At 17, many of us were fighting off senoritis, trying to take the easiest classes possible, and figuring out what colleges would accept us. Seventeen-year-old Chris Tavares, however, balances acting, football and school. He has already acted alongside comedic legend Martin Lawrence in “Big Mama’s House 2” and currently works with Tyler Perry on his television show “Meet the Browns.”
Its Just Movies caught up with the busy Tavares to discuss his upcoming roles, juggling all of his hobbies, and what being a 17-year-old actor is like.
Its Just Movies: How did you get involved in acting?
Chris Tavares: I started acting around at eight years old. I started taking acting classes and booking commercials left and right.
IJM: What current projects are you working on?
CT: I am still going to be working with Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns” when they come off of hiatus around September. And I have another upcoming project in the works with Tyler Perry called “Georgia Sky,” a two-part DVD series where I play Dakari Graham. Dakari is a football player under a lot of pressure from his family, friends and community.
IJM: We recently interviewed fellow “Avalon High” co-star Anthony Ingruber who had some interesting stories to tell us from the set. What was your most memorable experience making “Avalon High”?
CT: My most memorable experience filming “Avalon” was meeting the new football team I had to play with. Those kids were great, not to mention HUGE. They taught me the Kiwi language, way of life, etc. What surprised me was how inviting they were, they treated me like I was their teammate/friend for years.
IJM: What are the biggest differences between filming a television show and a movie for you?
CT: The biggest difference in filming a TV show and a movie is that when you are filming a television show, your speed has to be perfect. Everything is up tempo because its really only a 22-minute show not including commercials. When you’re filming a movie, you have more breathing room.
IJM: Congratulations on your Division I scholarships. Do you find that athletics help you in your acting or vice versa?
CT: Yes, thank you. I would definitely attribute sports to my success in acting. Playing on the football field taught me teamwork, dedication, the will to win and discipline. The same passion I give on that football field for my team is the same passion I give to my cast, director and audience.
IJM: As a younger actor who also juggles school and sports, what is your support system like?
CT: Juggling sports, academics and acting can get very chaotic at times, but fortunately I have great parents that keep me steady. My parents have guided my future since I was young and always have the best in mind for me.
IJM: With the trend in Hollywood to hire older actors who look younger, do you find a prejudice towards younger actors with talent?
CT: The trend to hire older actors to play younger just keeps me working harder. Knowing that my competition is expanding daily and knowing that I could possibly be going against 21- to 25-year-olds makes me want to strive for perfection.
CT: IJM: How is your acting process changing as you get older?
As you get older, you gain more experience, and as you gain more experience, you ultimately become a better actor. Every day, I work on improving my skill, perfecting my craft. As you get older you learn from experiences that you wouldn’t have when you were two years younger. That’s the beauty of age.
You can “like” Tavarez’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/ChrisTavarez.
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