by Eric Chase
How did you start as an entertainer?
When I was younger I actually wanted to be an athlete, but I’m not the most coordinated person so that didn’t go so well. One day my dad told me about how he did theatre in college, which gave me the idea to try it myself. After the first acting class I just fell in love with it and kept going back every week.
You worked with talented artist, who would you say impacted your career?
One of the most impactful people I have ever worked with is Kevin Chamberlain (Bertram on Jessie). I started the show when I was 12 years old and Kevin acted as a mentor for me throughout the years. He took the time to explain things to me when I didn’t understand, and to teach me how to behave on set. I learned a lot about comedy and timing from Kevin. He played a huge role in making me into the actor, and person, I am today.
What is a dream role you'd love to play or artist you'd like to work with in the future?
One day I’d love to do an action comedy, but for right now I want to start exploring more serious roles. Regarding an artist I’d like to work with: Jennifer Lawrence, hands down. Considering we’re going to get married one day, it’s only right we work with each other at least once. (If you can’t tell, Jennifer Lawrence is kinda of my celebrity crush, haha).
Did you always want to be an actor even as a young child? What did you want to be when you grew up aside from an acting?
As a young kid, I had no idea this is where I would end up. I just wanted to be an athlete like my friends. It was only after my first acting class that I realized this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
We know you started as a young actor, describe to us your life growing up? Did you have free time to play or is it all work?
As far as I know, I grew up just like any other kid, but at the same time I also had to mature faster rate than most of my peers. Since I work in a predominantly adult environment, I have always been expected to be professional and do my job to the best of my abilities. This taught me a lot about time management and respect. Regardless of my work load, I still had time to hang with my friends and I don’t feel like I missed out when I was growing up.
What do you love most about your profession?
What's so amazing about my profession, and why I fell in love with it, was the aspect of being able to be in someone else’s shoes for those few minutes in a scene. There’s just something really fun about being able to be yourself and switch gears and go into some character's world, and experience ‘life’ from that perspective.
What challenges or struggles have you face along the way and what helped you overcome them?
One of my bigger challenges as an actor was having to step out of my comfort zone and learn to stop worrying about what other people thought of me. I did this by surrounding myself with good people and learning to trust my instincts.
Do you work with any charitable organizations? What is your involvement in them?
Yes, I’m currently working with the Thirst Project! The campaign focuses on providing clean water to developing countries as well as educating young people on the global water crisis. Because of my work schedule, I can’t personally be involved in the hands-on aspect of the organization (building the wells etc.), so I try to do my best by educating people and spreading awareness. I am also an ambassador for generation. On which is another great organization that encourages young people to make the world a better place through acts of service.
Of all the work you have done over the years, what is the one thing you are most proud of?
Jessie is definitely something I’m most proud of. I started off not knowing anything about sitcom but with the help of everyone around me, I was able to grow as an actor and produce work that I’m proud of.
What are some personal ambitions you would like to fulfill?
There's a lot I want to accomplish in the entertainment field but I really have my eyes set on two things at the moment. The first one being expanding into dramatic acting and studying that genre since I haven’t been exposed to it much; I feel like I’ve come a long way in comedy (and there is a ton more for me to learn) but I want to switch things up. And the second one being a director - Though the job is extremely difficult I believe it's a job I definitely want to tackle.
What do you like to do for fun in your downtime?
During my down time I usually hang with my friends and we’ll do all sorts of stuff like going hiking, or to the movies, and theme parks! My friends and I are also trying to be more active by doing new activities together, like paddle boarding.
Of all the roles you've played, which one has been your favorite and why?
One of my favorite roles to play has been George in Invisible Sister, which is a Disney Channel Original Movie I have coming out October 9th. Most people don’t know this but I actually don’t have an accent and this was one of the rare times I got to act without one.
What is one thing about yourself that the world may not know?
I really like to cook traditional Indian food! Although I’m not the greatest at it I try my best to learn and improve from my mom since she is great at it.
If you would walk away from all this, what would you take away from it?
