From younger star to 'cagey previous veteran', Jason Priestley marks 30 years as director

From younger star to 'cagey previous veteran', Jason Priestley marks 30 years as director

Article content material

Relying in your age, it might appear unusual to listen to Jason Priestley check with himself as a “cagey previous veteran.” For these of a sure classic, he simply appears endlessly younger.

As an actor, he’s nonetheless finest recognized for his decade-long run within the Nineteen Nineties enjoying earnest teen Brandon Walsh on the wildly in style highschool drama Beverly Hills 90210, a present that catapulted him to stardom. However even earlier than that function, the Canadian actor/director had just a few years underneath his belt, having landed commercials and guest-star roles on TV sequence within the mid-Nineteen Eighties when he was a teen. Since then, he has continued to behave and direct – on the time of this interview, Priestley had simply celebrated his Thirtieth-anniversary directing movies and tv – together with a two-episode arc of Netflix’s My Life with the Walter Boys in the course of the summer season of 2022.

Commercial 2

Article content material

Article content material

In an interview with Postmedia not lengthy after wrapping his episodes on the Alberta-shot sequence, Priestley makes use of the above description when requested about directing fellow actors. The sequence, which begins streaming Dec. 7,  is a fish-out-of-water story a couple of teen from Manhattan named Jackie (Nikki Rodriguez) whose life is upended after the demise of her dad and mom forces her to reside on a sprawling Colorado ranch inhabited by 10 Walter siblings. Two of the boys, the bookish Alex (Ashby Gentry) and his older brother Cole (Noah LaLonde), a former high-school soccer star whose glory is minimize brief by an damage, enter right into a healthful “love triangle” with the brand new arrival. The family is overseen by dad and mom George (Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Marc Blucas) and Katherine (Sarah Rafferty, from Fits). As a director, Priestley discovered widespread floor with these fellow veterans. However his distinctive experiences in Hollywood additionally made him well-suited to direct the three younger stars of the sequence, all relative newcomers to the business.

“Working with the youthful actors that aren’t as seasoned because the older actors is quite a lot of enjoyable for me,” Priestley says. “I bear in mind after I was a younger actor myself. I obtained quite a lot of nice steerage from sure administrators who actually helped me early on in my profession. I get pleasure from attempting to fill that function for younger actors if I can. I believe that’s a part of your duty is to take that point with younger actors and assist to information them should you can. It’s one of many issues I get pleasure from about directing.”

Article content material

Commercial 3

Article content material

Walter Boys
Ashby Gentry and Noah LaLonde in My Life with the Walter Boys. Courtesy Netflix. jpg

Rodriguez, Gentry and LaLonde will not be full newbies. Rodriguez might be finest recognized for her season-long arc in Netflix’s comedy-drama On My Block, the place she performed robust woman Vero in a job that appears the polar reverse of Jackie. Up till the Walter Boys, LaLonde had principally starred in brief movies. The Michigan native performed hockey for 17 years earlier than turning his consideration to appearing, shifting to the Detroit space and chopping his enamel with teams equivalent to The Actor’s Loft and LaValle Actors Workshop. The Phoenix-born Gentry obtained his BFA in appearing from Boston College, however earlier than touchdown the Walter Boys, his solely main appearing function was in an episode of Nickelodeon’s reboot of Are You Afraid of the Darkish?

So whereas they might be newcomers, all three have developed strategies to search out widespread floor with their characters.

“Numerous these experiences weren’t that tough for me as a result of I’m an solely youngster,” says Rodriguez. “Particularly with the household scenes, it actually felt like ‘Wow, this can be a lot …’ however in one of the simplest ways, as a result of it was tremendous chaotic. I really feel like with each character I play, I mix my very own life and my character’s life. So there’s slightly little bit of me.”

Commercial 4

Article content material

LaLonde says his character – in style jock turned troubled teen after shedding his social place as a college soccer star – has an advanced arc however he may dip into his personal experiences as a former athlete who gave up the sport.

“Enjoying hockey, and that being such a giant a part of my life, there have been some actually sturdy parallels,” he says. “After I stopped enjoying hockey, I used to be 19 years previous and it was all I used to be. There are variations in how we left our respective video games, however the feeling of being one thing after which not having something to do with that and questioning if you’ll stroll exterior and individuals are going to know: Are you continue to that particular person? Are you carrying a dressing up? I bear in mind feeling that and it was actually scary for me to see mates I knew and they might say ‘How’s hockey going?’ This factor that was every single day is now nothing. Cole will get that taken from him by means of accidents, however there are quite a lot of parallels there in that feeling of waking up sooner or later and every little thing is completely different and never figuring out what to do with that.”

Talking of life adjustments, whereas Netflix hasn’t introduced if My Life With the Walter Boys will proceed, producers and solid are hoping for a number of seasons. If the present finds success, significantly with a youthful demographic, the three younger actors may discover themselves coping with fame. This, after all, is previous hat for Priestley. He discovered worldwide fame whereas in his early 20s.

“From time to time, (younger actors) do ask me for recommendation and I’m comfortable to present them recommendation after I can,” he says. “The business these days has modified considerably from the meteoric rise on tv that I went by. It’s a barely completely different panorama today given social media and every little thing children must wrestle with at present. I don’t envy all of that. However I attempt to assist them the place I can.”

My Life with the Walter Boys begins streaming on Dec. 7.

Article content material