Talent On Tap – Graham Verchere Rockets Toward Stargirl

‘If you love what you do you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’ Words that I have heard and said to myself on many occasions when you absolutely love your job. I will add that I wasn’t saying it while still in high school, such as Graham Verchere is. He is a Vancouver actor on the rise and coming to a theatre near you. If you want to add star quality to your film you had better contact Graham’s agent soon before his demand becomes too great. Although still in school, Graham has learned to juggle his professional life with his studies and has remained as humble as apple pie while pursuing both. He’s graduating soon which will allow more time for his acting career.   


Having looked at Graham’s IMDB page, it’s quite impressive for such a young man. The new Disney film, Stargirl, directed by Julia Hart has Graham acting opposite of Grace VanderWaal. The film is based off the bestseller book of the same name and will have its world premiere on the Disney + network on March 13th. In addition to Stargirl, Graham has also starred in the Sundance film selection, The Summer of ’84, which was nominated for multiple awards. He played young Nathan Burgle in the Fargo series, George Lockwood in Supergirl and young Shaun in The Good Doctor. Graham says he’s just lucky but also gives much credit to his parents for their unbridled support. Graham Verchere might seem fully immersed in film and television but he will have you believe that he’s your average teenager that plays guitar, video games and learning piano/singing in his spare time while also doing philanthropy work with Project Limelight and contributing to the BC Professional Firefighters Fund. 


I had quite an amazing conversation with this ‘average’ superstar talent and it went something like this…


“You’re in the upcoming Disney production Stargirl. What was that audition process like?”

“As far as auditions go it was pretty average. My agent sent over the sides and I sent him a tape. They liked it and asked for another one and then a third and eventually I flew to LA to do a screen test with Grace VanderWaal. About a week or so later I found out I got the job. I was so excited.”


“Did you have to do any special preparations for your role in Stargirl?”

“My character Leo is in a marching band and I’m not, so that was something that I had to train for. I took a few weeks of trumpet lessons before I flew to Albuquerque (New Mexico) and when I arrived I began taking marching band training, which was almost daily for two weeks.”   


“When you’ve worked on productions with other actors, have you formed any close friendships?”

“Absolutely! I still talk to the kids from Stargirl all the time. I’m excited to see them again and am flying to LA soon for the premiere. I also still talk to the guys from The Summer of ’84 and even have friends from projects before that I still talk to.”     


“You’ve managed to play a wide variety of characters in a seemingly short/young career. Have you discovered a preference for the types of characters you are attracted to playing?”  

“I like playing characters that are similar/close to me partially because it’s easy to connect and it’s not as hard to play someone that’s like yourself. Although it is fun to play someone that’s totally different than yourself it is so nice and comfortable to go back to a character that’s close to you.”  


“How do you stay in character on a long production?”

“I think it gets easier the longer the production is. The more time you have to settle into character helps to get used to it, get more accustomed to it and you can practice it as well. It’s also my job to be able to get into character no matter how long the shoot is but really it feels more natural the longer you’ve been doing it.” 


“As a young actor, how hard is it to juggle school and acting on set?”

“It gets pretty difficult. I went to a convention for a day in Florida last week and over the past two days I’ve had an essay and 2, maybe 3, actually 4 tests. It’s a lot to catch up on and gets a little difficult but it’s absolutely worth it.”   

“You have a twin brother that started acting around the same time as you. Is he still acting as well?”

“He’s just started getting back into the auditioning. When we both started acting he stopped because he was doing pretty well in diving, he’s pretty athletic. He stopped diving though to focus more on academics and music but has started to get back into acting now that he has more time.” 


“How has working as an actor impacted your life?”

“It’s absolutely changed it significantly. I spend most of my time doing it. What I love most about it is the places I’ve gotten to see and the people I’ve been lucky enough to meet, especially actors I’ve admired since childhood has been absolutely incredible and I feel so lucky.”  


“Having worked with some incredible actors, have any of them given you really good career advice?”

“I don’t really like bugging people in asking for advice but I have picked up tidbits here and there but the biggest thing overall is being able to watch them and learn from them. The industry is so different for a kid, so it’s very important that you’re still having fun.”    


“What did it feel like to land such a big role in the movie, The Summer of 84?”

“I was so excited and at that time it was the most days I’ve ever spent shooting on a set. It was 22 days but it was such a fun movie. It wasn’t a lot of time to make a film and there was a lot of pressure to get everything right as quickly as possible but it was really fun.” 


“With much of your success, you’re also giving back to the less fortunate and less privileged in Vancouver through Project Limelight and the BC Professional Firefighters Fund. What does it feel like to have such a positive impact on others?”

“I do appreciate you saying that but I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. It’s a crazy industry and the amount of money they pay a kid for having fun on set, it’s crazy to not give back to people that need it more than I do. I don’t have to pay rent nor do I have to buy my own groceries, so there’s no reason not to. Project Limelight does great things and it makes me appreciate how lucky I am in my own experience. My parents were able to take a day off work to take me to set, to drive me to auditions and everywhere else. A lot of people don’t have that privilege and it might be a reason why a lot of them are never able to get into this industry, so it’s great to see that they’re making sure that everyone has a chance.”   


“If you were Prime Minister of Canada, what holiday would you add to the calendar?”

“If I was Prime Minister, I wouldn’t necessarily add a holiday but I’d have a day where you try to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s not easy to do, but it would be my favourite day of the year.”


“If you were trapped on a tropical island, what 5 items would you have to have?”

“I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t bring my phone but I think it’s cool to have so much knowledge in something that can fit in your pocket. I would bring my guitar, a dog to play with and a nice big bowl of spaghetti that I’d eat the first night. I’d also bring a multipurpose tool.” 

“You like singing as one of your hobbies. You’re on stage at the biggest karaoke event of the year, what song do you sing to win over the audience?”

“That is a tough question because there are a lot of songs I like singing but if I had to win over the audience, it would be Waving Through A Window from the musical Dear Evan Hansen. It’s a ridiculous hard song but I’ve put so much effort into it since hearing it for the first time and I can actually sing it now. I do enjoy karaoke but it does make me nervous so I avoid it at all costs (laughing).” 


“If you could give other young actors one piece of advice, what would it be?” 

“That is a tough question to answer because there’s so many things I’d love to say. It’s a difficult industry to manage because almost everything comes down to how you look and how lucky you are. Somebody might send in a tape but has the wrong haircut and will miss out on the role of a lifetime. I’ve had countless auditions that went nowhere, so you have to be prepared for a lot of let downs and when you’re a kid you also have to have a lot of fun and you should treat it like a sport. If your kid is playing soccer but not enjoying it, then he shouldn’t have to be forced to play it.”   


Amazing answers from a young actor with a plethora of experience. Graham has such a great attitude and was very gracious to take the time to give us a brief window into his world.  It is certainly colourful , it’s entertaining and inspirational.


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