Lovell Adams-Gray is an actor, writer, producer born and raised in Toronto, Ontario (CA). Lovell attended and graduated from the Humber College Acting for Film and Television program, and continued his training at CFC actor’s conservatory. He has had the fortune of working with acclaimed Canadian director; Clement Virgo, award winning producer/director Frank Van Keeken, and is known for his work on Lost & Found Music Studios, the short film; Damon, and as Peter Broome in the horror Anthology series; Slasher: Guilty Party. Lovell’s debut project came as a hosting role on Frank Van Keeken’s popular Family channel show, The Next Step Aftershow. (IMDB Biography)
1. WHAT WAS YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING AN ACTOR? WHERE DID IT BEGIN?
It all started at North Albion Collegiate Institute. I went to NACI for 2 years and my best friend, Leighton Alexander Williams and I started the drama club together. We had always been passionate about acting, but didn’t really know how to pursue it. So we decided to go through our school, put on plays and perform. We both left and moved to Brampton where Leighton went to Fletcher’s Meadow and specialized in the drama program, and I went to St Marguerite D’youville where they put on 3 plays a year (at the time). I graduated and went to Humber College for Acting for Film/TV and they helped get my foot in the door!
2. WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AND WHY?
I am probably most proud of the work I was able to do on CBC’s Coroner. I play Dr. Dwayne Allen, who quickly becomes the Chief Pathologist at a really young age. To be able to tell my parents and grandparents that I play I doctor on TV is something special, and something I feel that they are proud of. Getting to play a focused, intelligent, quirky, and layered character like Dwayne is a huge gift, and one I do not take lightly.
3. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING ACTORS?
Have and maintain your core values. In this industry there are going to be so many different opinions, perspectives, and influences on you. Fortunately, if you can always remember and return to your core beliefs, you will always be grounded. You can always come home. Whether that be literally, or metaphorically. This is universal, no matter what spiritual practice you have, come back to your centre and ground yourself; you can never go wrong.
4. WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE ASPIRING ACTORS FOR PREPARING FOR AN AUDITION? (E.G. DO YOU STUDY WITH A PRIVATE COACH?)
I think the grounding principles apply here especially. When you’re in the room you can TAKE. YOUR. TIME. Don’t be indulgent, but remember that you can compose yourself and breathe before you are ready to begin. Lebron does it, Steph Curry, Meryl Streep, Acting Coaches, Singers, Dancers. If every other artist can take the moment they need to begin, then actors can damn sure do the same thing! Acting coaches can be extremely helpful and take the pressure off, but be malleable within your situation. If you have a coach for a selftape, listen to their direction and play with them. You paid them to help you, so use them! If you have a coach for an audition in the room, remember malleability in that too. You may not find the exact thing you found when you prepped it with the coach. THAT IS OKAY!!!
There is no such thing as perfect acting. If there was, that person would win every award and never stop working. Doesn’t work like that. Be malleable, which means to remain fluid in your thinking, and in your approach. Trust what is already in your body and that you know the scene because you practiced well. Then be willing to let that go when the casting director gives you a redirect!! If i could have told myself that when I started out I would’ve saved myself a lot of anxiety and nervous bathroom trips!
5. WHICH ACTING TEACHER/COACH/SCHOOL PLAYED THE BIGGEST ROLE IN YOUR CAREER?)
LS&CO, Humber College, The CFC, and Sophie Ann Rooney’s RAW studio are a big part of my practice, and have greatly expanded my capabilities as an actor. I studied with Sophie most recently, but the work I’ve picked up from Michele, Stephen, and Claudia have remained in me and continue to drop in deeper every day. I’ll be in the shower one day a note that was given to me 2 years ago in class will finally click! That either means I don’t listen, or some things take longer to be understood than others. Or both!
