Popular Guy: Cameron Gellman
Aug 24, 2020
Currently known for portraying Rick Tyler / Hourman on the hit CW series Stargirl is Hollywood newcomer Cameron Gellman. On-screen, his character wrestles with good versus evil, but off-screen he’s finding himself in the characters he used to dream about.
Starting in 2016 when he was only 18 years old, Cameron has already stunned on the big and little screens in films and series like ‘Charlie Says’ and ‘The Good Doctor’ and will certainly be part of many upcoming projects! Keep reading as Cameron talks with us about the role he’s currently chasing and what’s he’s currently listening to.
1. Cameron! Tell us about Rick on Stargirl (He hasn’t had the easiest life)!
I think he’s doing the best he can to stay afloat in the crummy circumstances life has dealt him, but really he’s been drowning ever since his parents died. He’s smart and he’s resourceful, which I admire about him, but he needs someone to care about him, see him, believe in him. I related deeply to the sense of loss he was feeling. When Courtney comes into his life he doesn’t trust people or believe in himself but he wants to, and she becomes a source of light for him. Then we get to go on this insanely fun, action-packed ride together for a whole season. I feel blessed that I got to play such a big-hearted, complex dude. Rick’s my guy.
2. Hourglass can only access his powers for a single hour a day. What would you do with those 60-minutes?
I’d use it for some crazy training sessions at home to keep myself entertained during this stay-at-home. Bench press the house, dumbbell curl some cars in my neighborhood!! Pretty sure I could go on a jog Forrest Gump-style and see all 50 states within the hour.
3. Being a part of the Arrow-verse is a huge feat. Were you a comic / Arrow-verse fan prior to the show and if so of what? (comic or show)
I’m super honored to be a part of it. I was always into superheroes but didn’t explore the comics prior to the show! I watched the first few seasons of Arrow and I’ve caught a few episodes of The Flash, and Black Lightning! All solid shows! I grew up wearing Batman and Superman pajamas though, so DC forever!!
4. There is a bit of stunt on the show. What is the training like for these and is there a stunt that you’d love to do later down the line?
“A bit!” I kept myself as limber as possible with yoga and trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and boxing at an awesome local gym called Unit 2 to stay ready. Plus, my stunt double Ben Aycrigg, who is an absolute champ, would make me practice videos and worked with me on set between takes. I’d love to be a part of one of those destroy-the-whole-city fights like you see in Man of Steel where I get thrown through buildings and throw trucks!
5. Rick is definitely a departure from the role of Kurt on Heathers. What was your experience like on the show and what was it like getting into his mindset?
Very different roles for sure. When I first started filming, I struggled with not feeling worthy of being there and Rick was dealing with the exact same thing. In that way, it was easy to relate to him, and it felt like we were able to grow together throughout the season. I was so lucky to have a supportive cast that was always encouraging me and lifting me up just the way Rick’s friends in the show do for him. At first, I did a ton of physical work to rev myself up for Rick’s anger. As I got more comfortable, I played more with his mindsets than his physicality. I spent time as Rick spinning on his fear of abandonment, feeling worthless, and having so much to prove. It got a lot easier to switch in and out as the season went on.
6. As an actor, do you ever find yourself taking pieces of your characters back home with you?
Definitely. You make little discoveries in your scenes and as the season goes on that affects you on a really personal level. The way your character carries themselves and views the world makes you examine your own body language and perspectives, and sometimes those things rub off on you or teach you something. I found I had some of the same emotional blocks as Rick or the same grief. I tried my best to breathe Rick out when I left set but still, I was always thinking about him and how he’d navigate the situations I was living off of the set. I’d walk into a bar as him, train in the gym as him, just to see how it felt.
7. Was acting something that called to you over time more than other artistic avenues or did you just know at some point?
Acting is something I’ve become more passionate about as time has gone on. When I started out auditioning, I didn’t understand the art form or the career yet. The more I’ve tailored my career and my art to reflect who I am and what works for me, the more I’ve fallen in love with it. I’m the cleanest I’ve been right now about wanting to do this for a very long time and believing that is possible.
8. How do you deal with rejection in the industry?
For me, choosing to view “rejection” as for me not getting the roles I’m not meant for is important. There is more than enough success to go around for everyone and I believe that I’ll book the roles I’m supposed to book if I play hard and trust the process. I’ve been really fortunate thus far. Having a life, routine and a great tribe of people outside of my career keep me grounded and levels out the highs and lows that come. All you can do is shoot your shot.
9. Outside of acting, what are you passionate about?
I really love exploring wellness and trying out all different kinds of self-care that I hear about whether that’s implementing a new super-food when I cook. or trying cryotherapy, or exploring Ayurveda, or learning a new yoga style! I do everything I can to feel good and feel inspired to spread that to others as much as I can.
10. What is the hardest acting scene you have done so far in your career and why?
During episode 5, my origin episode of Stargirl, I have this huge confrontation scene with Courtney and the rest of the JSA. I’m at the tree where my parents died and they show up to retrieve the hourglass. I’d already spent a full day at the tree both by myself and with Courtney, and I was wiped out. Flash forward to the middle of the night with one of those scenes where anything less than ripping your heart out every take was unacceptable. I’d prepared harder and deeper than with any other character in my career. It took me a ton of focus and breathing to stay in it each take and keep loading myself up to release 15 years of this kid’s rage and pain. When I knew Geoff loved it I was able to relax a little. It felt like this huge hurdle I had to jump to earn being there the rest of the season and I’m very proud of it. We wrapped that scene as the sun was coming up and I slept like a baby.
11. Who do you feel has taught you the most in your acting career?
I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded throughout my career with a team of people who support me and teach me constantly. My agent Julie has been my second mom since day one and exposed me to so much great film, acting class, and her own insight. Every set I’ve ever been on, I’ve met great people who took me under their wing to impart what their experience taught them. I call them my tv aunts and uncles. On Stargirl, I was always learning from guys like Neil Jackson, Christopher Baker, and Nelson Lee who were down to answer every career, fitness, and the acting question I had.
12. How do you envision yourself five years from now?
I see myself happily making stories on screen, music, and art with my ever-growing community of wonderful friends and family. I see myself with a much bigger platform to drive forward social change, and maybe a production company focused on championing the stories of people underrepresented in our industry. I see myself owning a little bit of farm heaven, sporting a couple of new tattoos, and enjoying another 5 years of memories and wisdom under my belt.
13. Is there a role that you’re currently chasing?
I want to dive deep into a war movie or show set back in history. I’d love to go through the training, learn to use the equipment, form that brotherhood with my guys, and deal in those crazy, heightened, tragic circumstances. If I had a time machine I’d go back and book Band of Brothers.
14. Shuffle all your music. What are the first five songs that come up?
Only the Good Die Young, Billy Joel
Satisfied, Hamilton Cast
Naked, Ella Mai
September, Earth Wind, and Fire
Juke Jam, Chance the Rapper
15. Can you tell us about any other upcoming projects?
Season 2 of Stargirl woohoo!! I can’t wait to go back with these people who have become my family and experience adventure number two. I learned so much in the first season and I’m so excited to use it in what is supposed to be a much darker, more challenging role for me.
You can follow Cameron in action on Stargirl and keep up with him on Instagram
- Photographer David Higgs
- Grooming Emily Zempel
- Styling Wilford Lenov
- Project CW’s Stargirl