Taking the plunge into Hollywood’s competitive acting pool is no easy feat. Just ask one of its newest players, Myles Grier.
YouTube hit “Black Boots” follows a batch of students engulfed in Greek Life at a prestigious HBCU. Before you think about backflips and probates, this clever drama goes deeper and nixes clichés of Greek Life with its harrowing storylines. Grier plays science major Evan, who deals with drug abuse after trying to get ahead in his courses.
Aside from his roles on the small screen, Grier has also worked behind the scenes on NBC’s über popular The Voice and major films like What To Expect When You’re Expecting, The Watch, and Blackhats.
While he’s preparing for his next role alongside David Duchovny in an episode of NBC’s special series Aquarius, we asked the fresh-faced actor about beginning his story in L.A. and what motivates him on his journey to the top.
Check out our interview below.
Tell me about yourself.
“I’m born and raised in Atlanta, GA to my Nigerian mother, Derry Grier, and an American father, Michael Grier. Fortunately, my parents are still together and I was raised in a very close family, along with three other siblings, two brothers and one sister. I’m the second oldest, technically the middle child in age, since my younger brother and sister are twins.
Since the age of 11, I’ve been acting educationally and at 13 years old, I started professionally and signed with my first talent agent.
On the side of acting, in between gigs to keep money in my pockets, I worked behind the scenes in casting, in production, and in a talent agent’s office. I also majored in mass media at DSA, so I knew production well. If I wasn’t going to be in front of the camera, I wanted to spend my time learning the Do’s and Don’t of an actor, so I worked in entertainment in positions where I could observe and take notes. After I graduated from Valdosta State University, I started planning for my move to Los Angeles. I knew a friend with my first talent agency who turned director, Brandon Thaxton, and he started a production company, Supremacy Films, along with Producer Errol Sadler. I soon started in the casting department of Supremacy Films, which gave me the tools and knowledge to continue onto major studio productions in casting or production in between acting gigs to save up for my move to Los Angeles, and ultimately allow me to stay in Los Angeles until my acting career takes off more steadily.”
Describe your first day in L.A.
“My first day in Los Angeles was interesting. I took a night standby flight, with just a carry on suitcase and no place to live, no car, no full time job. The only thing I knew is that the next morning, I had a 6:00 a.m. call time to work as a casting production assistant for The Voice. Fortunately, I knew a college friend in town who allowed me to sleep on his couch for a month. I figured out the Metro public transportation system and found my way to the casting location the next morning, so my first actual full day in Los Angeles was spent working a 12 hour day, assisting casting producers, and resting up for the next work day.”
What is your favorite place in California?
“I can’t call just one place my favorite in this beautiful state. My favorite places ‘to be’ are the major studios’ backlots, Warner Brothers Studios, Universal Studios, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Jim Henson Studios, just to name a few, because I grew up dreaming of stepping foot on those stages. I love the history behind the companies and to see the state in which they first started and have progressed to current day is amazing. Venice Beach is another favorite place to get away, relax my mind, enjoy the ocean, and observe interesting characters.”
Name three of your favorite things to do outside of acting.
“Three of my favorite things to do outside of acting is go to the beach, watch television and film, and put my visual arts skills to use through clothing design and web design.”
What is your dream role?
“I don’t have a specific dream role or character, I just want to keep playing roles that will challenge me mentally, vocally, and physically. I love playing characters that are very different from myself. Combined with great filmmakers, other great actors, and great directors, then overall, you have a dream production.
Describe a regular day in L.A.
“Everyday is different, which is why I love acting. What I try to keep consistent is waking up early to pray and go running around the Burbank Hills in my neighborhood, eat a good breakfast for energy and protein. I’m usually working, whether it’s on a studio lot, a set location in town, or just at home to study and being productive however I can. During the free time in the day, I will watch a movie or television, prepare for an audition, talk to family, check emails and social media, and stay in touch with people. I try to keep it balanced with work, rest, and good vibes.”
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow your footsteps?
“Set goals that may seem unreachable, it will keep you pushing yourself, never get comfortable, and have respect for yourself and everyone around you. The same way most professions spend at least 8 hours a day on their craft, an actor needs to do the same, so be productive everyday. Know your weaknesses and strengths and focus on growing, and being prepared for the opportunities that may come. Keep positive people around you, stay faithful, and have the right motives and trust that God will always protect you.”
Grier is currently represented by Hervey/Grimes Talent Agency and Bynum Artist Management in Los Angeles, CA.
For more of stories from Nissan’s “Globetrotter” series, click here.
PHOTO CREDIT: Myles Grier