Heartthrob Graham Patrick Martin discuses Major Crimes, and working with young Jennifer Lawrence on The Bill Engvall Show
Heartthrob Graham Patrick Martin discuses hit show "Major Crimes", and working with a young Jennifer Lawrence on "The Bill Engvall Show" which launched her career. Also Graham talks about attending French Woods Summer Camp.
One of my favorite TV shows currently is "Major Crimes" where you play the character of Rusty Beck a once-homeless teenager of illegitimate teenage parents struggling to make ends. The character actually got started on "The Closer" before moving on to "Major Crimes". Can you take us through your audition process and tell us what you have learned from playing Rusty?
I'm glad you like the show! Major Crimes came into my life in such a surprising way. I woke up to a phone call from my manager saying that I had three hours to prepare an audition for a one episode guest star on the series finale of "The Closer." I scrambled to work on the audition in the limited amount of time that I had, and somehow ended up booking it. Halfway through shooting the episode, James Duff – the show's creator – approached me and asked if I would like to join the spinoff. He's since told me that he had no intention of continuing the Rusty story line, but things just sort of fit. I got lucky.
You played Trent Pearson on my favorite sitcom from high school "The Bill Engvall Show" alongside actress Jennifer Lawrence that, catapulted her to fame. The cast had such a natural on-screen chemistry for example in "Let It Go" when Bryan struggles to accept his first B on a science test and Lauren uses it to her advantage to tease her little brother. What was in like working with Jennifer Lawrence at that early stage, and did you think she would become the most in demand actress in Hollywood?
Wow, I haven't thought about that episode in ages. What a blast from the past! It's no surprise to me that Jen has become the powerhouse that she is. Its been a while since I worked with her. But during those three years I was taken aback by her strength and commitment to her craft at such a young age. She also comes from a fantastic family. I love seeing good things happen to good people.
You grew-up in New York City attending LaGuardia High School and French Woods Summer Camp with your sister and brothers which, is where you first become interested in acting. The first musical you were actually cast in was "The King and I" at summer camp where I understand originally you didn't attend for the acting. Do you have any favorite memories from French Woods, and what did you learn from your experiences that helped you become a professional actor?
French Woods played a huge part in shaping who I am as a person. It's a tremendous summer camp that serves as a playground for young artists to discover and explore their artistic abilities. During those summers, I would do three musicals in three months, I learned to fly the trapeze, performed in magic shows, and sang in an 80s themed cabaret troupe. I wish that every kid could have some form of this artistic exploration like I did. It helped me to break out of my "trying to fit in" tendencies and allowed me to feel comfortable being an individual, which was a beautiful thing for an insecure kid like myself to have.
In 2014 you stared in the independent film "Somewhere Slow" which, is about Anna Thompson played by Jessalyn Gilsig who sells beauty products to doctors but, her company lets her go when her performance is not up to par. Can you tell us what it was like filming "Somewhere Slow, and playing the character of Travis who was going threw his own emotional problems?
Somewhere Slow was probably the most fun I have ever had working on a project. We shot in Rhode Island, which is one of my favorite places in the world. The film had a smaller budget, so I stayed in the house we shot in along with Jessalyn and the film's director, Jeremy O'Keefe. It was a bit of a rebirth for me as an actor. Prior to the film, I had only really worked on multi-camera sitcoms-despite wanting badly to break into dramatic work. Jeremy and Jessalyn took a chance with me-and I am so grateful that they did, because it ended up being a wonderful experience, and the movie turned out great.
The character of Trent Pearson from "The Bill Engvall Show" was the not bright teenager but, what you brought to the show was a comic performance that to ushered in a new era for teenagers in sitcoms to embrace that the fact there not super bright. Do you remember what a typical day on set was like, and looking back on the show what do you think the legacy of "The Bill Engvall Show" will become?
Well inevitably, the legacy of the show is that it was Jennifer's first gig- and that's pretty damn cool. But it was also one of the last true family sitcoms. I mean sure you have all of those hilarious single-cam shows like Modern Family. But Engvall was the last of that 90's-style feel good family sitcom. It never got too big when it was airing, but people still come up to me to this very day and tell me that they love the show because they randomly came across it on youtube and couldn't stop watching.
