Pop-Culturalist Chats with Lovell Adams-Gray
Lovell Adams-Gray is a man of many talents. He is a producer and a writer; first and foremost, though, he’s an actor. Most recently, you can catch him in the creepy horror Netflix show Slasher: Guilty Party. We were able to chat with Lovell about his role as Peter Broome on the show, his other projects, and the importance of art.
P-C: What drew you to acting as a profession?
Lovell: I think it was something I was born into. I think, innately, all of us are artists, and everything we do is an art. And, for me, I just decided to go toward acting. That and Will Smith. [laughs] Will Smith got me into it, too.
P-C: Tell us a little bit about your character from Slasher: Guilty Party.
Lovell: Well Peter Broome is a leader, first and foremost. He is a man haunted by his past, and he’s just trying to make things right. He should have done the right thing a few years back, but he didn’t have the opportunity. He froze up. I think now everything’s coming full circle for him, and he really wants to do the right thing. He gets caught up in a crazy spiral of chaos. In that situation and moment, he really steps up to the plate and comes into his own. In his own way, he finds redemption.
P-C: What is it like working on a horror production? Are you easily scared? Does that bring that out?
Lovell: I don’t do horror movies! I do scare easily in a jump-scare kind of way. I don’t like that building music crescendo sound [in horror movies]. I’d rather be scared psychologically. I like existential thrillers. Shooting something like this…The fear factor wasn’t so much what was coming after us–it was the environment. We shot it on location up in Orangeville. It was freezing, and it was nighttime a lot of the time. That’s pretty much the basic setting for any horror film.
P-C: What was your favorite part of filming?
Lovell: Oddly enough, shooting on location. It made it more realistic for us. We were dropped into our environment and circumstances. And it was beautiful–acres and acres of campground that I’d never seen before. It took me back to summer camp; I never even went to summer camp as a kid, but I might as well have gone. Also, the people that I got to shoot with were amazing. They were all very kind and very good at what they do.
P-C: Aside from acting, you also have a recent project that you wrote and co-produced, The Olde Proverb. Is that something you want to do more of in the future?
Lovell: I’m forever an actor first. Directing and producing are very secondary to me, and I think I’ll always want it to be secondary for me. That’s a whole ‘nother business mindset. That’s why there’s a team of us. I do love to write. I do love to make music. I do love to act and tell stories. Mostly, I’ll be able to write and produce my own things with me in them! But I don’t have much of an interest in directing.
P-C: What were the biggest challenges of working on both The Olde Proverb and Guilty Party?
Lovell: The biggest challenge for me for Guilty Party was finding ways to make it real. I think in horror film, it’s so extreme, that it’s a challenge to make it truthful as an actor because you’re doing things that are never done. We mostly tell stories that–either a bio pic or a drama or comedy–that people are a part of in real life. But, in this, people are chasing you with a chainsaw or whatever, and what do you really do [in real life], right? How do you make choices as an actor that when someone is watching they’d go, “I’d do that. That makes sense.” For Olde Proverb, the biggest challenge was playing someone like ___ and telling his truth. Finding a way to be truthful to him. There’s not much documented on him. There were some videos I could watch and try to get the cadence of his voice and who he was as a person, but trying to briefly capture who the man is in half a page of dialogue was hard.
P-C: So, is it more challenging to do a role based on a person?
Lovell: I think it is a bigger challenge. Because, God-willing, they see it, and then they may go, “That’s not me,” and then you’re like “Oh no!” The best case scenario is that they say, “He got me,” or at least, “He got a part of me.” At the end of the day, it’s one moment. At least get this one little wink or nod of humanity that says, “I see you.”
P-C: Do you have someone that you’d like to work with on a project someday?
Lovell: I have three: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, and Will Smith. If I could get them in a movie all together…oh my God!
P-C: What’s one piece of advice that you try to use in your life?
Lovell: That we are all artists. No matter how much we think that art is stupid, or art is trivial, or art doesn’t belong in the real world, everything is an art if you make it so. Try to love what you do, and make it an art for yourself. Strip away all the phones, technology, and stuff, all we have to pass the time and educate each other is storytelling.
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
Guilty pleasure tv show or movie
The Divine Comedy
Musician or artist you could listen to on repeat
Lupe Fiasco. fav artist of all time
I make beats.
Stuck on an Island
A sword, music (like Lupe’s The Cool on repeat), and something that could filter water.