the insider: bryan greenberg

"i've changed a lot since how to make it in america."

Bryan Greenberg has the whole onscreen heartthrob thing down pat-- as basketball jock Jake Jagielski in One Tree Hill, as a much-younger boyfriend to Uma Thurman in Prime, and as a wannabe designer in How to Make It in America. But wait, don't typecast him just yet! Because with a new indie flick out this spring, the actor is now taking his chops to a more serious level.

Greenberg stars as Nathan Fisher in A Short History of Decay, a struggling writer who returns back home to deal with his sick parents. It might sound heavy, but thanks to some key comedic timing and an excellent cast, this drama won't bring you fact, it might even lift you up. Just before he decamped to Hong Kong for his next project, we chatted with Greenberg about the movie, revisiting One Tree Hill, and how he's, yes, still trying to make it in America. 

Let's start from the beginning: How did you originally become involved in A Short History of Decay? 
It's pretty simple! The name Milos Forman was on the script, and I could tell from page one that the dialogue was funny. Even though it tackles a serious subject matter that everyone has to go through, somehow it wasn't depressing.

Why do you think it worked that way? 

The way the director Michael Maren looks at the situation is, he just laughs at it. It's the comedy of looking at life in a different way and not sinking into the melodrama of the whole thing.  

What was the filming process like?
The movie takes place in Florida, and it was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina. I was there before during One Tree Hill,  and I hadn't been back since the old days. [Laughs] 

Was it so weird to go back? 
It was a little weird, but it was also good for me. A Short History of Decay is about becoming a man, and I felt a parallel between starting my career in One Tree Hill and growing into a man with this. A lot can change in a few years....I've changed a lot since How to Make It in America.

That's for sure. How did you choose your next project after How to Make It in America?
I was trying to be patient while waiting for the right film to do. This was the first film I did, and I was like, "I just want to jump in and see what happens. Just worry about the rest later." My character's girlfriend breaks up with him in the very beginning and he sort of has the same "whatever happens, happens" mentality. To be honest, learning about How to Make It in America's cancellation was a shock to me and I was kind of lost because I was so in love with the show. I felt like I got the rug pulled out from under me, and I believe that there's a lot of kismet involved in where you take roles. I had a good feeling about this one.

What types of roles are you looking to do next?
There's this novel called Lush Life, which is a great book that I've always wanted to adapt into a movie. I've always been dying to do this comic called DMZ by Brian Wood, but these parts aren't real yet--they're definitely dream roles. I feel like the whole superhero thing is overdone, but I haven't had my chance yet. So I still want to do it!