Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Hmmm, well my current setting may provide some clues. I am at a lake house in Eastern Washington with a big group of friends sitting in a big red chair. To my right is a guitar, to my left a camera, and in front of me, an empty box of Sour Patch Kids. I got to this location by driving in my camper van from Los Angeles. After breakfast I have to work on an audition, after that, I will hopefully get some exercise (but probably not), then off to a winery! I’m a pretty normal person but I love to stay active. I recently rented my house out, bought the aforementioned camper van, and am now living in it for a little while, exploring the West.
What attracted you to being an actor? How did your career in acting get started for you?
My sister began taking acting classes when she was a kid and I thought it looked like fun! Though I really caught the acting bug once I moved to LA and started working on plays. Acting is endlessly fascinating, you can go as far down the rabbit hole as you want, learning about new people, and finding compassion for different walks of life. Craft service is great too!
Your breakout role was playing Matty McKibben in Awkward for five years. What was the best thing about it?
The people involved. It sounds cliché, but I genuinely loved going to work
“Awkward” resonates with young viewers and rings true to the experience of High School as a teenager. What were some correlations you had with your own High School experience and the show?
Oh boy, so Matty found himself in a love triangle in Season One … I relate to that. It didn’t work out as well for me though.
What are some things that characterize adolescence to you?
The stakes seem extremely high in adolescence. It’s the end of the world if you get grounded and can’t go to the Fall Formal. That’s a good and bad thing. On one hand, it’s silly to get upset about something so inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. On the other hand, it’s kind of beautiful that youth care so much about something that is so inconsequential. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and are constantly forced to be brave in social situations.
You have a couple films coming out this year (“Flatliners”, “Partyboat”), can you tell me more about them?
Flatliners is about a group of medical students who want to understand death. They put themselves in cardiac arrest to see what death is like, then the other medical students bring them back to life with their supreme doctor skills. What bad could come from that?!
What kind of roles interest you and why?
Complicated, flawed characters are the most fun to play because you have WAY more tools with which to work. Even the most altruistic person has transgressed. Did he keep that transgression a secret? I want to know why he did that, what he did, then think about that and see how that shapes the character. Simple characters are boring because they’re not how people are.
What are some things that you’ve learned in your past experience in the entertainment industry that will benefit you for future roles?
It’s all a learning experience; I’m constantly learning new lessons. One thing I’ve been trying to implement recently – and I’ve been pretty succesfull I think – is taking everything less serious. It makes life more enjoyable.
What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
I did a play a few years ago where we raised a bunch of money for a group home in Philadelphia.
What do you like to do outside of acting?
Right now I am all about experience, so I am traveling a lot and kind of saying “yes” to everything. I love the outdoors so I’m sleeping on top of a lot of mountains and next to rivers, hiking, taking photos and playing music.
If you could travel to any 3 places in the world, where would they be?
Argentina, Nepal, Congo.
What is your dream project?
Paul Thomas Anderson directs me in ANYTHING. DO IT PAUL, DO IT.
Top 3 favorite films?
Raging Bull, Apocalypse Now, Dumb and Dumber
Top 3 music in your playlist right now?
Top three songs right now are probably Holding on by The War on Drugs, Adeline by Alt- J, and Identikit by Radiohead.
Book you’re currently reading:
Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Currently binge watching…
Nothing at the moment, but I can’t wait to binge watch Better Call Saul.
Any advice you can give to any aspiring actors out there?
Work hard and get excited about the material.
If you’re going to have a book, what title would it be?
Make It a Double.
If you had the chance and opportunity to help a specific charity, what would it be and why?
I work with Heal the Bay – an organization that protects coast lines, revitalizes urban waterways, and advocates for smarter water polices. There are fantastic charities everywhere! I would like to help children in some capacity. I don’t know what that is yet.
Catch Beau as Matty on MTV's AWKWARD!