Pop-Culturalist Chats with Jacob Buster
It’s not every day that you land the first role you audition for. But that’s exactly what happened to Jacob Buster. Not only did he nail the read, he also discovered his passion for acting, and made the move from Utah to Los Angeles. He’s currently starring as Charlie Sullivan, an abused child who’s separated from his family, in the hit dystopian drama, Colony. Pop-Culturalist was lucky enough to chat with Jacob about where he’d like to see his character in season 3, what it’s like working with Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies, and how he got started in acting.
P-C: How did you get into acting?
Jacob: My dad is a director/writer and my mom is a casting director, so I always knew about the business, but wasn’t totally interested. When I was seven-years-old, my mom was casting a local Utah film and the director asked her why she had never brought me in. I went in to read and the director chose me. Being cast surprised not only me, but my mom as well. From there, I fell in love with the process on set. I’d never been in a play and didn’t know at that age that acting was even something I would be good at and end up loving, but, after that first project, it just kind of felt meant to be. I love becoming a character. I love exploring emotions and working with other creative people. Up until that point, I had been all about soccer. I didn’t even realize I had a creative side. Once I did discover it though, I was hooked! Also, being a social person, I really love meeting new people. Acting allows me to meet new people and get to know them in a deep way pretty quickly. I really love that part of acting.
P-C: How do you juggle school and acting?
Jacob: Until this year, I was able to go to regular school with all my friends and I would leave when I had projects. My career has grown so much that I began home schooling this year. At first I really missed my friends but I also was enjoying the work so much that it took some of the sting out of it. Now, I love the freedom of my school schedule and find my new opportunities so exciting. When I’m on set, I have a tutor and do three hours of school a day while I also work, and when I’m home, I just get to focus on school.
P-C: Is there another career you’d like to explore someday when you’re older?
Jacob: I always kind of thought that I would be a doctor. I have an uncle who works in the ER saving lives. I think that is pretty cool. Plus, he’s one of my favorite people in the world.
P-C: What is your favorite part about working on Colony?
Jacob: My favorite part of filming Colony is that these people are my friends. I also love the fun and creative energy on set. My other favorite thing is that we shot Season 2 on the Universal Studios Lot. I will not confirm or deny whether I have gone on the rides at Universal Studios without having to wait in line.
P-C: What is the biggest challenge of working on a sci-fi genre TV show?
Jacob: Sometimes these dystopian shows can be kind of depressing, but I think the writers have done a great job with filling this show with hope. I’m a natural optimist. I think we all go through struggles, but it’s about how you deal with them and come out on the other side. I think Will, Katie, and the whole Bowman family are showing strength and courage. They’re learning, growing, and forgiving—the kinds of life lessons we are all trying to learn.
P-C: You work with some experienced actors on Colony. Have you gotten any good advice or learned more about the industry from them?
Jacob: It’s such a blessing to get to work with professionals like Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies and everyone else. They have not only taught me so much about acting by just watching their process, but, they are also the most kind and humble humans I could know and they have been so patient with me and so generous. I hope I’m learning a lot more than just acting from them. They are the kind of people I would like to be, as actors and as human beings. Plus, they are so much fun.
P-C: What are your thoughts on the Season 2 finale?
Jacob: I remember reading the finale and being in awe of what a great job the creative team did to bring so many elements and story lines together. Everyone’s performance was on point and I love watching Snyder (Peter Jacobson) work his magic. I can’t wait to see where the journey goes from here, outside the block.
P-C: What are your hopes for your character in Season 3?
Jacob: I hope that as Season 3 progresses, Charlie will get better at overcoming his trauma and becoming less numb. Also, I hope that he can use the skills he learned in Santa Monica to keep the family safe now that they are out in a new environment.
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
P-C: Guilty pleasure TV show?
Jacob: I don’t feel guilty about this at all: Stranger Things.
P-C: Guilty pleasure movie?
Jacob: Again, I don’t know if this qualifies as a guilty pleasure, but I never get tired of The Princess Bride.
P-C: Favorite book?
Jacob: The Michael Vey series.
P-C: Favorite play or musical?
Jacob: I recently saw the Broadway production of Newsies. It was so good. I hope to work with the lead of that show someday.
P-C: Hidden talent?
Jacob: I LOVE music and singing. That’s my absolute fav! I spend a lot of time learning to play songs on the piano that I can sing (from YouTube since I’ve never had piano lessons).
Photo Credit: Birdie Thompson / Grooming: Sylvia J. Stankowski