Pop-Culturalist Chats with Kian Lawley

Kian Lawley

It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for Iowa-born actor, Kian Lawley. This up-and-coming star has shown he’s a next-gen talent and Hollywood’s newest leading man. With each project, he’s proven he can tackle any role, whether that be an indie film or a blockbuster hit. His credits include the films, Shovel Buddies, The Chosen, and Before I Fall (which he won a Teen Choice Award for).

He’s currently starring as the title character in the AwesomenessTV and go90, Zac & Mia. Based on a bestselling novel, Zac & Mia tells the story about an unlikely bond that forms between two teenagers battling cancer. It’s a performance that’s sure to make Kian a household name. Pop-Culturalist was lucky enough to chat with Kian about the role, why he was drawn to the project, and why he gravitates towards more dramatic roles.

P-C: Tell us about Zac & Mia and your character.
Kian: I play Zac. He’s kind of a little genius. He’s really smart. He gets diagnosed with cancer at a young age and learns to cope by learning the statistics about cancer, specifically the survival rate, and what his odds of surviving are.

P-C: What initially drew you to this project?
Kian: The realness. I like projects that tell stories and don’t hold back, and I think that’s what we brought to the table with Zac & Mia. We really showed the ins and out of what we could.

P-C: How did you prepare for this role?
Kian: It was a process. Anne, who plays Mia, and I went to a hospital and met with a lot of kids who are battling cancer. It allowed us to really understand what they were going through, and we did our best to portray that with this show. We didn’t want to cut any corners or do them an injustice. We were fortunate enough to spend a solid couple of hours with them and really got to know them. They’re regular kids with this crazy thing that was brought upon them. It was crazy to listen and understand how they deal with all these issues that they’re going through.

P-C: How similar are you to your character?
Kian: We’re pretty similar. We’re very family-oriented. Like Zac, I tend to put others first, before myself. I’m always looking after my family. It’s not my duty but it’s something that I choose to do. The same goes with my friends. I’m always looking out for the people in my life. Also, Zac attacks things head on. He doesn’t want to show other people that he’s scared.

P-C: How did you and Anne build your chemistry?
Kian: It came naturally. We didn’t really have to build anything. We just stumbled upon it and it happened to work out perfectly.

P-C: Is there a particular scene or episode that you’re really excited for your fans to see?
Kian: I would say the finale. It’s the most heartfelt episode. Besides that, maybe episode four, there’s a really big scene that I can’t wait for people to watch.

P-C: What’s been the most rewarding part of this experience for you?
Kian: Being able to share this with my friends and family. They came out to the premiere and were able to see what I’ve been filming for about a month and a half. It was nice to see all their faces and for them to see what I’m incredibly passionate about.

P-C: The show deals with a very serious topic, but there are also really light-hearted moments in there. As an actor, is there one that you prefer doing scenes for?
Kian: I love doing both, but the dramatic scenes are personally more rewarding. They hit home with a lot more people. At the same time, the ability to make someone laugh, especially after a bad day, is so satisfying. You can’t help but smile when you think of people being able to forget about their problems for at least a little bit. For right now, I definitely want to stick with more dramatic roles.

Check out this exclusive clip from tomorrow’s episode:

Pop-Culturalist Speed Round

P-C: Guilty pleasure TV show?
Kian: I don’t know if it’s a guilty pleasure but I love watching documentaries, especially about prison.

P-C: Guilty pleasure movie?
Kian: It’d probably be a chick flick.

P-C: Favorite play or musical?
Kian: Hamilton

P-C: Favorite social media platform?
Kian: Instagram

P-C: A band or artist that fans would be surprised to learn is on your playlist?
Kian: Leon Bridges. He’s a new up-and-coming artist that people would be surprised to learn that I listen to.

P-C: Favorite book?
Kian: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

P-C: Hidden talent?
Kian: I can fold my tongue like a burger!

Keep up with Kian by following him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and subscribe to his YouTube channel, and catch new episodes of Zac & Mia every Tuesday and Thursday on go90.

Photo Credit: AwesomenessTV


Kevin is a writer living in New York City. He is an enthusiast with an extensive movie collection, who enjoys attending numerous conventions throughout the year. His favorite shows include Game of Thrones and The Flash.

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