Interview with actor Keiynan Lonsdale
photography by Franc Fernandez
What ritual do you have before each audition?
I often try to distract myself with other tasks before an audition. It frees me up and stops me from placing unnecessary doubt and pressure on myself [so I can] do an amazing job. I am however always prepared, and I decide on clear choices, but make sure I remain open to whatever can happen in the room.
Do you have superstitions?
I mean…without even realizing it until now…I do avoid walking under ladders and I don’t bring open umbrellas inside. Hmm.
Are you ever nervous?
I become insanely nervous before I perform in front of people, it’s been like that since I was a kid. That moment before going on stage has always been so frightening, but as soon as I step out. I end up feeling this rush of happiness.
Have you ever had a crush on someone on set?
All the time. I probably develop a slight crush on someone with each job I do. As an artist you can learn so much about someone in such an intimate way that you can’t help but fall a little bit in love with them for a short period of time. But I think that’s natural, and often times those people can end up becoming your lifelong friends.
Is it ever uncomfortable to maintain eye contact with your scene partner? Why?
Sure, but damn it feels good when you can break down that annoying barrier, because it can bring something so interesting to a single moment.
What scares you about acting?
Being completely vulnerable in front of strangers. It’s a sort of a beautiful thing, but yeah it can be scary.
Describe your job in one word?
What type of thing do you only tell your guy friends?
Honestly, I don’t think about it based on guy vs girl friends. We’re all so open and expressive. I just judge what and how much to share with certain friends over others based on how they handle real talk.
See more on Keiynan, and the other men we are featuring in issue, “Men At Work”, here