Check out our interview with award-winning actor & producer Myles Grier who can be seen on the short film ‘Remember To Breathe In The Dark’ and winning Grier a Best Male Performance Award at the 2020 Studio 7 International Film Festival overseas in the UK and the Denzel Washington Award at the 2021 HYP Film Festival for his vulnerable performance in what he calls his ‘therapeutic’ film he also penned, directed and produced.
Myles other credits include guest star appearances on FOX’s Lethal Weapon along with other primetime television appearances, including Freeform’s The Fosters, NBC’s Game of Silence, ABC’s Agent Carter, NBC’s Aquarius, and more.
Follow Myles on IG @Mylesgrier
How did you get started into acting?
I have great parents who both encouraged me at a young age to discover what I wanted to do with my life. I was really aware of how the power of music, tv, and film made me feel. Once I realized I wasn’t a singer, I tried the drama club in middle school and realized there was a place for me to do what I was already doing for fun – imitating people, playing pretend. I was excited to tell my parents that I wanted to be an actor, and I never quit.
What is the best and worst part of being an actor?
The best part is connection, being able to influence someone to feel an emotion. Connecting with other humans who relate to creativity, vulnerability, and the understanding that we are creating something bigger than ourselves. The worst part is the sacrifice of spending the majority of the year away from my family if you moved away to a market that’s not your hometown.
How do you prepare for a role?
Anyway that I can. There’s no set process since it’s all about discovery for me, but it always includes being aware of my own experiences and feelings with the given circumstances. I consider heavily what’s being said about my character by the writer, by the other characters in the story, and what my character is saying about themselves. I then focus on developing the unique life substance that has placed this person where they are in the story.
Tell us about your work with Remember to Breathe in the Dark?
“Remember To Breathe In The Dark” was purely created and filmed to work through the tough process of losing my father; in the best way I knew how. The film tackles two circumstances that created the most painful experiences in my life: growing up with a speech impediment and losing a parent. So while I was wrapping Post-Production, I found it important that I dedicated this to others who deal with those same painful circumstances.
I consider myself an actor first and producer second, so my decision to write, direct, and edit the film were just necessities for a project of this nature, being so close to my heart. I’ve studied mass media since high school as I attended an art school, so these things came more naturally as I had educational experience.
And about your role as Mike Cole?
My father’s name was “Michael,” and we have “Cole” as a last name in my family tree that my father was close to. So it added to my own connection to have my father and a family name as the character is going through their process. My preparation included connecting to the speech impediment community and speaking to leaders and children of stuttering organizations. I wanted to be mindful of the spectrum and how someone different from myself experienced their speech.
What other projects have you been part of?
When I first started booking television as a younger actor, I was fortunate to make appearances on Freeform’s “The Fosters,” NBC’s “Game of Silence,” ABC’s “Agent Carter,” NBC’s “Aquarius,” The CWseed’s “Beerfest: Thirst For Victory” and Guest starred on FOX’s “Lethal Weapon” before taking a hiatus during the time my father passed.
When I came back from that hiatus, I produced “Remember To Breathe In The Dark.” Before television, I was acting in the theatre in Valdosta, GA. I’ve been in Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” as Benvolio, John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine” as Lendall, and August Wilson’s “Piano Lesson” as Whining Boy. Within the Los Angeles Theatre scene, I’ve been in Chandler Patton’s “The Legend of Bonny Anne Bonny” as Mattheus and had the honor of playing Tee Tee in “Homeward LA 2019,” where the non-profit organization supporting the homeless community, The Midnight Mission, puts on monologues performances around the city to raise money and share the powerful, insightful stories of homelessness and finding their way home.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
Ideally, roles that scare me because those will be the roles that challenge my comfort zones and hopefully push the artistic comfort zones of Hollywood.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of a story or character is when audience members comment on how relatable or life-changing something is for them. Media is one of the most influential forms of communication, and when I can be involved in something that’s way bigger than everyone involved and serves an important message, that takes the cake.
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
Don’t do it if you can be comfortable doing any other job. If not, get in classes, read some theatre plays, find your way on stage, and learn the business of Theatre and TV/ Film entertainment.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
“Focus, Focus, Focus: A Family Motto.”
My father used to remind me daily before going to school, “Focus, Focus, Focus.” It became a motto that I live by.
What is your favorite healthy food?
A salad that includes kale, spinach, avocado, sweet potatoes, apples, cucumbers, and onions with a nice lime-cilantro flavored dressing.
What is your favorite cheat food?
Jambalaya pasta or a meat lover pizza with BBQ sauce.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Denzel Washington, because outside of him being one of my top favorite actors and inspirations, he has such a great spirit of faith and care for the upcoming generations of young black talent focused on the work. He has always focused on what’s important within the art form and has done an amazing job navigating the industry. I’d love to just hold a conversation with him.
Best advice ever given?
“Your only competition is You.”
Do you support any charity?
I support the Sickle Cell Association of America, Inc.
Where do you see yourself and your career five years from now?
I can see myself having a television series where I hold the roles of Executive Producer, Series Regular, with the occasional episodes as Director. Similarly to Jason Bateman with “Ozark” or Donald Glover with “Atlanta.” Also, Producing and Acting in some great feature films.
Where can we follow you on social media?
I’m @MylesGrier on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Portrait Photography credit: Matt Kallish