Lex Lumpkin is an actor who has just been cast in a new pilot on ABC Freeform network. He is the star of Nickelodeon’s All That, and Unfiltered. He also portrays Tanner in the TV series Drama Club. YEM was able to speak with him about what his transition from theatre to film acting was like, his favorite memory so far in his acting career, and what he thinks it takes to be a great actor.
Young Entertainment Mag: What is it like being a part of Nickelodeon’s game show Unfiltered?
Lex Lumpkin: Being apart of Unfiltered is way too much fun. Lol. I get to hang out with my friends, play the guessing game, meet celebs and working with Jay Pharoah is a bonus. I look up to him greatly. His impressions are masterful and I learn so much from him.
YEM: What was it like to transition from theatre to acting?
Lex: Transitioning from theatre to film was challenging but very exciting. Theatre acting requires you to have a lot of energy. You must be quick on your feet and you feed off of the audience. In film you have to bring down the theatre energy a bit and push yourself to a more grounded and natural performance. It’s especially challenging when you don’t have the energy of a live audience.
YEM: How do you think you have grown as an actor/person from your performance in Stuart Little to now?
Lex: I’ve grown tremendously from my role as Stuart Little to now. I’ve gained a lot of experience in understanding the character analysis and learning how to identify with the character’s personality. I’ve learned how to stretch my thoughts around how the role can be perceived. It’s a great experience and one of my favorite things about acting.
YEM: What is the biggest lesson you have learned as an actor?
Lex: The biggest lesson I’ve learned as an actor is not to judge your character. You may have varying opinions of the person you are playing but in order to portray them accurately you have to embrace who they are, what they feel and why they feel it. For example if you are playing a bully, you may not agree with what they stand for and that can and will impact how you portray their bully story.
YEM: Has your role as Tanner in the TV show Drama Club helped you become a better actor?
Lex: Yes my role as Tanner helped me to become a better actor. Every role I’ve played has helped me to evolve and grow in some way or another.
YEM: What is the process like from appearing on TV as yourself versus as a character?
Lex: The process for appearing as myself versus a character is different of course but thank goodness being me is extremely easy. Lol. As a character the whole process is different because you have to study who they are and what they think about the people around them. You have to understand what their intentions are and what others in the scene think of them. For appearances I just show up looking decent and ready to go. Lol.
YEM: How did you feel when you got the role of Elliott in your new and upcoming project?
Lex: Man I was happy and excited when I got the role of Elliott. He’s one of my favorite characters to play so far.
YEM: What are you most excited about for your role as Elliott?
Lex: I am excited about the opportunity to show that I have acting depth with Elliott. It’s pretty evident that I like comedy but I also like storylines that impact our society. I am looking forward to pushing the bar with my new character Elliott and demonstrate my ability for serious projects.
YEM: What is your all-time favorite memory so far in your acting career?
Lex: My all-time favorite memory was when the cast of a Raisin in the Sun got the theatre audience to sing Happy Birthday to me after a performance. I was caught off guard and could not stop smiling. There were so many learnings for me as a young actor in that play. I got a chance to work with some exceptional actors who embraced me and took the time to teach me how to perform on stage. We became a family and we still get together after all of these years from time to time.
YEM: What do you think it takes to be a great actor?
Lex: To be a great actor I think you should be creative and have a great imagination. When you can make a character come to life, make the viewer believe in your character and push them to an emotion you have done a great job as that character.
YEM: Why is acting important to you?
Lex: Acting is important to me because it gives me the ability to evoke an emotion and to tell the stories of others who may not be able to tell their own.
YEM: What is one motto that you live by?
Lex: Live in the moment. It is never too late to achieve your dreams.
YEM: What is the impact you hope to have on the world?
Lex: I hope to bring joy to others. I hope to inspire people and to make the short time we have here enjoyable.