Actor Shane Campayne is a rising star with a bright future ahead. A Harvard graduate, his latest film, “The Delusion of Pisces” delves into issues facing Gen-Z.
In this role, Campayne masterfully plays the role of Carlos, who is navigating life and romance as a member of Gen-Z. Campayne says, “Carlos reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger, though I like to think I wasn’t quite as out of touch with reality.
“Carlos is a lot more of an oversharer and self-sabotager than I am and the emotional stakes are always much more heightened for him than they are for me. So prepping for the role involved getting in touch with my delusional side and exploring both the world he’s living in and the world he’s conjured up in his head.”
This isn’t the only film Campayne has in his repertoire. He’s also got a movie in post-production right now called “A Deadly Influence.”
When did you first get into acting and are there any methods you use to get into character?
My first acting experience was technically when I was scouted for a commercial while waiting to board a flight as a kid. But I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t really think much of it or the school plays that I did growing up. It wasn’t until my first high school play that I fell for actingーand I fell real hard!
For me, how I prep a role is specific to the character I’m working on, but I like to do my research first and find the overlap in the venn diagram of me and the character so that I have a good foundation to build on.
I don’t stick to any particular system, so from there I pick and choose the tools I need, whether that be journaling, putting together a playlist, or just imagination exercises to help me understand the character’s point of view on a more visceral level.
In the film ” The Delusion of Pisces” your character Carlos represents many issues that many of the people in Gen-Z are going through. How did you get into that character specifically and can you relate to the character of Carlos?
I’m a Pisces and a baby millennial or older Gen Z kid depending on where you draw the line, so there is a good bit of overlap between me and Carlos. Navigating life and romance for queer people of color can be a struggle, and the minefields of modern dating and hookup culture don’t make it any easier.
Carlos reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger, though I like to think I wasn’t quite as out of touch with reality. Carlos is a lot more of an oversharer and self-sabotager than I am and the emotional stakes are always much more heightened for him than they are for me.
So prepping for the role involved getting in touch with my delusional side and exploring both the world he’s living in and the world he’s conjured up in his head.
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You’re a Harvard Grad, very impressive, were you involved in any film or drama when you attended?
I did do some acting at Harvard, though I didn’t take any classes until senior year. I was one of the leads of the First-Year Arts Program musical and was in a production of A Very Potter Musical, but college was where I started branching out into film for the first time.
I did a bunch of student films at Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, and Emerson and worked with a couple of local filmmakers on passion projects in my spare time.
Andres Orellana, great director, being an L.A. native, this seems somewhat an ode to L.A while also putting the spotlight on the issues this generation faces. Can you tell us what it was like working with Andres? Was there a certain atmosphere on set?
I’m really glad that I got to work with Andrés! They’re extremely talented and passionate, but one of the things that I enjoyed most about working with them was how welcoming and communicative they were on set. I’ve told people this many times, but the Pisces set was one of the most friendly, warm spaces I’ve ever been in.
It really felt like we were a family and that every single person was there to make art and help tell a story. And that was only possible because of all the rockstars Andrés brought onto the project and how they involved everyone in the process.
Who are some other creatives that inspire you? Any role models?
Too many to list! But if I had to limit it to just the industry, some of the people I’m most inspired by are Viola Davis, Tatiana Maslany, Shonda Rhimes, Robert and Michelle King, and Julianna Margulies. Julianna in particular gets a special shoutout for giving me life-changing advice as a college student that has led me to where I am today.
Any rising actors, perhaps you worked with, to keep a lookout for?
I’m constantly in awe of and inspired by so many people in this industry. 3 people who immediately come to mind are Ben-Ra Wright, Samantha Cravinhos, and Ashley Dulaney. Ben-Ra was my co-star for Pisces and I think he’s probably the funniest person who has ever lived.
Samantha was in my first ever casting director workshop and though she’s new to the industry, her raw talent is off the charts. And I’ve never seen a reader with as much theatrical agility as Ashley. She’s an absolute star! I can’t wait to see their next big moves.
We see you have some films in post-production, can you tell us more about them?
I’d love to! A Deadly Influence is a fun thriller that centers around Anna, a young internet reporter who is willing to do anything for a scoop but bites off more than she can chew when the latest scandal draws her into a murder mystery.
I play Artie, her coworker, closest friend, and the moral compass in the film. Ponds follows Jake, a rapper-turned-sales exec who has a big heart but very little “real world” job experience, as he tries to navigate the uncharted territory of a mid-level tech office. I play Nelson, the blunt and cerebral founder of the company who is visiting the office and who Jake struggles to impress.
What advice would you give to Gen-Z, as well as the LGTBQ community trying to break into film?
The industry has made a lot of strides in the past several years, but we all know there’s still a long way to go. The good news is that there are more opportunities now than ever to create, collaborate, and tell stories that matter. We need youーyour voice, your story, your passion. So don’t be afraid to take your first step. It only seems scary until you realize that you’re not in this alone. So don’t be a stranger.