Interview with Grayson Gurnsey

Grayson Maxwell Gurnsey was born in September 2000 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Grayson got to work opposite Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us, Gilmore Girls) in the feature film, The Art of Racing in The Rain released earlier this summer. His other film credits include Wonder, Godzilla, and he plays the young Davy in The Legend of Davy Crockett. Grayson’s recurring roles include Saints and Game On. He was nominated for Lead Actor in a TV Series for Game On, a Canadian YTV series. Other selected small screen appearances include Family Pictures, Garage Sale Mysteries, iZombie, Van Helsing, and Timeless.

1. For the people who might not know you, could you introduce yourself?

I’m Grayson Gurnsey, I’m 19 years old. I am an actor and have been since I was 9. I was born and raised, right here in Calgary, but for the last several years I’ve lived in Vancouver, BC, and Calgary depending on how much I’m working.

2. What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry and how did you get started?

When I was 4 I loved watching action movies, my favorites were old Jackie Chan movies so when I finally asked my mom how I could do what he was doing, she said he’s an actor and then I was like: “ok I’ll be that”. It took them a couple years to say yes and really let me go for it.

3. You are currently starring on “Virgin River”. What can you tell us about your character and how does it feel like to be a part of this show?

Ricky is just a teen, with teenage thoughts and worries. He has lost his parents and now lives with his grandmother. He has found a father figure in Jack, one of the leads played by Martin Henderson. Jack’s inspired him to follow in his footsteps and become a marine, even though it’s the last thing Jack wants for him. As for being on the show, it’s truly amazing, all the cast and crew have been so nice and helpful to me, it really feels like a big family.

4. Who would you love working with on a project and why?

That’s always such a hard question to answer because I want to work with everyone. I’ll do my best. I think I’d love to work with Steven Spielberg, Edger Wright, Kathryn Bigelow, Quentin Tarantino, and Jane Campion, off the top of my head. I’m going to cut myself off there cause I could keep going but then we wouldn’t talk about anything else.

5. What do you hope to achieve through your art?

This is something I have been thinking about a lot recently. My hope is that when someone is watching me or something that I’m involved in, they get the chance to escape from their life for a minute. I mean, everyone deserves a break and if that’s how I can help I’m glad to.

6. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

It would definitely be “Virgin River” for sure. Working with Netflix on such a far reach show is amazing!

7. Which artists influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking and career path?

Interestingly enough, I always seem to admire people who are actors/directors and find them the most influencing people like Charlie Chaplin, Clint Eastwood, Sophia Coppola, Kevin Costner, Elizabeth Banks, and Olivia Wilde.

8. What is the best vs. the worst thing about the entertainment industry?

The best and the worst thing is that it can be a double-edged sword. You can find a lot of friends through this industry but at the same time people can think they know you and decide they don’t like you, and you don’t know why.

9. What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

It doesn’t all happen in one night, a career builds up slowly. I spent a lot of time worrying I wasn’t where I thought I was supposed to be. Be patient.

10. How do you deal with the stress of the entertainment industry?

When it gets stressful, I try to spend time with friends and family. Taking the focus off of me, paying attention to what’s happening to someone else always helps. That, and I watch a lot of Netflix.

11. What is one philosophy that you live by?

I don’t really live by a philosophy. I kind of live day to day, try to be good to others and be open to where I am.

12. Do you have any advice for people who want to get started in the industry?

Train, just keep taking classes, reading books and scripts, watch tv and movies. Follow your dream.

13. What plans do you have in mind for the future?

I’m looking forward to more projects, hopefully, ones that take me to places I’ve never been to before. Long term, I’d like to direct and make my own work.

14. What are some causes that are dear to your heart and hope to bring awareness to in the future?

Well, everyone needs water and it covers over half of the planet so I think we should do our best to clean it up for everyone. I mean fish are people too, right? There are a lot of great organizations that are doing this,,,, really you can probably find one that suits how much time or money you can spare.

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