Andrew McLaren, a 33-year-old former Marine, served in the Iraq War and returned to the US a decorated veteran. However, when he made it home he found his personal life in shambles.
McLaren’s true story of dealing with a different reality than the one he left when he enlisted served as a rough draft for the short film “The Price We Pay”.
A film for which McLaren shares producing credits with John Mannier, Alex Sigala and Latino actor Jessie Garcia.
“PTSD is something almost all soldiers deal with in some way or to a certain extent,” said McLaren.
“It was important for me to co-produce this film because after being in the Marines, when I came home there were many problems that I had to deal with, with my marriage and with my family and PTSD played its role in that.”
With on-base shootings such as the one in Fort Hood last week, films like “The Price We Pay” are more relevant than ever.
The increasing number of fatal shootings by the hands of soldiers and war veterans has peaked the general public’s interest in understanding PTSD.
McLaren is now divorced and is the father of two elementary school age boys.
“My boys are everything to me and all the hard work that I do is for them,” he said.
However, “The Price We Pay” was not McLaren’s first run in with lights, camera and action.
He starred in NBC’s short-lived reality series “Stars Earn Stripes” in 2012, where he paired up with celebrities and participated in missions for charity.
Now, McLaren is currently starring in Discovery Channel’s “Chrome Underground”, a reality show where he is featured alongside car hunters Yusuf Johnson and Antonio Brunet.
With McLaren’s help the car hunters are able to go places others in their line of work avoid in their search of rare and vintage automobiles.
McLaren’s background as a special ops soldier in the Marine Corps helps the team both find and transport their vehicular treasures back to the US without falling prey to criminals or gangs.
McLaren has also worked as a body guard for many A-List celebrities including pop icon, Madonna but now his focus is on developing his career as a model and an actor.
“I don’t want to be typecast as only being able to play a bodyguard or soldier, I want to explore all types of roles,” he said referring to the fact that he does he own stunts but won’t audition for stunt work.
“But I’m very thankful to my Marine brothers, our bond is so strong,” he said.
“A lot of the work I’ve been able to do, even in Hollywood, is because of my connections with other Marines. So whenever I can work on a project that honors soldiers or law enforcement officers I’m all for it.”
Though McLaren’s sights are set on Hollywood he doesn’t let that get in the way of his honest, hardworking and humble persona. His faded jeans, camo green tank top and the cross he wears religiously around his neck are one of his biggest tells.
McLaren often talks about God and thanks him for leading him to the point in life where he is now. He’s often involved in pro gay marriage activism and claims to have friends from all walks of life.
“Sometimes people get all Hollywood,” he said. “I’ve seen it happen but I’m not about that, I’m about working and providing for my family.”