Michigan-born actor Christophe Zajac-Denek talks ‘Sasquatch Sunset,’ dwarfism activism and more

“Sasquatch Sunset,” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Riley Keough, Christophe Zajac-Denek and Nathan Zellner, debuts in select theaters nationwide on April 19.

Christophe Zajac-Denek surfing.

Michigan native Christophe Zajac-Denek surfing.

When Christophe Zajac-Denek was diagnosed with dwarfism as a baby, there were many unknowns about what his future would hold. Questions about his prospects and quality of life due to his disability loomed large. Yet Zajac-Denek has remained undaunted, determined to follow his dreams and to raise awareness for dwarfism.

Zajac-Denek joined me on Alternate Take for a conversation about his life and recent projects.

Listen: Christophe Zajac-Denek talks film projects, dwarfism activism and more


Zajac-Denek has a starring role in the upcoming Bleecker Street Media film, “Sasquatch Sunset.” The challenge of playing a fully developed character in the wordless film proved rewarding for the Michigan native.

“There’s no dialogue, there’s no language, there’s no humans in the movie. There’s a lot of communication but all of those other elements are not seen,” explained Zajac-Denek. “Honestly, this is the most fun I’ve ever had on any production ever. It was just mind-bogglingly incredible.”


The road for the former Hard Lessons drummer has been filled with surgeries, learning curves and successes in music and Hollywood. Zajac-Denek hosts a podcast about dwarfism aptly called I’m Kind of a Big Deal, where he discusses the everyday challenges and triumphs of actors and artists affected by the condition.

He’s also the subject a documentary about his life as an avid surfer called “Standing On Water.”

Zajac-Denek dreamed of surfing from an early age.

“I’ve been obsessed with surfing for 30 years,” Zajac-Denek said. “I loved it so much when I was 14 years old and living in my mom’s basement…I would just read SURFER magazine and imagine I could surf on the ocean.”

He knew there were many bridges to build to get there, but that it would come with many rewards.

“As a little person — I’m 4 foot, 4 inches tall — I’ve had two reconstructive leg surgeries and a spinal fusion. Surfing does not come easy,” Zajac-Denek shared. “I don’t think it’s something I ever expected to come easy, but I just really wanted it to be a part of my life. And it’s such a big part of my life. It’s really informed my self-confidence and my identity — and my ability to believe in myself.”

Listen to my interview with Christophe Zajac-Denek in its entirety using the media player above.

“Sasquatch Sunset,” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Riley Keough, Christophe Zajac-Denek and Nathan Zellner, debuts in select theaters nationwide on April 19.

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  • Liz Warner
    Liz Warner — known to late-night Detroit audiences as Liz Copeland — is an award-winning multimedia journalist specializing in audio. She started in Detroit as a nightly live radio producer and host on WDET in 1995.