'All Square' star Jesse Ray Sheps on working with Michael Kelly and Pamela Adlon in the film: 'It's a young actor's dream'
In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, teenage star Jesse Ray Sheps discusses his interest in acting, his experience of working with top actors and his upcoming film 'Such a Funny Life'.
With appearances in shows like ‘Orange is The New Black’, ‘Blue Blood’, and major role in the critically acclaimed movie ‘All Square’, under his belt, fourteen-year-old actor Jesse Ray Sheps has already built an impressive portfolio for himself. This teenage star began acting at the tender age of four in TV, films, and even dabbling in modeling as well. When asked how he got into the glamorous world of modeling and acting at such a young age, he says, “I started modeling internationally for some companies such as H&M and worked on several other advertising campaigns for AT&T and AMF Bowling. I loved working so much at a pretty young age and I started to eventually move towards the television. I was a series regular playing the role of Fluffy the Hedgehog on the first two seasons of Nick Jr.’s Zack and Quack. I absolutely loved it and it was tons of fun. It’s really cool looking back now and getting to just pop on the television and enjoy an old episode or two."
Sheps’s earlier film ‘All Square’ starring Emmy nominated actors Michael Kelly and Pamela Adlon won the best film award at SXSW Film Festival. So we asked the young actor, about his experience working alongside such talented stars. Jesse excitedly replied, “’All Square’ was such a great project and an amazing opportunity. It really was a young actor’s dream working opposite Michael Kelly and Pamela Adlon. I spent a great amount of time filming with Michael who was not only an amazing actor but also just the nicest guy. He definitely is not Doug Stamper in real life. I learned a lot about acting from him. And Pam, well she is honestly the funniest person I have ever met in my life. No close second. It was a great experience working with them and other amazing actors in that movie”.
Sheps will soon be seen in the movie ‘Such a Funny Life’. The movie is about the Guiterrez family who moves to New York from "nowhere". Sheps plays the younger version of the main character David. David grew up in a challenging and abusive household. The movie shows how David wades through secrets, loss, and betrayal to become a successful comic, entertainer and actor. Sheps teases us about his role in the film. He says, “David has an absolutely terrible childhood with a very sick mother and a terribly abusive father. The movie is about the struggles David goes through and how he still finds a way to make life better for everyone around him. David was a really unique sort of character that had so much potential for me as an actor to get to explore. Although the movie is about David who eventually becomes a comedian- his life is anything but fun growing up. I think audiences love genuine characters that they can root for and the film hopefully captures that. Despite all of the tragic events in his life- David gives back to everyone the gift of laughter.”
We asked him if there were any scenes in the film which were difficult for him to film, considering his character has a difficult childhood. The young star says, “Well I am very lucky that I have two really caring and loving parents who support me in many ways. Playing David’s character and exploring life as a child who has so little support and who lives kind of a tragic life was an emotional adventure. The hardest scene for me was the one where I stood next to my sister and my movie father “Ralph” stood over and beat my movie “mother” with a belt. The first time we shot that scene it was so intense and emotional. It's really powerful to watch.”
Can we expect to see him in any other projects soon? Sheps revealed, “I do have something kind of special that I can’t totally discuss. But it has been a busy year- I wrote, directed and played 6 characters in a comedy short I wrote. I am really proud that it won the best short film in two different film festivals. I also just recently won the Best Supporting Actor award for my role in All Square from the Vegas Movie Awards. So it's a pretty fun time. I also love to write music, sing and play guitar so I am trying to round out hopefully an album someday soon. I am looking forward to a lot of great fun and productive future days."