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Actor Spotlight: Rising Star – Riverdale Actor TREVOR STINES

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The LAFM had an opportunity to spend the afternoon with rising star and all around great guy, Trevor Stines. Admittedly, this guy is easily impressed by anyone who likes comic books and musicals, but that’s beside the point.

For those who may not know who Trevor is, he plays Jason Blossom on the new CW hit show Riverdale. His character happens to be the lynchpin for the entire plot of the series – definitely not a bad gig to land for a guy who’s only been in LA a little over 2 years. We asked Trevor about the show, his mom, what he does for fun and of course about comic books and superheroes!

LAFM:
How did you land the role on Riverdale?

Trevor:
“I feel like I just kind of tripped and fell into it. It was so random. It felt like an accident. I remember that I was walking home from the doctor’s office that day. I was in a really sour mood. I was just in a really bad mood that day – It was really hot, I was sweating and just uncomfortable. Then I got a call from my agent. He was like: “Hey. I need you to put yourself on tape. I need you to record an audition for this show and I need it in an hour.” That’s such a short amount of time to tape an audition and at this point, I’m not even home yet. So I run back home. I get inside and there’s nobody there to help me film. So I’m home alone and start pulling furniture to set up filming. I pull my kitchen table into the living room and put a chair on top of it. I even stacked books on top of the chair so I could lean my phone against the books and get a good angle. I’m pulling lamps from every room to try to get good lighting. I was just having a miserable time. So eventually after doing all this stuff, I am about to break down. So I take a deep breath and decide that I am going to take a shower, rinse myself off, change and get back to this audition. I took a second to calm myself down and got in front of my phone camera and sent a couple takes of it to my agent and he sent it in. Then the next day, I got the call from my agent telling me I got it. But at first I didn’t know what “it” was. Then come to find out it was a CW show.

We went to film the pilot and there was so much buzz around it since it was based of the Archie comic series – just quite a bit darker than the original comics.”

LAFM:
Your character is a redhead, is that your natural hair color?

Trevor:
“I am blonde originally, but I play the twin brother of the character Cheryl Blossom (actress Madelaine Petsch) and she is just a bright redhead. I mean a strong vibrant red mane, so they dyed my hair. It’s funny, because the first time they dyed my hair they had pictures of Madelaine from Instagram and were holding it up to my head to make sure it matched. It was a lot of fun.”

LAFM:
What was it like when you walked on set for the first time?

Trevor:
“It was crazy. In a certain way your training and experience kind of prepare you for that kind of thing, but it’s definitely been the biggest project I’ve ever had the opportunity to work on. So in a way in prepares you, but nothing really matches that feeling of being taken to your trailer and then getting in front of the camera for the first time. It’s exhilarating. It’s a dream. It’s what you live for – especially filming the pilot. We got to film in some beautiful locations and work with some really really great people. And since then we have been filming the first season and it’s just been amazing, you know…filming the show has been like nothing else. It’s a show that’s filled with so much talent and I really think that’s going to come through as the episodes keep airing every week.”

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LAFM:
So now you have this big gig, what’s next for you?

Trevor:
“You know, that is a good question. I think that’s always what an actor is faced with after he’s finished working on a project. He thinks about what’s coming up next for him. And, I’m kind of approaching it the way I approach everything in my career. I’m just going with the flow. I try not to look too far in the future because I don’t want to lose focus on what I’m doing. Since the sow has premiered, it’s definitely got its fans. I’ve had people reach out to me to ask about the show and the mysteries and relationships. It’s been amazing to hear that kind of feedback and I’m just enjoying that experience for what it is now.”

LAFM:
What about your mom? It sounds like she’s by far your biggest fan. When you got the part on the show, what was her reaction?

Trevor:
[LAUGHING] “She really is my biggest fan. I am so appreciative of that. When I got this show, she went out and bought all the Archie comics. She started reading them, I mean she went all in for it. When it came on the air, she recorded the episode.  She was posting on Facebook every article and every picture of me that came out from the show. She tells all her friends. She’s rabid. She’s a rabid fan. She was just so excited for me when I booked this and got to film. I’m really grateful for that.

I definitely feel like I have been very lucky. I’ve known people like my really good friends who have been at this a lot longer than I have and are far more talented than me that are still doing the daily grind and working…well so am I, but I definitely feel very, very lucky to be where I am now – especially so early on in my career. My roommate was just telling me “You can only go up from here” and I really have to agree with that. I definitely feel the momentum and I want to keep it moving.”

LAFM:
Aside from walking onto the set for the first time, what’s been the craziest thing you’ve experienced since the show premiered?

Trevor:
“I think some of the fan art that has come out. I mean that’s always crazy for me that people draw me. It’s really fun.

There was this one time a couple weeks ago when this teenage girl saw me and when I walked by she freaked out. She yelled: ‘Trevor!’ and when I turned around this hysterical young woman came up to me saying ‘Oh my god! I can’t believe I’m meeting you. I’m such a huge fan of yours.’ And I had no idea how to respond. I was like ‘Hi.’ She was telling me her name and I was just like ‘I’m Trevor. Nice to meet you.’ Meanwhile she was almost in tears and had her friend take pictures of us. I mean obviously that was so much fun and so amazing for me to meet a fan, but from an outside perspective looking in on my life, I was amazed by the whole thing. I never thought that I would be in the kind of place where I’m being recognized on the street. It’s just that I don’t see myself as someone worth freaking out over, you know. But it was amazing that I got to experience that.

