MrBeast's Friends Chris and Chandler Want to Get Verified on Instagram

On May 16, Jimmy "MrBeast" Donaldson tweeted out a message to help his friends out. With over 35 million subscribers and outlandish videos featuring millions of dollars being given away, the popular YouTube personality wanted to help out his friends and collaborators Christopher Tyson and Chandler Hallow.

You see, Tyson and Hallow are missing one major component of a moder-day influencer: a blue checkmark verifying them on Instagram. In order for the app to give you that coveted status symbol, you need articles written about you or your content by mainstream publications. Being a YouTube-addicted millennial with a platform, I jumped at the opportunity and offered my services to such a noble cause.

A few days later, Chris, Chandler and myself jumped onto a phone call and talked about balancing work with life, creating content in the era of coronavirus, and even love. Here's our full Q&A, which has been edited for clarity.

mrbeast youtube chris chandler interview
Chandler (left) and Chris (right) with MrBeast in the middle Twitter

Starting off, what exactly do you guys do?

Chris: We are two heads of the talent for MrBeast. It's hard to put in words because we do so much. We work on the process of the video to the idea and concept, talking about where we are going to do it, and we act on it.

Chandler: We help with every process in some way and then act it out.

Chris: We plan our videos to the point where we have general ideas. But pretty much everything in it is improv.

How did you guys meet MrBeast?

Chandler: I knew a friend that was a coworker for MrBeast and then I played baseball with them. They needed a janitor for the summer so I was like, "Alright I'm going to do it." They let me in a video one time, and the fans liked me so I became talent.

Chris: I met Jimmy when we were in high school. He was in seventh grade and I was in ninth grade. We both had an interest in YouTube and watching people play video games. One day, I went over to his house and he made the MrBeast channel and I was his first subscriber. The rest is pretty much history.

When did you realize the MrBeast channel was taking off?

Chris: It was when we started going to places in the public and people started going up to me. It didn't really feel like it blew up until we did a video giving a $10,000 tip at a local restaurant here and it made the national news.

You guys aren't necessarily content creators or YouTubers yourselves. How has it been interacting with the space you aren't necessarily a part of?

Chris: We have a hand in the creative process. I would say yes, we aren't YouTubers from the point we don't have our own channel or click upload. But Chandler and I have such a big hand in the process, that it almost feels like the only thing we are missing from being a YouTuber is the actual channel. We have met with other YouTubers--Chandler even gave them some ideas. (laughs)

How have you dealt with the MrBeast inspired fame?

Chris: I don't go out to eat as much. I'd rather just order and stay in. It's not because we don't like our fans. But we come from a small town and still live here so there are a lot of people who know who we are. You go to a restaurant and want to eat dinner with your friends or your wife. And after the second person comes up to you, you kind of feel bad for the other people that are with you. I like to lay low a little bit. It's fun meeting the fans when you are out and about.

How have you guys manage to balance your personal life with work life considering MrBeast is your childhood friend and you guys are doing seemingly fun activity?

Chris: Everyday it's a blast. I tell Jimmy all the time that this is my dream job, because it doesn't feel like I'm working. I just come in, we record videos and make videos the whole entire time, and then we go home. We hang out a lot outside of filming as well. I've got a wife and a kid coming in four weeks so I try to create a line between work and home so that way we can hang out.

Chandler: What was the question again? For me, whenever they need me I go and whenever they don't need me I kind of just hang out at home. I don't really have much of a personal life.

Why don't you have a personal life?

Chandler: I mean, I hang out with the MrBeast crew all time.

Chris: The reason we don't really have a differential between our personal and work life is because we are working with our friends. When we are hanging out, it's the same thing as working. We are just telling jokes and making each other laugh, sometimes there are cameras and sometimes we write it down.

Chris, with your kid on the way, are you planning on keeping him away from the videos and being on camera?

Chris: I definitely don't want to just shove them into the spotlight, but the fans enjoy stuff like that. There will be sometimes when he makes an appearance in a video and I talk about him regularly in the videos. My wife and I talked about if we wanted to post our kid on social media because there are some weird people online. But we are excited for this kid and want to share it, so we will share him on Instagram. He will make appearances but won't be regularly recurring character.

Which have been your favorite MrBeast videos to produce?

Chris: Definitely the desert video. It was the most fun.

Chandler: For me, it's either the desert video or the air soft battle royale. Got to meet a lot of creators.

Looking forward, how has the world of the pandemic impacted the videos you produce?

Chris: Corona came out of nowhere and we wanted to be safe and cautious. We were filming videos where we had to go out of state, so we all quarantined at our own homes for 14 days. After that, we decided we would quarantine together so me, my wife, Chandler, Carl and Jimmy all moved into Jimmy's house together. The coronavirus put us on a brief hold for a little bit, but we are making sure to follow every precaution the CDC is giving us, so we are making sure we can stay healthy and entertain our fans.

Chandler: Such a great answer.

How is the dynamic after being stuck with your co-workers and friends for months at a time?

Chandler: We film lengthy videos, so we are used to being stuck together for long periods of time.

Chris: The only thing different is we are still together after we would normally head home. It was pretty fun. My wife got a little sick of it after a while because she likes her alone time. But she got used to it.

How do you think YouTube has been impacted by the coronavirus?

Chris: YouTube has to be seeing an influx of visitors, they've had to lower their streaming traffic to 720p in some countries just to meet demand. There are a lot of people at home with nothing to do other than watch YouTube, so we want to entertain them and give them a reason to stay at home.

I've interviewed MrBeast in the past and he seems like a bit of a perfectionist.

Chris: The only thing Jimmy cares about is creating the best video he possibly can.

How has your development process adapted, since there's only so much you can do now with these limitations?

Chris: The biggest focus for us now is on ideas that can be done here locally. A lot of our videos have been reactions from other people outside, like on the side of the road, and we are taking a break from that.

Has that been stressful at all?

Chris: It hasn't been stressful. It's definitely been more difficult because we are trying to create the biggest, best videos we can possibly do, but we have had to scale it back. We have been filming more for our gaming channel.

Chandler: Hopefully the gaming channel blows up.

Why did you guys create the gaming channel?

Chris: Back when we were in high school, Jimmy and I liked to watch Let's Players. But people wanted to see more IRL content so we went in that direction with the MrBeast channel. We've always had a passion for gaming, so we decided to upload all our fun moments since we are already playing anyways.

Why do you guys want to get Instagram-verified?

Chris: I don't know. The biggest thing is we always get messages from fans who wonder if it's a back-up account. We give away a lot of money and it's very easy to impersonate us without that blue checkmark. It might save a couple people from getting scammed and it does look cool.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Chris: We have got people waiting for us to get off this call to get back to filming a really good video. So thanks.

Chandler: Love you. Put that in.