David Sutcliffe is an actor on Canadian television and American television and film. He is most known for his role as Christopher Hayden in Gilmore Girls.
Aside from Gilmore Girls, Sutcliffe starred as Detective Aidan Black in the Canadian television show Cracked. He also produced and directed an 11-part documentary called Group, which followed a week-long core energetics therapy retreat.
In 2019, Sutcliffe announced his retirement from acting. Now, he focuses on life-coaching, leading workshops and practicing core energetics.
David Sutcliffe answered questions from The Post through email to talk about acting, core energetics and more:
The Post: What does a typical day look like for you?
Sutcliffe: Generally I wake up around 6-6:30. Meditate. Coffee. Journal. Three hours of creative work - writing or editing. Workout or hike. Lunch. Coaching sessions and anything on my to-do list. I cook dinner around 6:30. In the evening I read, scroll social media and watch YouTube. Bed around 10-10:30pm.
P: I read online that you went to the University of Toronto and got an English Literature degree. Why did you decide to study English Literature?
Sutcliffe: It's what I was most interested in. I've been an avid reader since I was a kid. I started reading literature in high school -- Hemingway, Faulkner, Oscar Wilde, Margaret Atwood, Jack London. I liked disappearing into stories, into different worlds. Currently re-reading Steinbeck.
P: I also read that you were on the basketball team at the University of Toronto. What inspired your love of basketball?
Sutcliffe: I grew up in Canada playing hockey but switched to basketball in high school. I fell in love with the game and became obsessed. Practiced two hours a day for five straight years.
P: How’d you go from a dedication to sports to then acting?
Sutcliffe: I had an injury in my sophomore season, and suddenly had lots of free time. A guy in my residence won a playwriting contest. I offered to do the lights or something -- I was curious and wanted to be involved. He asked me to audition, gave me a part and the rest is history.
P: Tell me about your experience on Gilmore Girls. What was it like playing such a huge role in such a successful show?
Sutcliffe: It was challenging and fun! Most of my work was with Lauren (Graham), who is a fierce actor, so I had to show up sharp and prepared every day. It was fun to play a character that brought so much emotional charge. Though we were proud of the show and aware that it was very good, it was only moderately successful during its seven-year run. It was in reruns and then on Netflix where the legacy of the show was born. I feel grateful to be a part of a show that has become a multi-generational classic and lives on in the hearts of the fans.
P: What’s your favorite memory from your time on Gilmore Girls?
Sutcliffe: The late nights on the backlot of Warner Brothers, the end of a long week, everyone getting silly.
P: Another one of your iconic roles comes from the Canadian show Cracked. What was your experience like spearheading a crime show?
Sutcliffe: It was fun to play a cop on a crime drama. I'd grown up watching the genre. The chance to play the lead, to carry the story, was exciting. And he was a complex character, so there was a lot for me to sink my teeth into.
P: What other projects have you really loved working on?
Sutcliffe: Happy Endings, a great little indie movie that opened the Sundance Film Festival in 2006. Amazing cast, beautiful film.
P: What’s the biggest difference that you’ve seen between Canadian and American television/films?
Sutcliffe: For the longest time, with a few exceptions, Canadian television was seen as second rate -- in large part because most of the top talent moved to L.A. But with recent hits like Orphan Black and Schitt's Creek, Canadian television is showing it can compete with Hollywood. It's good to see.
P: Why did you decide to retire from acting? What are you focusing on now that you’ve retired from acting?
Sutcliffe: My interest turned to other things. I became obsessed with a form of psychotherapy called core energetics. I now lead workshops, helping people heal from trauma so they can live a full and meaningful life. It's very rewarding and endlessly fascinating.
P: What’s your biggest piece of advice for your fans and for people in general?
Sutcliffe: Follow what's interesting to you. Trust yourself. Trust life. Stay humble. Take risks. Practice discipline.