A lot of actors start out in commercials or modeling or something innocuous where few if any people really get to know them but eventually a good number of people tend to finally start gaining the type of notoriety they want as they find their way onto the big or small screen. Chris Makepeace had the distinction of being in a couple of movies that helped to make him one of the most well-known talents in show business since people still talk about the less than PC movie Meatballs. This wasn’t even considered to be his best movie, but the fact that it remains such a classic with so many people that happened to watch it when they were younger is a big reason why Chris is still remembered in the first place. His career started out when he was just ten years of age so he wasn’t too young but he also wasn’t all that old so discovering what he could do and how far his talents could be stretched was probably a bit of a trial and error process as it tends to be with a lot of people. Obviously though Chris did just fine since he went on to star in a few very notable movies and made his way to TV as well.
At this point in his life it would appear that he’s retired from acting, but it does sound as though he moved behind the camera to the role of assistant director, which isn’t the full leap into the director’s seat but pretty close. One has to wonder if he was gunning for the director’s chair but just couldn’t quite get there or if he hit the level he was happy with and just stuck to what he was doing. It’s hard to say really but it’s impressive enough when an actor gives up the screen for a chance to have a go at things on the other end of the camera since it takes a certain amount of confidence and knowledge of what’s going on and how to make things work when it comes to a movie. Those that can make it happen and create, or help to create something worth watching tend to be those that have found a different calling than what might have awaited them on the other side of the camera. One could argue that if given another chance he might have been able to come up with something that would have made him a screen legend after My Bodyguard, which earned him a great deal of credit, but things just didn’t turn out that way and his career started to turn into a downward spiral after that. Thankfully it wasn’t drugs or alcohol that started to ruin what he had, it was simply a lack of any prominent roles that saw him rise to fame once again as he continued to trundle along.
After a while he did retire in 2001 and went on to become an assistant director, where he presumably is at this point. It’s kind of hard to see someone that had such potential just up and disappear in a blink, so to speak, but it’s also not unheard of since it can happen to just about anyone in show business since even those that are supposedly riding high and can’t possibly be tipped off their mountain can be toppled far easier than many might think. With Chris his position wasn’t as secure as many so it didn’t take much, just a lack of support and the roles he would need to keep ascending, and he was on his way down. It’s a little difficult to say if he has any regrets or not since there hasn’t been a lot of chatter from his direction. In a big way it’s more likely that he saw what was coming and decided to end his career on screen before he was completely forgotten. By heading behind the camera he at least had the chance to stick around the business and do something that could bring about the rise of another star or two or possibly just learn more about directing so as to have another skill to add to his resume. It’s not the worst job he could have selected after all since it keeps him firmly in the action and has obviously allowed him to learn a great deal while possibly hoping to take over one of these days and do his own thing. A lot of people might not even remember who Chris is at this point, but if you’ve watched Meatballs then it’s probably hard to forget since let’s face it, that movie was a classic and still is to this day, and it helped to introduce Chris just a little more and keep the ball rolling for a while.