Interview With Actor Preston Vanderslice 

By Ruth on September 26, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
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Once in awhile, there is a name that just embeds itself in my brain and I cannot seem to obliterate it. Interestingly enough, it just so happens that Preston Vanderslice is one of those names. Thankfully, he is more than just a memorable name as he is a noteworthy actor as well. I first noticed him in Love By Chance, and it seems as though Hallmark, amongst other things, is slowly beginning to learn and take advantage of his potential as an artist. Recently, I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions (and completely misread one of his credits–keep reading, you’ll understand what I mean), and he was kind enough to respond with a little insight into his career and even expound a bit upon his outlook on this polymorphous industry. 

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RH: Please tell us about your journey to becoming an actor. Why did you become an actor, and what kind of training have you received?

PV: I was undoubtedly a bit of a ham growing up. At dinner time with my family I always preferred an actualized “performance” of some event that day over simply relaying the information. So I think that acting/storytelling has always been motivated by the simple desire of play for both myself and the audience. I’m fascinated by the simultaneous event of entertainment and catharsis that occurs when we tell stories. I think it’s a fundamental part of being alive and of helping us make sense of our lives.

In school I got very into sports, and by the time high school rolled around, I had to choose between theatre or football. I ended up choosing football (I grew up in Texas… for better or worse, you can practically smell the pigskin in the air☺); however, I found a very fun outlet in the off-season through a comedy troupe that I joined and stayed involved in until I graduated. After high school, I attended the University of Texas, where I took classes in both their theatre and radio-television-film program. From there, I moved out to LA where I worked with a number of teachers and programs, including The Upright Citizens Brigade, Janet Alhanti and Joe Anthony at The Red Door Theatre.

Please tell us about your first professional job.

My first professional job was playing the troubled boyfriend to the very talented Miranda Lambert in her music video “Bring Me Down.” I knew at the time that she was very good, but had no idea that she was going to become the country music icon she now is. The experience was a blast, and Miranda was great to work with.

{If you would like to see that music video, check it out here}

wp-1473826418231.pngI notice you guest-starred on Arrow. Please tell us about that experience. 

Arrow was an awesome show to work on. The entire cast and crew of that show run like clockwork, so as a guest star, it’s a very easy atmosphere to step into and do your thing. I’m a big fan of what the CW is doing with all of their DC Comic shows in that they’ve been able to carve out their own unique approach to a sometimes over-inundated superhero genre.

You were also on three episodes of Young & the Restless.  How did that experience compare to other TV you had done? 

Well, it was actually a web series called Young and Reckless that I was in, which is quite different from the soap opera Young & The Restless. But still a great experience nonetheless. My mother (and my bank account) wish that it had been Young & The Restless

You also got to be on Supernatural.  What was that experience like? 

I don’t have enough good things to say about my experience working on Supernatural. They are all one big, hard-working, professional, happy family, and it shows in the success of that show. It was neat working with Jensen {Ackles} and Jared {Padalecki}, who are also both from Texas, and in fact, Jensen and I graduated from the same high school. Also, I hadn’t done much stunt work before Arrow and Supernatural, and it was very interesting to see how they pull off all of their cool tricks.

What do you like about working for Hallmark?

The Hallmark films I’ve worked on have all been very positive experiences largely because they hire directors and actors that are enjoyable to collaborate with. Their stories are always quite earnest, which is a fun world to play in seeing as though society can often be rather cynical. They have tended to cast me as “the other guy” or, even perhaps, the guy you maybe love to hate; that was definitely the case in Love By Chance and to a certain degree in The Wedding March. I don’t mind playing those characters because, again, approached earnestly and with a sense of empathy, you feel for them. However, I did get to play a role in an upcoming Christmas movie for Hallmark that was a departure from “the other guy”.

Preston Vanderslice (Peter Bloom)

Preston Vanderslice (Peter Bloom)

How did you get the role in Love By Chance? What was most memorable about that experience?

The casting director and I had a hilariously fun time shaping that character in the audition room and then when I got to set, Gary Harvey, the director, continued to push it in the same direction. Gary is a very enthusiastic “actor’s” director and gave me a lot to play with. We shot the date scene between Beau {Garrett} and I at the very end of a long day for her, but she was such a present and gracious person.

What stands out about The Wedding March? Would you like to be part of the sequel?

The location of The Wedding March is the first thing that stands out to me about that experience. They shot at this gorgeous golf course/country club out in Harrison Hot Springs… it was one of those locations where you couldn’t help by smile because you’re getting to work in this environment. But again, the cast and crew were great. My character is sort of being “wined and dined” by Cameron Bancroft’s character in hopes that I’ll buy a property that he has on the market, so all of my scenes were with him, and that guy is about as pleasant and professional as they get.

I haven’t heard of this sequel, but would love to be part of it. My role was somewhat minor to the story, but if they let me pop back in for a scene or two, that’d be great!

Any other upcoming roles you can mention?

There’s the Christmas movie for Hallmark that I mentioned above, as well as a role in an ABC mini series called When We Rise! and another TV movie for The Pixl Network, though I don’t know when either of the latter two will be released.  I’m also not sure what the final titles of either of the TV movies will be… but I’m sure they’ll be good!

Any plans to eventually write/direct?

I actually do a fair amount of writing; however, it’s still a somewhat new craft for me so there’s nothing that has been produced on a major level yet. But yes! that is the plan. I find it to be a nice balance to acting. It helps me step back a bit and see the story on a larger level. It’s also something that you don’t have to wait for anyone to tell you that you can do, which is a nice antidote to the lack of control you sometimes feel towards the acting profession.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I spend a good amount of my time in Vancouver, BC so I love being active outside. It’s almost comical the amount of beautiful hikes, lakes, islands and skiing we have so close to us here. I took up swimming when I was in my early twenties and do that on a regular basis. I’m also a bit of a bookworm and podcast nerd, which is nice for the gray days we have here.

What is your advice to young people planning to enter the entertainment profession?

Create. Stay curious and open. Shoot shorts, web series, mount shows in black box theatres. To steal a quote from Mark Duplass in his SXSW keynote speech, “the cavalry is not coming”. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to do what you want to do; especially nowadays when equipment is easier and cheaper to come by than ever. And don’t be overly precious about what you’re making. This killed me when I was younger. Not everything has to be a masterpiece. If you tell stories that you yourself find interesting/funny/thought-provoking, then you’re on your way.

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In addition to Preston’s name and talent, he also has another substantial thing going for him–his inconsumable drive to work. In this business (and in today’s society), all too often, I see various young people who feel entitled and don’t want to invest the necessary time and resources in following their dreams. Moreover, most of the time, those young people just want an easy ride, and they may not even have ambitions, goals, or dreams. Not so with Preston, which makes him a refreshing addition to the acting community. And I believe it is why his star is on the steady ascent, and I am of the persuasion that as he consistently immerses himself in his roles with such enthusiasm and prowess, he will continue to be offered more prominent roles that can demonstrate his true range of giftedness. For now, I would invite each of you to check out his links below and follow him if possible, so that you will be “in the loop” when it comes to his upcoming works. Furthermore, I can eagerly anticipate his upcoming Christmas film and more as I know that if he is featured in a film or a show, his role is bound to be delightfully exceptional and always unforgettable.

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

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