10 THINGS – Caleel Harris
You’ve only been acting for a few short years. What made you decide to get into the entertainment business and how did you get your start?
I was inspired to enter this industry by my older brother, Curtis Jr. I saw what he was doing on set, and how it appeared on a television screen, and I had my heart set on acting. Getting started, I did commercials. Then, I graduated to children’s television like Nickelodeon and Disney. It took a lot of patience, but I ultimately found my calling in the film department.
Which actors’ body of work has impressed you and affected your own career decisions?
Actors who have inspired me and affected my personal career decisions are definitely Denzel Washington and Michael B. Jordan. Those two are role models to many people, myself included, and have many characteristics that are so vital to both achieving and maintaining success in this industry. You can tell that Denzel Washington has so much dedication and genuine love for his craft. You can see how much time, effort, and planning he puts into his roles. One of Michael B. Jordan’s best qualities is that he has such an incredible work ethic. He puts 110% into each and every one of his roles. He will put in the blood, sweat, tears, and anything else it takes to be the best he could possibly be.
You seem to very poised for a 14-year-old. What would you attest this to?
Thank you! Without a shadow of a doubt, I credit my parents for this. They have given their all and then some, to help me in whatever way they can. Another thing that helps is experience. Sometimes kindness, and composure can be contagious. On a film set, I have been lucky enough to work with some fantastic people with great personalities and pick up from them.
In Hulu’s Castle Rock, you play the role of Young Henry Deaver. What can you tell us about your character and what did you enjoy most about playing him on screen?
I really enjoyed playing Young Henry Deaver. I definitely had some big shoes to fill, considering my counterpart is portrayed by Andre Holland. Henry Deaver is such a complex and interesting character, both past and present-day versions. One of my favorite parts about shooting is piecing together Henry’s past, piece-by-piece.
You’ll also star in the upcoming Netflix limited series Central Park Five, directed by Ava DuVernay. How were you first introduced to the series and what made you want to be a part of it?
When I first got the audition, I was so intrigued by the story, and what had happened to these teenagers. I immediately wanted to be a part of this project, and I was excited to go audition. When I found out I got it, I was extremely thankful and honored to be doing a project that will touch so many people. Being able to work with one of the most talented directors today, Ava DuVernay, and such a great cast has been amazing and I can’t wait for this story to come to light.
You’re also in the upcoming film, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween in theaters Friday, October 12th. What is the film about and what can we expect to see from your character?
This film is about three everyday teenagers who try to stop a psycho ventriloquist dummy, Slappy, after he manages to bring Halloween to life. I play Sam in the film, Sonny’s best friend. Something I think fans can expect from this character is fearlessness. Sam has a brave spirit who is ready to take on whatever Halloween throws at him. I think a lot of funny moments will come out of Sam’s adventurous attitude, and a LOT of trouble, too.
How was it to be working on Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween with comedy greats Wendi McLendon-Covey, Chris Parnell, and Ken Jeong?
Oh wow. Those are probably some of the most effortlessly funny people I’ve ever worked with. Working on set with them was constant fun, and even more frequent laughing. Trying to keep a straight face while in a scene with them is extremely difficult. Between Wendi, Chris, and Ken, their improvisation skills were unbelievable.
When you’re not busy working on projects, what does a typical day of relaxation look like for you?
A typical day of relaxation would be pretty simple for me. Kick my feet up, watch some YouTube or Netflix, and play some good video games. I do like to play basketball for fun, so maybe a little bit of that too.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
In five years, I plan on being a household name. I want to maintain my love for the arts, or increase it, even. I’d like to be acting, writing, directing, and even producing. I’d like to see my career unfold a bit similar to the way Donald Glover’s did. He is insanely talented, and what separates him from the pack is his ability to take full advantage of every last skill he has.
We look forward to seeing how things develop with your TV show and film. What would be your dream role in this stage of your career?
I honestly would love would be in a superhero movie. I love watching them, and I have always wanted to be in one. Whenever someone asks, “What superhero do you want to be?”, I always point to Miles Morales. Spiderman has always been my favorite superhero practically since birth, and it really would be a dream come true if I could ever play him in a film.