In 2013 You just starred in the Lifetime movie "The Anna Nicole Story," depicting the tragic life of model Anna Nicole Smith from small town dancer to Playboy centerfold, to her marriage to a billionaire, and her death in 2007 where, you play the late Anna Nicole Smith's late son Daniel. Do you have any favorite memories from filming the TV movie?
I just loved the creative team that was behind that film. Adam Goldberg is a tremendous actor and I loved my scenes with him. The director was Mary Harron, who directed American Psycho, and she was badass. It was interesting working on a true story that most people watched unfold really not too long ago. I had only known about it from the headlines that I saw at the time-so diving into the humanity of a sensationalized tabloid story was compelling for me.
A few years back you where an Honorary Celebrity Co-Chair for the Louisiana SPCA's Howling Success Gala, which, is an organization that helps animals in need. Can you tell us more about the organization, and what other charities are you currently involved in these days?
I have two favorite charities that I work with. First is the Sunshine Kids. They are the official Charity of Major Crimes. I love this group because they provide super fun life experiences for kids with cancer who are undergoing treatment. The other organization that I work with is Covenant House California, which is a shelter for homeless youth in Los Angeles. I am directing a PSA for CHC that will be out in October.
I wanted to revisit "Major Crimes" because, the character of Rusty is a queer youth and seeing LBGT themes on television is still a taboo subject with some of the most daring shows being "Modern Family", and even Will and Grace. What do you hope your character Rusty will do for the LBGT community, and how far do you think Television has to go with highlighting gay issues?
I actually think TV has come a long way, especially these past 5 years. Rusty and Major Crimes don't get a lot of credit or attention for the gay storylines, and I kind of like it that way. I like it because its not considered abnormal. It's just another show with a storyline about someone who happens to be gay. Though I understand the importance of the revolutionary shows that "pushed the boundaries" by having gay storylines, I am proud to be on a show where its not that big of a deal. Its just...normal. And I think that is what the future should be like. Where gay characters aren't celebrated or given a special gold star, because at the end of the day, gay is normal...and that's pretty cool.
Watch the season six premiere Major Crimes October, 31st on TNT network.
Follow Graham on Instagram, and Twitter,.
Disney's Adam McArthur talks Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, and voicing Lee-Char in hit series Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Disney's Adam McArthur talks about playing Marco Diaz in Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, and voicing Lee-Char in the hit series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Also Adam dishes about his expertise in Kung Fu.
You grew up in San Francisco, got your degree in film production and were in improv groups in LA. How did you transition from improv to scripted roles?
I've actually been doing both in tandem for many years! Improv teaches you to trust your instincts, and really listen. Any great acting teacher will tell you how important those qualities are in scripted work as well. I've never thought of them as separate kinds of acting or performing, but rather different sides of the same coin that can make me a more well-rounded actor. I'm thankful for all of my training! It really allows me to have fun, feel the freedom in the moment to trust myself and what I'm able to bring to different roles.
You play Marco Diaz on the hit Disney XD show "Star vs. The Forces of Evil." Marco is the quirky, almost Charlie Brown like best friend of Star and her companion on her adventures. What has the process been like in creating this fun teenage character?
Oh man, it's been an insanely fun process. Marco and I have so much in common that it's comical at times. I like to say that he and I "just get each other. I pull from a lot of my own personal experiences with this guy. Through the guidance of Daron Nefcy, the creator of the show, and Kelly Ward, as well as all the other amazing directors and creatives involved behind the scenes, the creative process has been very collaborative.
You also voice Lee-Char in the hit series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." You have done live action roles such as 'Casey' in "The Coin," starring Christopher Lloyd. What are some of the greatest differences and similarities you find in playing live action characters and voiceover characters?
