A few years ago, as I was watching what became one of my all-time favorite shows–Cedar Cove–I observed that a young actor was brought in to be the son of one of the principals in the show. Immediately, I noticed that this fellow was a capable actor, but sometimes his character just made me so incensed. Thankfully, I was able to separate the actor from the character, and when his character departed the show, I was a bit saddened. Imagine my surprise when I began watching a new show to me–Wayward Pines–and I researched the actors, and lo and behold, Tom Stevens popped up again in a rather significant role. I was incredibly pleased, as this guy is now acting in a role worthy of the talent I was convinced he possessed. Recently, Tom was gracious enough to answer some questions about his role in Wayward Pines, as well as some more general questions concerning his career in general.
RH: What inspired you to become an actor? Please tell us about your journey to become an actor.
TS: My journey to be an actor began because of my parents first and foremost. My mom is a writer, and my dad is a painter, which gave me the impression that being an artist was a real thing and not something you did in your spare time on the weekends. People can be stuck in the belief that art is a hobby and not a viable way of making a living. And so I strove for it. And so far it is paying off.
There are those (myself included) who fondly remember you from Cedar Cove. What was your experience like on that show?
Cedar Cove was a hard one because the crew was amazing, the team was great, but I hated Eric. He was too stupid for his own good. It frustrated me how they wrote him, and they were very limited by the idea that a young man could actually be intelligent. So he made a lot of contrasting choices and stupid mistakes, leaving me saddened.
Sebastian Spence, Actor and Co-Star on Cedar Cove
“Tom was a joy to work with as he always brought his commitment and passion with him to work–always with a friendly smile on his face. He was very humble and open to discussion about the work you were about to do together. He is a talented, young man with a bright future. I always considered Tom a younger brother in a sort of way because he always made you feel like you were family when hanging out on set. He is friendly and witty, and hanging out with Tom between scenes brings a smile to my face. I only hope to see him on another project in the near future. I wish him nothing but the very best, though I doubt this talented, young man needs my wishes, as he is no doubt going places.”
Jason, your current role on Wayward Pines, may appear to be a “bad guy,” on the show, but how do you view his character?
Jason is a person who lives in a set of ethics that does not mesh well with the 2016 audience, but that doesn’t make him a bad guy. It’s a look into a fundamentalist’s mindset. We do need to see into the minds of people on the other side of life and believe that they are just doing what they think is right. Jason is doing what he is programmed to do. Jason is not a bad guy, but he appears to be because of who he is. Same as Pilcher was, but I still loved Pilcher.
Anticipate blood. Violence and the fight for survival. They put us on the edge with these storylines, and all we can do is fight to survive the apocalypse.
Why do you think Wayward Pines has become so popular? Why do you think it has such a loyal fan following?
It’s a good show. It has a lot that people want. I hope that people watch my character and hate on my character because they want to hate on Trump. Maybe I can alleviate some of the oppressive dictator fears that they are feeling.
While we hope for a season three for Wayward Pines, what is your advice to the fans to ensure that happens?
To ensure a season three: Keep watching and talking about it. Write things about it. Get the network aware of your enthusiasm.
What is the atmosphere like on set? What is it like working with the cast?
Amazing. The crew fights for good shots. All the actors fight for good performances. We are all pros.
Jaime M. Callica, Actor and Co-Star Wayward Pines
“What to say about Tom… he’s one cool cat! I met Tom at the table read for the first episode of the season, but it wasn’t until the sixth episode (my second) that we actually got to chat and hang out in between the setup for the various shots. He’s funny, focused, and definitely hard-working. That and his dog, albeit super cute, DEFINITELY tried to bite my face off when she was hanging out one day. Okay- maaaaybe she was trying to kiss me, but my fear of dogs made me almost scream! Ha Ha! I’ve now been in a couple of episodes with Tom, and I must say watching his character in action is both impressive and inspiring. I left thinking: ‘Man, this guy is really doing it!’ And he is. It has been a pleasure to meet and work with him, and I wish him nothing but continued success. “
Do you have any other upcoming works you can mention?
No work upcoming yet. I’ve been busy shooting this one. But keep watching Wayward Pines.
Do you have any plans to eventually write? Direct? Produce?
I think if you’re an artist, you have a creative impulse to make things happen. And one of those is fulfilled by acting something somebody else created, but there is always your own opinion. And I have options. Not stories yet to create my own projects, but they’re brewing. Give it a couple years, and I’ll be writing and directing.
What is your advice to people who are considering a career as an actor?
My advice is to DO! Just get out there. Don’t second guess it. Just jump out of the plane. You’ll figure it out on the way down.
See, I told you he had magnificent talent! And what a joy to discover that I’m not alone in that opinion. I couldn’t be happier to see Tom in a role that allows him to shine in a way that highlights his deep passion for acting and creating a character that exudes strong emotion. I honestly believe that as the years advance, Tom will find himself in more prominent roles that genuinely connect with the audience. He consistently takes his role seriously, and he is as humble and down-to-earth as they come. Whatever he must do for the sake of the character and show, he does. He is a team player, and he always remembers is not all about him. It’s this kind of eagerness, devotion, and passion that will set him apart as a bona fide talent and person. I can hardly wait to see what the future holds for him, but in the meantime, be sure to catch him Wednesday nights on Wayward Pines, and then follow him through the course of his career by checking out the links below!
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