'Station 19' star Sterling Sulieman talks about his character Grant, his desire to write and his inspiration
Sterling Sulieman in an exclusive interview with MEAWW shares his journey as an actor and his wish for his character Grant on 'Station 19'
Sterling Sulieman, who stars as Grant in ABC's 'Station 19' realized his dream of becoming an actor when he was just a child. Sterling started is best known for his role as the evil Nathan St. Germain in the ABC family juggernaut 'Pretty Little Liars' and as Prince Escalus from Shondaland's 'Still Star-Crossed'.
In an exclusive interview with Meaww Sterling talks about his role as Grant in 'Station 19', his desire to direct one day and his inspiration.
You were named as the GQ’s Breakout Actor to Watch in 2012 and with roles like Nathan St. Germain and now ‘Grant’ in ‘Station 19’ you have re-established that point. Tell us how your acting journey been like?
It’s been pretty wild. The hardest part of being an actor is in-between jobs, but when you’ve got a job it’s great. It’s fun getting to explore so many different genres of film and TV. My career really started with 'All My Children', where I got to move to New York in 2007. And from there I’ve had my ups and downs, but luckily, I keep finding my way to some pretty fun characters and have gotten to travel a bit as well.
Your sister, Yasmeen Sulieman is a singer, while your parents are doctors. How did you decide that you wanted to be an actor? Any film or actor that inspired you?
As kids we were always performing in school plays, community theater, local commercials, you name it. So, the path was always pretty clear for both of us. I guess some kids grow out of it, but my sister and I always pursued it like we knew we wanted to do it professionally, and my parents were always very supportive of both of us. As far as inspiration, there was a lot of that. My favorite actor growing up was Robin Williams. I was so impressed by how quickly he could do his impressions, and he was doing all the movies targeted at my age group back then, like 'Aladdin' and 'Hook'. I wanted to be that funny and that talented. Of course, you learn to find the fun of playing darker characters and dramatic roles as you get older, but initially, I wanted to be the funny guy. I would have loved to have worked with him once.
‘Station 19’ follows the lives of heroic firefighters in Seattle and with fire around, shooting a scene could be very difficult, even if it is a controlled environment. How was your experience while shooting such scenes?
I don’t have to do any of that. Grant is always somewhere safe. I do hear about it though. They have “Fire Days” where they do all the fire stuff at once. It sounds like it’s really fun at the beginning of the day and exhausting by the end. I’d probably love it. Maybe I’ll get Grant to start a small kitchen fire just for some thrills.
After having played diverse roles like Nathan St. Germain, Prince Escalus and now ‘Grant’, which one character is the closest to you and why?
NOT Nathan St. Germain, because he was a psychotic killer. But thank you for checking. It’s interesting when you are playing a character you do find the overlap with yourself, and I think a lot of times learn from them as well. I think I learned a lot playing Prince Escalus and absolutely loved shooting that show. The Prince was very restricted, and it really made me look at how much I value my freedom, also I think I should keep wearing crowns. Then with Grant, I definitely feel like he operates differently than I would in many ways. So, I get to kind of try on his personality at work and see if I would want to take it home with me into my real life. I do cook though.
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You write short stories and features, is there any chance that your fans can see you direct an episode on ‘Station 19’?
I wish. That would be fun. They’d have to keep me in line though, I like to write and direct comedy, so it would become a different show.
If given a chance to direct a film or a TV series, will you take it? Is it something of your interest?
I 100% would. Currently, I’m more interested in writing them than directing them. I would want to learn a lot more about directing before taking that on. But if someone offered it to me, I’d just make sure I got a good team to work with. Directing is so special. Everyone else does their jobs to perfection but it’s the director who delivers it, and really decides what the audience sees, and how the story gets told.
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Do you have a dream character that you will play no-questions-asked if offered? Any role that you aspire to play?
A part like Indiana Jones. I love adventure/action movies and shows. I’d also like to play Sam Cooke. I’ve never had the challenge of playing a real person and I love Sam Cooke.
What are your other upcoming projects that we should keep an eye on?
I’ve been focusing on some writing lately. But when I have something ready, I'm sure I’ll be posting about it on my Instagram.