That regardless of what position you are in life, you should never belittle another person. We are all human beings and deserve a certain level of respect from each other. I’ve been surrounded by people that always treated me like an equal even though I was just a kid when I first started, and this was a perfect environment for me to learn and grow in.
Where are you originally from?
Im originally from Seattle, WA but I’m specifically from Bothell, WA.
What is your nationality?
I’m Indian - My parents are from North Indian in Punjab.
Give us 5 words that you think best describe you.
4. Open Minded
What are the recent projects you've worked on? (Tell them about Bunk'd & Invisible Sister)
Currently I’m working on the making of Bunk’d (a spinoff of Jessie) and preparing for the release of Invisible Sister! Bunk’d has been a really fun project to work on because I get the chance to let Ravi grow and mature as a character in this new environment. And with Invisible Sister, we’re getting ready to release the movie on October 9th which I’m really excited about since I get to switch things up by acting without an accent.
How was that like? How did you get that role?
Just like any other actor I went in to audition for my part in Invisible Sister, and after a few call backs and screen test with the girls (who had already been cast) I got the role! Since I had been doing sitcom for a few years it was nice to go back to single camera for a bit.
What would you say is your best asset?
Probably my ethnicity; there aren’t many indian actors in Hollywood so I feel like that helps me stick out of the crowd a bit.
What do others compliment you on the most?
Probably my ability to switch in and out of my accent without much trouble. To be honest it isn’t that hard, but the compliment means a lot.
How did you get started in acting?
Originally I got into a conversation with my father about how he use to do theater in college and that inspired me to try it. And I guess the rest was history after that first acting class.
What do you enjoy most about being an actor?
The ability to bring a character to life for an audience. I know it sounds cheesy but its true, there’s just something really amazing about being able to change words on a page to something physical.
How did you land the role for the Jessie?
At first I audition for the role of Luke, who at the time, was actually Korean with the name of Hiro. After a few call backs I was brought back for a mix and match with a bunch of other possible candidates for other roles. Out of nowhere they decide to call Cameron Boyce and myself into the room. This was pretty strange considering we were competition but we ended up doing some improv together. After a few days we both got a call saying we booked roles on the show and that they had created the character Ravi!
Tell us about Bunk'd, how is that like?
Bunk'd is rad! With this show we have pretty much the same cast and crew from Jessie, and we’re also introducing a few new cast members that people have already begun to love. The entire team has worked really hard to put these episodes together, and I feel like the audience will really enjoy them.
How do your characters relate to your personal life?
With every character I play I try to channel a little of myself into them. For example, Ravi is very academically aware just like myself but when I play him I magnify that awareness. I’m not sure how much sense that makes, but my point is that my characters are linked to me by the fragments of my personality I put into them.
What do you like most: TV or Film?
I truly like TV and Film both, but I’m kind of leaning towards film at the moment since I just finished filming one movie and I would love to do another one again.
What is the funniest thing to happen to you on set, give us some never before seen blooper situation?
Me and a few of the production office staff are in the middle of a prank war and just two weeks ago they got a bunch of crew members and threw a small party in my dressing room while I was in the middle of a scene! I had no idea it happened until they posted a video of it on social media a little while later! I was on the floor laughing.
What are some of your hidden talents other than acting?
This is gonna sound lame but I don’t really have an hidden talents.
Where do you want your career to be in two years?
I want to be back into films and do some more dramatic pieces. It’s tricky jump from a sitcom back to a movie, but it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to accomplishing.
What is the best info you can give a new talent?
Always be willing to learn.
If you had to walk away from acting today, what memory would you take from it?
The memory of booking my first real acting job. It was a big milestone for me because it taught me hard work does pay off.
If you had to walk away, what would you like to be remembered most for?
My desire to constantly learn. I believe there is a limitless well of knowledge about any subject, especially acting, and everyone should take advantage of that well to benefit themselves, and the people around them.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Think before you speak.
What's next for you?
I have no idea! I guess we’ll both have to wait and see..