Chandler grew up on a farm in Loganville, Georgia, after being born in Buffalo, New York.
He is the son of pharmaceutical sales representative Edward Chandler and dog breeder, Sally Jeanette.
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In the television series Friday Night Lights, Chandler portrayed Eric Taylor, a high school football coach. Buzz Bissinger’s novel and film of the same name inspired the show.
The show’s first episodes aired on the DirecTV satellite channel The 101 Network before being rerun on NBC. The series’ last season concluded in 2011.
Chandler went on to appear in Super 8 and Zero Dark Thirty after Friday Night Lights. He appeared as a supporting actor in Broken City, a 2013 film starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Chandler starred in The Wolf of Wall Street, which received five Academy Award nominations. In the film, he played FBI agent Patrick Denham.