I think the differences lie in the nuances of the different styles of acting. For an on-camera role, there is a whole different type of technique you use when acting for the camera. Same goes for VO. Mic placement, how loud you are, what your body is doing. It's all very different between the two styles. There are definitely some similarities though! Knowing your character and making strong choices are helpful no matter what style of acting you're doing. The good thing is, both are so much fun! It's like exercising different parts of my brain.
You recently attended San Diego Comic-Con and D23 Expo for "Star vs. The Forces of Evil." What have been some of the greatest experiences you've had at these, and other events?
The best part about any convention is the time I get to spend with the fans. We have so many amazingly sweet, talented, funny and weird fans of this show! (Haha. You weird ones know who you are.) There's no greater feeling than meeting people, and hearing how you've impacted their lives by doing what you love. That will never get old, and I am forever grateful to be where I'm at.
You created your own short film "Showdown at High Noon" back in 2013. What are some things you learned about creating your own content, and do you plan on directing/producing more in the future?
Showdown at High Noon is actually a credit someone else put on my IMDB, and I have no idea what the heck it is lol. So if IMDB is reading this, please take that off! (Side note: I am currently working on a project that I'm writing and acting in called The Adam & Brian Show. I'm working on it with my good buddy who is a puppeteer with the Henson Company. It follows two best friends, one who happens to be a puppet, on a pretty wild journey through their pretty mundane lives. Keep an eye out for it!)
You also specialize in Kung Fu. You have won numerous tournaments, and have been the subject of several PBS documentaries. How do the principles you have learned in Kung Fu seep into your career as an actor/filmmaker?
Great question! I think the greatest lesson I learned from the martial arts is the ability to cope in the uncomfortable. As you can imagine, there's a lot of pain both physically and mentally during martial arts training. My teacher taught me to never give up, even when things got difficult. He also said that sometimes in order to be comfortable, you had to be uncomfortable for a while first. It's so similar to acting. Sometimes things are difficult. You might have a bad performance, a creative block or lose out on a big role. But you can't let it get you down. You just have to keep pushing through, and come out stronger on the other side. So that's what I do! It keeps me pretty happy most of the time.
You sometimes lend your voice to video games such as the mysterious Joker in Final Fantasy Type-0. How is it different playing a video game character, rather than an animated character?
The great thing about animation is I get to see a full script, and often times get to record with other actors. On Puss in Boots, we record in a big room together where everyone is playing off each. Video games are quite the opposite! Every single video game I've worked on, I've had zero idea what game it was until much later (sometimes years!). Because games take so long to make, their stories are kept under wraps so tightly that even the actors don't know what they're working on. I'll typically get a page with just my lines, and I don't record with anyone else. From there, the director gives me vague context and we give it a go! It's wild and a lot of the time feels very spontaneous, exciting! They're both a lot of fun to work on!
Can you tell us about what you are currently working on?
I'm currently focused on recording the upcoming season of Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, which I'm super excited about! You can also hear my voice all over Disney XD, as well as in the new Far Cry 5 coming out early next year. There are a few other things coming soon, but I can't talk about those yet. So stay tuned!
Teen sensation Joshua Rush dishes on Disney Channel series Andi Mack,and streaming CNN news twenty-four-seven
Teen sensation Joshua Rush dishes on the popular Disney Channel series Andi Mack, taking us threw a typical day on set for his character of Cyrus Goodman, and streaming CNN news twenty-four-seven.
Congratulations on a leading role in the Disney Channel series "Andi Mack" as Cyrus, one of Andi's BFF! How did you get started acting? Tell us about your acting path that led to playing Cyrus.
Thanks! My mom got me started in the business. At a very young age she set me up with an acting coach in Houston, which is where I lived at the start of my career. Eventually my acting coach told us we should try out Los Angeles, and that was all my mom needed to hear! She had us move to LA for 3 months (I was 6 or 7 years old) and eventually we called her and said "We're not coming home!"
Cyrus is quirky, not athletic and a little bit awkward, but he has a sense of humor that can make just about anyone laugh. What are some of your similarities and differences to the character?
