The "Artist Spotlight" and "The Director's Chair" are continuing interview series highlighting entertainment professionals,
working actors, singers, stage managers, producers, directors, designers and others in the arts and entertainment industry.
You’ll remember him as the star of Candlelight’s gritty musical drama,
“Bonnie & Clyde.” You’ll definitely know
him as the endearing Nigel from Musical Theatre West’s “Something Rotten!” You may not know him as one seriously skilled script writer. This segment's "Artist Spotlight" — Beau Brians
June 6, 2021 — By Chris Daniels
Considering his latest casting this spring with San Diego Musical Theatre’s “Catch Me if you Can,” his collaboration with Netflix, the numerous films and TV spots to his credit, and stage shows such as “Jersey Boys,” “Claudio Quest,” and “Invisible, A New Musical,” Beau Brians has already carved out a successful career as an actor and producer. He is known for a number of films, including Timeless (2016), Mr Cool (2016) and Art Camp (2015), and has also hosted major events such as the Life Film Festival, 2016, ’17, and ’19.
The epitome of “cool,” Beau’s life has been nothing short of a series of remarkable adventures. And the ride ain't over yet. We caught up with the charming and likeable actor/musician recently for an all-encompassing run-down of his colorful life in the trenches of the entertainment biz.
As Prince Eric in "The Little Mermaid"
Beau, it doesn’t seem the pandemic crisis has slowed you down at all. One of your latest films was the 2021 docudrama, “Journey to Royal: A WWII Rescue Mission.” Tell us briefly how this came about, and for those who haven’t seen it, how will this surprise people?
"This movie was so fun to shoot and it was a huge undertaking. I had always wanted to do a WW2 movie and it was clear from the beginning that this one was going to be something special. This is a true story and that brought a weight and an honor with it. Our Director Christopher Johnson and producer Mariana Tosca both put such an emphasis on telling the story truthfully and honoring the legacy of the soldiers we were portraying and I carried that with me to set every day. We shot it back in winter, 2015, and my shoot days were split between filming inside of an actual B-29 Bomber and shooting on location out on the open ocean. Pretty early on, I got sick- which only served to make the scenes more intense. If these guys we were portraying could go through all this hardship and still put themselves on the line, then the very least I could do is put up with a cold. Everyone powered through the cold, and the water and the sea sickness to tell this epic story and I think it turned out really beautifully."
When did you first realize you wanted to be an actor?
"I think it was when I was watching my older brother act. He was always so naturally talented and funny and made everyone laugh so I was always following right in his footsteps. In High School I got to act opposite him in 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' 'Grease' and 'Les Mis,' and then opposite my younger brother in 'Pirates of Penzance.' So it’s definitely a family affair."
Your conspectus of stage and film productions combined is admirable indeed, including your current role in the unique LA replication of the Netflix series, “Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience.” Can you tell us how that’s going?
"That show was a blast. We just closed after running over 8 months! I can’t share too many details, but I can say that it was an absolute blast. I was so grateful to be working during the pandemic, to be working on something so cutting edge and new and to be working on a show with such excited fans. The cast and creatives were amazing and the show helped keep me sane this past year."
What do you consider to be your proudest accomplishment over your career so far and where do you picture yourself to be five years from now?
"It’s really hard to pick any one accomplishment over another because each one is so unique. But hands down my favorite thing about performing is moving people to feel. Getting a moment in a show that makes an audience member get weepy or cry is one of the best feelings for me as a performer because people come to the theatre for a release. Most people live their entire lives trying to feel comfortable and block out different emotions, but then they come to a show and allow themselves a chance to laugh, cry and self-reflect. I usually get at least one moment per show like this, if it’s the monologue at the end of 'Jersey Boys,' or the brothers reconciling in 'Something Rotten!,' or the heartbreak in 'Bonnie & Clyde.' I’ll be up on stage and you feel the audience get real quiet. You might even hear a little sniffle or a gasp and it’s just magical."
Do you still call Honolulu home?
"It’ll always be home."
Who has been your greatest creative inspiration, and what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
"Creatively, I love people that are bold and unapologetic in their choices. Actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Christian Bale always find ways to push the limit. Directors like Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan and Damien Chazelle have such unique visions, and comedians like Kyle Mooney and Nathan Fielder throw themselves into the deep end without really thinking of the consequences. In terms of getting out of bed, I’ve just finished David Goggins’ book 'Can’t Hurt Me' — all about changing your mindset, toughening your mental focus and fighting through all obstacles in your way. It’s definitely convicting."
Which of the fictional characters you’ve played would be the most exciting to meet in real life?
"Definitely, 1st Lt. Walter Lloyd from 'Journey to Royal.' He was barely 20 when he was flying through the air using experimental technology to go fight, protect and possibly die for his country. To meet someone with that kind of courage and bravery would be incredible."
What song can you not help singing along with when you hear it?
“'Piano Man,' 'Hooked on a Feeling,' anything from Avicii, 'Danger Zone'… There are quite a few."
What advice would you have for fledgling thespians who want to make a career in acting?
"Learn and train as much as you can. It’s obviously a very tough field so you should give yourself every advantage you can. And stay curious. Read scripts, watch movies, memorize monologues. It’s important to keep fueling the love for the art because that will propel you forward when things get tough."
What do you do for fun or relaxation when you’re not performing?
"I like to play piano, lift weights and go to the beach."
And finally Beau, what’s something you are really good at that few people know about?
"I’m a great writer. My brothers and I wrote scripts and skits from a young age, and I’ve always enjoyed it because it gives me a chance to create things that are outside of just my body and my acting ability. I’ve written some short films that have gone onto film festivals, and I’m currently working with producers to get my first feature film script produced."
Thank you Beau Brians!