Christina Moore and John Ducey
TWO BEAUTIFUL NERDS FIND HOLLYWOOD HAPPINESS
BY JENNY PETERS
Looking at Christina Moore and John Ducey, Hollywood’s power couple on the rise, the word “nerd” wouldn’t be the first thing that pops to mind. She’s gorgeous, he’s handsome. This duo has been married for ten years and popular stars of television series and films for the past twenty, both separately and together.
But that’s one of the many things they agree on, that the initial attraction (egged on by a group of mutual actor friends) between them was that “we are both nerds,” according to Moore. “Actually, one of the things we did on some of our dates was crossword puzzles, because we both really like crossword puzzles,” she says with a chuckle. “Or we talked politics! We really are dorks.”
The Midwest (Moore) and East Coast (Ducey) transplants to Southern California each set their sights on Hollywood well before they met, both arriving in the 1990s and building careers separately. Christina is probably best known for her work on TV series including “90210,” “Jesse,” “Hawthorne” and, most currently, “Claws,” while John’s credits range from “Will & Grace,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “Bad Judge” to “Jonas,” where he starred as the father of teen heartthrobs the Jonas brothers.
As the couple cemented their relationship, married in 2008 and blended in John’s daughter Emma Ashton (they share custody with that high-school senior in a happy relationship with her mother, actress René Ashton) to the family mix, they were also developing a plan for getting some control of their Hollywood destinies.
“I would say for the last 15 years I have been writing scripts, hoping to expand what I do in the business,” Ducey, who graduated from Harvard University with an engineering degree, reflects. “I would get on a TV show and then I would write an episode of that TV show, as kind of a writing sample, and then I had different pilot ideas and a couple movie scripts, and just sort of that thing writers do. You keep creating product to try to find that one thing that’s going to score.”
Meanwhile, Moore had made a friend, one whose journeys made a circuitous way to the present day, with her involved all along. “I met Ali Afshar when I was waiting tables and his brother was a manager there, and he was a street racer,” she recalls. “I just happened to make money early as an actor in TV and so he and I started by buying classic cars that he’d refurbish and we’d sell, as business partners. He eventually became the factory-backed Subaru race car driver for five years and then he ended up making a movie about his drag-racing career in high school, called ‘Born to Race,’ and he called and asked me to be in it.”
That was in 2008; cut to today and Afshar, Moore and Ducey are deep into making films together. “Now it’s 2018 and there’s 12 films behind us, and I’ve produced eight of them and John has now written four of them,” Moore says bemusedly. “And John and I have also starred in, to varying degrees, about seven of them, doing small parts or big parts or whatever. Making the movies really has become our real jobs, our day jobs.”
These days, Moore serves in roles as producer, screenwriter and actor, while Ducey also writes scripts and acts in these ESX Entertainment/Forrest Films productions from their offices on the Warner Bros. lot, which include the Sharon Stone starrer “Running Wild,” “Pray for Rain” with Jane Seymour and “Dirt,” which Warner Bros. released in 2018. “Ride,” featuring Ludacris and Sasha Alexander is the company’s next up, while “American Fighter,” “Motocross,” “Roped” and “Lady Driver” are all in post-production.
“We called it ‘the experiment,’ when we started in on it, figuring we were just going to do this experiment,” Ducey adds. “Then it just kept going and going and kept tumbling and tumbling and here we are. Now our main goal is to try to keep everything, option wise, open. This is not, ‘Should we work at the bank or be actors?’
“It’s all related to the industry, so instead it’s, ‘Oh, should we act in the movies other people wrote, or movies we wrote? Should we act in movies other people produced, or we produced?’ The goal is to diversify, as opposed to try to decide which one or the other. We think of them as train tracks running parallel, not running in different directions.”
Wherever the Hollywood train takes John Ducey and Christina Moore, it seems pretty clear that they will be riding in the same compartment as they hurtle ahead into unknown territories.
“It’s so the Wild West right now,” Moore says with gusto. “We’re making these movies and figuring out how to market them and figuring out how best to succeed with them. It truly is an experiment.”
And together, the glamorously nerdy duo definitely plans to keep right on moving forward, no matter what role they take on in the Tinseltown firmament. “We both know that having our eyes open and being available to all things is the key,” Ducey adds. “Our representatives aren’t always thrilled when we get ourselves busy doing something that they’re not totally involved in, but the bigger you get, the bigger you can become.”