6. DO YOU FEEL IT IS NECESSARY FOR PERFORMERS TO PROMOTE THEMSELVES IN ORDER TO ADVANCE THEIR CAREERS? (E.G. USING SOCIAL MEDIA)
Social Media is a huge part of our world, scarily so (see Fahrenheit 451 starring Michael B. Jordan). However, promoting oneself doesn’t have to mean simply talking about and posting one’s successes. It can also be used as a platform for constructive change, honesty and endless positivity. There’s more than one way to get your voice heard. Be different, do different things. That’s what Kendrick Lamar said and that’s something I live by. Whatever you choose to do to get your work out there, just know that the work doesn’t stop! That’s the most important thing to remember. The work don’t stop! Keep honing your craft, keep things on your feed that inspire and uplift YOU, and create if you FEEL like creating. I’ll tell you a secret, though: *the days you don’t feel like creating, are the days when you should.*
7. WHAT IS THE HARDEST ROLE/CHARACTER YOU’VE EVER PLAYED?
The hardest character I’ve had to play was Peter Broome in Slasher for Netflix. EVERYTHING WAS SO NEW!! They don’t tell you about that part. The newness of leading a series. Thank God that we were an ensemble of leaders and I learned a lot from my cast mates. Going from being a day player or a recurring to being one of the leads of a series came with a huge learning curve for me. Way more days on set, (which was the best part!), more coverage, longer hours, more lines, rewrites, mistakes, and a lot of self doubt. That’s what that role came with; some of which I wasn’t prepared for. Fortunately, we adapt quickly to change! Being a leader is a gift, and that goes beyond having more screen time than others. It means being generous, present and ready to work every day! It also means having the humility to fail publicly while having the stamina to keep going; giving all that the character requires. Slasher was the hardest, but the most rewarding role because I saw a quality in myself that I haven’t often been able to practice and I loved what I saw. It was one of the greatest and most unforgettable experiences of my career so far.
8. IF YOU COULD TURN BACK TIME AND APPEAR IN ANY FILM MADE IN THE PAST 20 YEARS, WHICH FILM AND CHARACTER WOULD YOU CHOOSE … AND WHY?
Training Day, playing Jake. Getting to play opposite Denzel in a role like that? Life changing! Fences as Cory Maxon, because that role really speaks to me and certain aspects of my familial life.
9. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE CANADIAN FILM/TV INDUSTRY CAN DO DIFFERENTLY IN ORDER TO GROW?
I would like to see the Canadian Film/TV industry build its own! Give more precedence to features starring Canadian leads. I need to see billboards when TIFF comes and I want to see our films! That would help build our star system a lot more. I’d also like to see more joint ventures with international industries like Bollywood and Nollywood that can bring in a stream of revenue way bigger than what we generate now. Force Drake to produce big budget films to help push and gain traction in foreign markets and show the states and the rest of the world that we ain’t just baby brother out here! We the North and we have something the world needs to see.
10. WE ALL HAVE MENTORS. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO GIVE US THE HOPE, INSPIRATION, AND THE DRIVE TO KEEP GOING. IN THE INDUSTRY, WHO ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN YOUR MENTORS AND WHY?
Mentorship is a big deal to me, and I’ve had a few that have helped me a lot. Andre Newell. He’s been a great help to me and my career over the years. He wrote my first letter of recommendation to the CFC. That changed a lot for me, not to mention the Toronto Monologue Slam!! 3 time champ baby! Andre told me “the more you do, the more you can do” Words to live by. Olunike Adeliyi has guided me through some immense growth spurts in my career, and she has supported me like a travelling auntie! She is walking wisdom, and is a powerhouse artist in every sense. Beautiful, intelligent, strong, and extremely hard working. The work never stops is her mantra! Kiana Madeira, my girlfriend and incredible actress. She is my guiding light in every sense of the term. Elevating with me every step of the way, Kiana is the anchor in our relay. She teaches me to be compassionate, vulnerable, and still. She is my peace and a huge inspiration, as her career skyrockets to incredible heights.
Lastly, I consider Lupe Fiasco, Dwyane Wade, Will Smith, and Denzel Washington my mentors in major ways. Lupe’s discipline, dedication to craft, and immense talent. Dwyane Wade’s swag, poise, and consciousness speak volumes to me. Will Smith’s joy of life attitude, incredible talent, strong work ethic and mental fortitude. Denzel Washington because he is the G.O.A.T. and a father figure to young black men in the industry. He is a leader of strong discipline, he works hard, and he uplifts his brothers and sisters by being a shining example in the best regards… and come on! Do i need to say more? He’s the G.O.A.T.
LOVELL IS REPRESENTED BY:
– Maria Ralley at ETM
– David Sweeney at Sweeney Entertainment
FOLLOW LOVELL ON SOCIAL MEDIA