple, very easygoing [character] — that was the challenge.”
In 2008, Chad won the Teen Choice Award for drama actor in One Tree Hill. “I have a really great girl in my life right now,” he gushed about his former love. “She is my best friend, she supports me. She makes me laugh. I have actually never had a girl make me laugh before.”
Chad has remained close with his former One Tree coworkers over the years. “I love seeing everyone and catching up,” he told InStyle in 2016. “A lot of us have families now, so it’s always nice to share kid stories and goof around.” So, what is Lucas up to now? “I’ll bet he’s happily married, probably with two or three kids by now.”
At the time, Chad revealed why he clicked with Kenzie. “I think the biggest secret is finding somebody who is your best friend. Like I said, she is my buddy. I don’t get bored. We will drive in the car and be goofballs together, and I enjoy that,” he said.
Even though Chad left One Tree, he made a return for the final season in 2012. “I’ve been busy with different discoveries in my own life … [and] it never really dawned on me,” he said of coming back to the North Carolina set. “Then, the opportunity came, and I knew how important it was to these fans who are everything to the show — and that was it.”
In 2013, Chad starred in another horror movie — The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia. “I think the one thing that I really, really enjoy about the story is, obviously you have the fact that it’s based on true events which I enjoy, but the other side of that was the idea of playing a southern prison guard who has a wife and daughter,” he told Collider at the time. “I’ve never had the opportunity to play a father to that level before, with a grown daughter. I really embraced the opportunity.”
Chad dished that he is a fan of horror films. “I’m not so much for the phycological ones,” he said. “The ones in the vein of the exorcist with people being possessed and those, those ones get to me a little bit, but I do like the old slashers, you know. I like the Halloweens and the Friday the 13ths. I really enjoy that style of horror genre.”
Chad has been in the spotlight for a long time, and he previously admitted he wanted to be good influence on younger kids. “I want to get a point in my career where I can be a role model. A good one,” he told Seventeen. “I want to say, ‘I got here without drugs, and I got here without drinking or smoking. If I can do it, you can do it. I have no doubt.”
Chad started seeing his now-wife, Sarah Roemer, in 2014 after they starred in the Crackle original series called Chosen. The couple secretly got married in 2015. Now, they share two kids: a son and a daughter.
These days, it seems like Chad is thrilled with his brood. “Having a family just changes your perspective on everything,” he told Entertainment Tonight in 2016. “For me, it was the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. I think you’re always walking around with the mentality that you want to make sure that they’re proud and you want to represent them well and just be a great leader.”
Like his character on One Tree, Chad also wrote a book called American Drifter in 2017. “American Drifter’s romance was inspired by a dream I had,” he told Us Weekly at the time. “The dream had played out so vividly, as if I was a fly on the wall watching this tale go down. Also, at that time, I had been searching for a story that would resonate with the youth of the world in a way that would make us feel the light and excitement for adventure.”
Chad is now playing cult leader Edgar Evernever on Riverdale, and he couldn’t be happier. “It’s a dream job, it’s on the list of whoa!” he told E! News in May. “As an actor, [when asked], ‘Do you want to play a cult leader?’ The answer is always yes.”
He even revealed that his wife was the one to nudge him to join the series. “For me, the wife is the one that pushed me in this direction,” he said. “She’s an avid Riverdale fan, and she said, ‘You’re doing it, and that’s the last we’re going to talk about it,’ and I’m so grateful I did.” Us too, Chad!