Yeah, in almost every episode pretty much. There are some mysteries surrounding me in terms of like where I’m going. There are mysteries surrounding various other characters who pop up along the way. There are mysteries about origins of aliens that I really can’t talk about freely. ... And there’s a whole new element, I can’t talk about it freely, but there’s a whole new element that’s added this season in terms of the aliens that I just totally didn’t see coming. ... You find out about it I think about Episode 5 or 6. Again, I can’t talk about it at all, but it’s really interesting and adds a whole new dimension to everything.
You’re 17, almost 18, and getting ready to graduate high school. How is it you’ve also already executive produced a movie?
[Laughs.] Over the last two years I produced a new movie called “Amy George” which played at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Rome Film Festival, among others. It was kind of a micro-budget, like a $15,000 movie, and I kind of met these filmmakers through acquaintances and they were really cool, young inventive people with like fresh ideas, very artistic people. And I read a script of theirs that they were trying to give me and it was just phenomenal.
It’s this character-driven piece about this 13-year-old boy from like a comfortable, sort of liberal family. And he feels like he wants to be an artist, but he feels like there’s not enough conflict in his life for him to be an artist. He reads all these books by like these Spanish painters and feels you need suffering to make a true artist. So he kind of sets off on this journey to find suffering, to find women; he sets off on this like romantic journey. Anyone who’s kind of raised in a middle-class family and who kind of has artistic inspirations I think will appreciate it.
It was a fun experience. I produced it when I was 15 and learned so much during it. I produced it and I was also the camera assistant and, you know, I set up stands for the lights. I did like 10 jobs in one, and it was intensive and it was amazing. ... It’s going to be on iTunes soon. It was a very fun experience.
So how does a 15-year-old kid get involved with that? You just meet these people and say, “Hey, how can I help?”
Pretty much. It was totally selfish on my part in that I wanted—I’ve always loved movies, but I really started getting into movies when I was about 13, like I really started to appreciate movies. And I watched a lot of them, way too many movies. Obviously I didn’t act then but I was interested in making movies. And I knew these guys through a camp I had gone to and they were kind of distant friends of mine. And I read this script of theirs and I just was overcome with this sudden urge to help in any way I could.
And I was fortunate; not everyone could have done what I did. It was just that I was fortunate enough, because of my acting, to have a little bit of money floating around so I helped fund the movie, which is why I’m executive producer. But yeah, I wanted to get involved in any way I could and I said so, and I contributed, and that was it pretty much. And now they’ve just finished shooting their second feature film, which is really great. This was kind of my introduction to behind-the-camera life that I’ve been so fascinated by.
You’ve also written some things and you’ve done a few shows. You’re building a pretty impressive resume for somebody who claims to be inexperienced.
Well, acting-wise I’m not as experienced as most people in the show. My love of acting is primarily inspired by my love of film rather than the other way around. And so I’m just fascinated by movies. And I’m fascinated by writing as well and I enjoy it immensely and so I’ve done a few short films. I’ve done a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But, you know, that’s ultimately what I want to do and that’s ultimately what I want is my aspiration is to make movies.
Did you get started acting in local Toronto theater or did you just say, “Hey mom, this would be cool. Take me to auditions.”
A bit of both. Like I started acting like in the most loose sense of the term when I was 3 or 4. I was always very theatrical. I would watch like the “Wizard of Oz” a hundred times over and over, and then I’d put on little like plays for my family and little shows. And surprisingly, I had the witch’s cackle from the “Wizard of Oz” down like solid, so that was kind of probably my first achievement as an actor. [Laughs.]
So my parents put me in a few youth theater groups. Youth theater groups when you’re 5 are like running around shouting, so it didn’t really appeal to me that much. When I was about 10 or 11, I started joining these film camps and film groups, and there were some people there who had agents and were auditioning for commercials. They really thought they were cool. They were like, “I’m going up for the KFC commercial, isn’t that cool?”
So I was like, “Yeah, that’s really neat.” So I convinced my parents to help me look for an agent. And so when I was 11, I got an agent and I’ve been doing it since.
Do you want to tell me about your film, “Blackbird?”
Sure. “Blackbird” is a Canadian indie movie that we started last May and it’s just kind of gearing up now in terms of its release. It’s about this boy who has been confused—I seem to be attracted to confused, vulnerable characters—his identity is kind of up in the air. He’s kind of Goth and basically, he’s a teenager who’s kind of lost but he’s generally a good kid. Because of his physical persona, he kind of gets accused of planning this Columbine-esk crime. He gets sent to a youth penitentiary. And basically, the movie is about dealing with his experiences with that and how he changes; and how he comes to understand himself, the people around him, his father, his mother, the people he meets in juvie. And it’s really kind of a Goth coming-of-age story but in the context of this kind of wayward youth who gets sent to prison.
What’s your favorite anime right now?
My favorite anime right now? Of all time, my favorite anime is “Death Note” because that show just rocks my socks every time I watch it. Although you kind of opened up Pandora’s Box, but I’m an unabashed nerd in terms of I like everything. I’m really into like comics and sci-fi and I really couldn’t be on a better TV show than where I am. But I’m into animation and comics, like going to Comic Con for this show would be my dream, so who knows? So “Death Note.” I really like “Code Geass.” I really like “Naruto.” There’s a whole bunch of things I like.