Bryce Gheisar stars in the Nickelodeon series, The Astronauts, where he plays Elliott Combs. In the new series, Elliot and his four friends board a rocketship that accidentally launches into space. And Bryce is just getting started on Nickelodeon! He’s also set to star in season two of Are You Afraid Of The Dark. Fans may also recognize Bryce from the Disney XD hybrid series Walk The Prank. Next, Bryce will be seen in the upcoming movie James The Second where he plays the title character. YEM spoke with Bryce Gheisar about his impressive year and what it’s like to go into space on television!
Bryce Gheisar: I was told about an acting school by a friend of mine and it sounded like a lot of fun! I was kind of hooked as soon as I started because I just enjoyed the class and the people I was with. And I wasn’t really thinking about the “art” of it at 8, but it was a really great experience. I made a lot of friends and slowly started to realize how passionate I was about it.
YEM: You’ve worked some big projects like The 15:17 To Paris, Wonder, and A Dog’s Purpose. What are some things you’ve learned from being a part of those projects and working with film professionals?
Bryce: One of the great things about acting on different projects is that you learn all the different styles that exist in both acting and in directing. Every set I have been on has a different feel and the actors all have different ways of approaching their role. For a kid like me, I was able to see that early on and realized I need to have my own way of doing things as well. I feel like I have had a great education that is ongoing in how to tell my character’s story!
YEM: Tell us about your character, Elliot, in the Nickelodeon series, The Astronauts.
Bryce: Elliot is the son of Griffin Combes, the spaceship’s billionaire owner. Given his lifestyle, the world thinks he has always lived a life free of problems, but he actually had a hard childhood. He never had the best relationship with his parents and has always been in the shadow of his father, so he was never really able to talk about his emotions. Because of this he has an outer shell or a certain persona that doesn’t reflect what he’s feeling inside. He is actually a very sensitive guy, he just doesn’t show it.
YEM: The kids in The Astronauts find themselves suddenly in a very serious reality they are forced to deal with. How does the show address kids learning to be resourceful and brave in a daunting situation?
Bryce: The kids learn to lean on each other and they each have their strengths. They have to work together to get through all of the situations they face.
YEM: Do you think kids dealing with the hazards of the pandemic can relate to the situation your character faces in The Astronauts?
Bryce: Definitely. The kids on the show are facing an unknown, terrifying situation. They learn to adapt and make the best of everything that is happening to them. They are constantly tested and have to prove to themselves that they are capable of much more than they ever thought possible. I see that in us every day during the current pandemic.
YEM: Sometimes young people are underestimated as far as their contribution during hard times. Do you think the younger generation are more capable than the older generation gives them credit?
Bryce: I do. Every generation has challenges that they have to face. And kids today have challenges that their parents never had to face. Navigating social media pressures, a changing world, a pandemic, schooling, social distance – it’s all very hard, but everyone is staying strong.
YEM: Are you excited to star in the second season of Are You Afraid of the Dark? Were you a fan of the original series?
Bryce: We are almost done filming and I am super excited for everyone to see it! I’ve always wanted to work on a truly scary story and I think this will be a surprise to everyone. I think both kids and adults are going to have someone’s hand to hold while watching this season! And I hope that we make everyone in the AYAOTD franchise proud of our season! I never watched the old show as I wasn’t born yet. But I did some research and saw what all the hype was about before we started filming.
YEM: You’re interested in filmmaking as well as acting. What kind of movies would you want to direct one day?
Bryce: I love movies and I love the creative process of developing stories and bringing them to life. I just want to be involved in any way I can and directing is an ultimate goal of mine for the future. I have been blessed to work with some amazing directors and I feel like I learn different things from all of them. Eventually I want to direct an action movie.