I think Cyrus and I are similar in a lot of ways. Our awkwardness, sense of humor, and general weirdness are definitely similarities. I think something amazing about Terri Minsky is that she's not only an amazing writer, but an amazing observer too! We (the cast) would just be talking around her, and she would just sit and listen. A week or two later, one of our sentences would appear in the script! I'm still waiting for my writer's credits!
Andi Mack" is a coming-of-age show about not only the usual young teen issues, but deals with family drama. Do any fans reach to you out about issues they face, both with family and peer relationships, and how do you respond to those questions?
I've certainly gotten some fans who ask me for some help with their issues and, when I respond, I try to make it as clear as I can that I'm not really a great person to be asking for advice on these things! I try to give them a personal anecdote from my own life and explain how my solution to the problem worked and how it didn't, and what I'd do differently. When I'm at a loss, I get advice from my Dad, who is a psychotherapist!
You played the younger version of Zachary Quinto's character in "Heroes" and younger version of Zachary Levi's 'Chuck' in "Chuck." Did you have to research your older counterparts' characters beforehand, and did you get to rehearse your characters with them? Tell us some special memories of working on these shows.
I don't have as many memories from those shows as I used to because when I worked on "Chuck" and "Heroes" I was only 7 and 8! It's been almost 9 years since I worked on them! I do know that when my episode of "Criminal Minds" came out, I wasn't even allowed to watch my scenes, because my parents thought I was too young. Eventually I watched "Chuck" (I think around age 10) and saw my episodes; I really liked them! But researching the part at that age wasn't much of an option.
You can be heard in hit shows such as "Family Guy" and "The Cleveland Show" and, on the big screen, fans may recognize your voice in movies such as "Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas" and "Mr. Peabody & Sherman". You voice 'Jeremy' on Disney's "Star Vs The Forces of Evil", and 'Toby' on Netflix's "The Adventures of Puss in Boots". Have you done special training for voiceover and what are some of the differences between on-camera roles and voiceover?
I've worked one-on-one with David Kaufman, who coaches me, and has starred in roles like Danny Phantom (basically my childhood!). I think the biggest difference is the time. Working on voice over we can record an episode in 5 hours (for a 45 minute episode, with every character on-mic) while on "Andi Mack", it takes us a week to record a 21 minute episode! We work 9.5 hours per day with an hour for lunch and 10 minute breaks every hour on "Andi Mack", and on "The Lion Guard" — other than the first episode (Return of the Roar, a 45 minute TV movie with a few songs) — I've never taken longer than 2 hours, with a snack break of 5 minutes in the middle. It's a major parallel!
You've had some starring roles in some big budget productions such as "Parental Guidance" alongside Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei, and "Break Point" alongside Jeremy Sisto and David Walton. What films, television or VO projects should we be watching for you in next?
I'm focusing on my three shows in the Disney family ("Andi Mack", "The Lion Guard", "Star vs. the Forces of Evil") right now, as well as finishing up the final season of my Dreamworks/Netflix show ("Adventures of Puss in Boots")
I read that you a passion for cars and could name the make and model of many styles of cars at just 2 ½ years old and were featured on the news. What are some of your other hobbies and interests outside of acting, and how do you balance school, friends and family with your successful career? Do you have any charities you are passionate about?
My biggest hobby right now is reading the news! I read and listen to the news about 3 hours per day. I carry bluetooth earbuds where I have CNN streaming 24/7. I read the Atlantic, New York Times, Washington Post, and a few others daily, and I watch cable news probably an unhealthy amount. It's not easy to balance my school, friends, and family, but something really important to me is a strong calendar. Every minute of my day from 6 am to midnight is scheduled out, and I try to give every part of my life as much time as I can, even if it means combining time with friends with work time. For example, Sofia and I work together on lines almost every night but at the same time we play poker and pool. We have to keep it fun!
What advice would you give our readers that are interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry?
It's hard but having the right people behind you makes it easier. Get an agent or manager and a coach who is behind you, and who will really help you put the right foot forwards. And always remember this: out of 100 auditions, sometimes you will only book one role. So don't get discouraged if you don't get a callback!