I constantly am amazed at my own life now. I remember the first time I was flying out to film the show and I just had a moment of clarity and thought to myself “I cannot believe that I am sitting on a plane about to fly to a beautiful city to film a television show for a network that I love.” I was just walking through the airport shaking my head in amazement. It’s definitely surreal. Constantly, constantly surreal. I don’t know if I will ever get used to it.”

LAFM:
What do you do for fun in your free time?

Trevor:
“That’s always a funny question to me because I feel like I don’t live that exciting of a life. I like to be quiet in my free time. I really enjoy exercising. I go to the gym; I like to go for runs. That’s relaxing to me. Whenever I can I watch a couple episodes of something on Netflix. I love watching movies. I’ve been reading A LOT lately.”

LAFM:
What have you been reading?

Trevor:
“Well, lately I have been reading the Enderverse series by Orson Scott Card. You know Enders Game and the like 16 books in the whole series. I have been working my way through those and really enjoying them. I have just been blowing through them – like a book every couple days. I’ve just been reading anything I can get my hands on lately.

I am a huge, huge – I mean like anybody who knows me knows that I am a diehard comic book fan. Any and all comics honestly. Ever since I was kid, I have been obsessed with superheroes. I grew up watching the Spiderman TV show. I would go online and go on Wikipedia and read the character history of any superhero I was interested in. So I would go to the Wikipedia page for Spiderman and read the character biography. Then when reading it I would of course see something about a character that I didn’t know anything about. So then I would click on that link. Eventually I would end up spending hours on the computer reading about superheroes. I was, am and will always be obsessed.”

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LAFM:
Who is your favorite superhero?

Trevor:
“Honestly, it may be a bit of a banal answer, but it’s got to be Spiderman. I grew up watching the animated series from 1995. That cartoon was great. I still watch it today. Then the Spiderman movies that came out in 2002. I’ve watched all 3 of the Sam Raimi Spiderman films so many times that I can quote them verbatim. It’s a sickness.”

LAFM:
Maybe one day you’ll get to play Spiderman.

Trevor:
“Don’t even talk to me about that. Like honestly, as an actor, when I moved out here I knew my career would not be complete and I would not be fulfilled if I didn’t play a superhero at some point. I am really lucky because I was obsessed with superheroes and superhero movies when I was younger. Then came Ironman in 2008 and now we have 10 superhero movies every year and I’m really not tired of it. I’m like a kid in a candy store. I love it!

When I heard they were casting a new Spiderman, I was like ‘It’s my time! It’s the dream!’ But then, well you  know…Tom Holland got it and he’s actually perfect. But I love it. I saw him in The Avengers: Civil War. I mean for the 15 minutes he was on screen I was like “He’s the perfect Peter Parker.”

My goal now is, I‘m thinking that in about 5-7 years, they’re gonna need a new Captain America. I also really like Cap. I’m a big Cap fan. So I’m thinking… if I can’t play Spiderman, because I’ll be too old by the time Tom Holland’s done, then I’m thinking I could play Cap. Especially when I’m back to my blonde hair. Captain America is a great symbol for the difference between right and wrong. That’s something I really like about Captain America – his patriotism and his belief in doing what’s right for everybody.”

LAFM:
Since you’re a superhero fan, I am going to ask you my favorite superhero question. If you could fly or be invisible, which one would you pick?

Trevor:
“You know, I think you gotta break that question down into what you’d use the powers for, right? I think invisibility is more practical. Like, you can use it in more ways – especially in your day-to-day life. But, who doesn’t want to fly man? I have to pick flight. If I could fly, even if I could do nothing else, then I would put on a costume and fly around. I would get a cape and fly around just so people could look up in the sky and be like “Oh my gosh! Look! That’s crazy!”

I’m just obsessed man. Marvel. DC. All of it. I probably read more DC comics, but I’ve always enjoyed both of them. Marvel definitely has a knack for some good storytelling when they want to. It gets a lot of criticism, but one of my favorite Marvel story events was the Civil War storyline.  I’m not exactly sure why people don’t like it.  I read it and I read all the side stories and I really, really enjoyed it. I love how ambiguous the lines are. You don’t necessarily have a right and wrong. Both Captain America and Iron Man have valid reasons and valid points to back up their stories. That’s something I really appreciate about that story. You can have a hundred people read it and have a 50/50 split. There’s no one good guy and one bad guy in the story…at least not in my eyes.”

LAFM:
With all of the buzz around La La Land I have to ask, in addition to comic books are you a musical guy too? Do you sing at all?

Trevor:
“I am a musical guy, but I cannot sing. People will argue with me on this point, but I think I have a terrible voice. I mean, I grew up in the theater dong plays and musicals in school. So I am a really big musical theater fan.

I am currently working my way through a Hamilton obsession. I had listened to the musical earlier, like months ago, but my mother got me the Hamilton soundtrack for Christmas on CD and since then I’ve just been playing it on repeat in my car. Like, as soon as one CD is done, I pop the other one in. I literally just play it over and over again. I’m obsessed right now. I’m going to see it when it comes to the Pantages. I think my favorite musical though, is Into the Woods. I love it. My favorite song, Agony, was hilarious in the film. I actually saw by myself. It was actually right after I moved to LA in 2014 and I was cracking up! Just alone in this theater laughing at that scene. I really enjoyed it.”

 

Lowell Taylor

Lowell Taylor

Photographer/Writer

Lowell Taylor is an LA-based fashion photographer and writer with an affinity for the new and novel.

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