Taras Lavren was bitten by the acting bug at a young age and has taken on that passion to grow a career in acting and filmmaking. He received his first big break when he landed a role in The CW’s Reign, and currently plays Nate in Netflix’s Anne With An E. Read his interview below to find out more!
Hello, Taras, thank you so much for talking to Defective Geeks! Tell us what it’s like to be involved in such an acclaimed show, ‘Anne With An E’, and how you got the role to play Nate.
It’s pretty wild being on such a huge show as Anne with an E, I’m still blown away by how large of an audience and fanbase it has outside of Canada, let alone here! So the way I booked the gig, is actually hilarious because I never once stepped into an audition room. I had sent a tape into casting right before I left on vacation to Mexico in 2017 and then about three days into my trip I got an e-mail saying I had a callback in like two days! Not knowing what to do, I messaged casting and after some careful deliberation they agreed that I could just submit a second tape from where I was. So I’m in a hotel room with my girlfriend in Mexico, and with a stack of corona cases we borrowed as a tripod for the camera, we somehow managed to submit the second tape over dodgy wi-fi. Two days later, (on our last day) I got an e-mail that I booked the part! I’ve never had a luckier vacation, I still think it’s probably for the best as I probably would’ve completely bombed it if I had to go in the room!
Why do you think people have such an emotional response to the show? What is your favorite part about it?
I think people have such an emotional response to the show because it transcends the period it’s set in with the topics it covers such as sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. All still (unfortunately) very relevant all over the world today. I think that Moira Walley-Beckett (creator/showrunner) has found a very interesting lens to approach that subject matter through the eyes of Anne. My favorite part about this show outside of what I just mentioned, is how gorgeously it’s all captured. The cinematography is inspiring, and really lends itself to the period.
Without giving too much away, what do you think people should look forward to the most in season 2 of ‘Anne with An E’?
I think old school fans of Green Gables will be taken for a bit of a shocking ride as the second season really dips away from the original books. A lot new characters are introduced and biggest of all– the series escapes from PEI for once! There are some amazing locations they visit which I won’t give away, but it definitely all still makes sense in the context of the story of Anne.
What inspired you to pursue a creative career in the entertainment industry? When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
I remember as a little kid I used to always try and put on “performances” for my parents to sort of keep them entertained, and myself for the most part. I also grew up as only child, so I had a lot of time on my hands with my own imagination. It resulted in me creating little movies in my head using my toys, literally to the point where I would close one eye and use the other as a “camera” to find angles. I think I first discovered that acting could be a career in high school oddly enough (always late to the game). I remember taking drama class and then winning an award, and I was like “oh, it’s not just in my head, people think I’m okay at this”. I give a lot of credit to my drama teacher at the time, Ms. Duffy, for really pushing me to pursue this as a career, and of course my mom, who has been my biggest fan since day one!
You are a founding member of Blink Twice Film– can you tell us about this collaborative project and what are your goals with it?
Yes, I’m one of five founding members. Blink Twice Films is this cool project we launched on Instagram as a platform for one-minute films! It’s a great project because it challenges us to constantly work on new content in a bite size format, but beyond that it gives us the opportunity to collaborate with incredible artists both locally and internationally! Since launching in June 2018, we’ve been fortunate to have grown a large fanbase and audience as there is a lot of appetite for micro-form content. We release new films bi-weekly so check us out and follow us @blinktwicefilms on instagram!
Do you have any other projects or upcoming projects that people can look for?
You can catch me on the new YouTube Premium show Wayne coming out in 2018, as a punk leader that messes with the main guy in the opening sequence. As well as Alex Waide on the new Ian Somerhalder vampire series vWars coming out on Netflix in 2019!
What is your dream project or role as an actor that you would love to work on one day?
I would love to act opposite DiCaprio one day, I’ve always admired him as an actor and his career in general. I grew up on a lot of 90’s films so any combo of the kings from that era like Scorsese, Tarantino, Spielberg, but more recently I’ve really enjoyed the works of Denis Villeneuve, Alfonso Cuarón, and Damien Chazelle. I guess I just went more on a rant of directors than a specific project or role haha, I guess if there was one project it would be a space film! I always thought it would be so cool to get to float around on screen.
Super important question: if you could pick one super power, which one would it be and why? Would you become a super hero or a super villain?
Ah the classic, which superpower question, the medium upon which your morality and ego is judged! I’ve always been slightly obsessed with the idea of teleportation, I think it would be such an easy fix to my being late all the time. Also it would be dope to just go to Spain for dinner and come back. As for type, I desperately want to say Super Villain because I just think they’re so much cooler, but realistically I would probably just end up wanting to save a bunch of puppies from drowning and my villain street cred would just tank.