POPULAR GUY: GRAYSON GURNSEY
Nov 27, 2020
Meet Grayson Gurnsey. He does it all! The multi-talented star is an actor, producer and director.
Witness his acting chops as he plays Ricky in Netflix’s Virgin River. Grayson returns as a series regular in this exciting new second season, out now! Virgin River is an American romance drama based on the books by Robyn Carr.
The Calgary-born actor has been acting since he was 10-years-old, first shooting the series Saints in Kenya. Since then, Grayson’s been involved with projects including Godzilla, iZombie, The Art of Racing in the Rain and playing the lead in Game On.
When he isn’t acting, he’s perfecting his craft as a writer and director. Among his independent short film credits include Grayson’s award-winning shorts Lord of the Guys and Bad Dad.
Not to mention, Grayson’s passionate about the physically enduring art of parkour, where practitioners (tracers) develop their skills of getting to one point to another in a dynamic and challenging environment.
Learn more about Grayson in our exclusive interview below!
What is happening with your character Ricky when season 2 of ‘Virgin River’ opens?
Without giving away too much, Ricky is still the same guy that you remember from Season 1.
What was the hardest part of getting into character for Ricky?
I would say, he’s so similar to myself that I sometimes worry that I could fall into a caricature of him.
What initially inspired you to act?
From a very young age, I was interested in films. How they were made, who made them, the writers, directors, but especially the actors. Most importantly, I was obsessed with Jackie Chan and wanted to be like him.
Outside of acting, you are also a writer and director of a few independent (and award-winning) short films like Lord of the Guys. How did you get into those outlets?
I was lucky enough to have a few friends who were also actors. We found we were likeminded in the fact that if we weren’t working on a project we were willing to make some time to start on something. It kept going from there. Right now, I’m too busy to work on producing, or directing, but hope to get back into it soon!
Whose directing style do you draw inspiration from?
Who don’t I draw inspiration from? Edgar Wright, Guy Ritchie, David Slade, Bong Joon Ho, JJ Abrams, Sam Mendes, and how can I not mention Steven Spielberg, Akira Kurisawa, Martin Scorsese, or Stanley Kubrick. I’m missing at least twenty others, off the top of my head, and am always looking for more!
Which character of yours did you find furthest from your own personality style?
Bucky from ‘Family Pictures’, he was so sure of his place in the world and didn’t change until he was forced to. I’m more introspective, which is a fancy way of saying I ask, “do I deserve this,” “could I work harder,” “what is my next step to move forward?” I’m not sure if constantly asking questions of myself is a good or bad thing, I guess time will tell.
How did you get into parkour?
I’d seen a Bond movie and Daniel Craig was doing insane stunts (or it looked like he did). I was so inspired that I talked my parents into enrolling me into classes. Currently, I’m missing it! I broke my nose in a couple of spots and had to take a serious break (no pun intended). Also, it’s a liability when shooting, so sometimes it has to be put on hold.
Which role of yours are you currently the proudest of?
Ricky! I love the show and I think that he is a truly good guy.
How have you been staying sane through quarantine?
I’ve developed a routine. With it, it doesn’t feel as monotonous, draining, and scary. The quarantine was actually a wake-up call to take care of myself.
What does your dream role look like?
It would start with a great script, a director who wants to do something interesting, quirky, maybe independent. I love films where characters are complex.
What is something you are looking forward to in your career?
I always look forward to whatever is next. I like the challenge I’m in, but I love the one I haven’t done yet, the people I’ll get to meet, and work with.
What is something you wished you got asked more?
There isn’t anything I wish I was asked more, I’m a bit shy, and it’s still difficult to think anyone would want to know anything about me.
Can you tell us a secret?
I can make my eyes, I don’t know how to describe it, pulse? move really quickly? Basically, they shake back and forth really fast. I don’t know why, but not many people know I can do it, so it’s sort of a secret.
What does popular mean to you?
Being popular to me means having a platform. People are willing to listen to what you have to say, of course, then you truly show what kind of person you are, and whether or not you deserve that popularity.
Can you tell us about an upcoming project that you are excited about?
Season 2 of Virgin River! Shooting was fun, and it was amazing to work with everyone again. It comes out on November 27, 2020 on Netflix.
- Photography J Benson