ED- The Eerie Digest is honored to introduce actor Sean Michael Afable to all our readers. Sean, you started acting at a young age, and have already accomplished so much. How has this affected your life, and your career?
SMA- Thanks Eerie! It’s been an amazing journey and life experience to be a part of the entertainment industry and start at such a young age. I’ve been really blessed and have been privileged to meet and work with a lot of great people on some fantastic projects.
ED- What encouraged you into acting so early in life?
SMA- Well, my parents got my older brother into it first and I wanted to do whatever he did, haha… that’s the real truth! I really look up to him, so, that was my motivation at the time – that and the fact that as a 6 year old I had this idea I could literally do anything anyone else could… and why not better? I guess I was funny like that, haha… Anyway, a year later my brother ditched me and the acting scene, but I found I really enjoyed being a part of the excitement and craziness that we call the entertainment industry. There’s really nothing that compares to being a part of the television and filmmaking process and the creativity and freedom you have as an actor. A BIG Thank You to my mom, dad, and family who have supported me from the get-go.
SMA- Every role you take on, and every part you play adds to your learning experience as an artist and as a professional. That said, working with Anton Yelchin in ‘Delivering Milo’ and playing the lead in ‘Little Shepherd’ was as fun as it was constructive and influential in my learning process as a young actor.
ED- You then went on to play a role in the well known film ‘The Scorpion King’. This must have been thrilling! Tell us about your role in it, and about the other cast members in this production.
SMA- Working with Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson, Kelly Hu, Michael Clarke Duncan, Peter Facinelli, Director Chuck Russell and all the cast and crew of “The Scorpion King” was amazing! Being only 13 at the time, they were all down-to-earth and super cool about making me feel part of the team even in my humble role.
ED- You then appeared on ‘Clipping Adam’, ‘Cold Case’, and ‘Chocolate Girls’. How did this differ from your role in ‘The Scorpion King’?
SMA- Well, everyone of those projects were totally different in almost every way – genre, style, and project feel, ya’ know? ‘Clipping Adam’ was about finding yourself, young angst, coming of age, mixed in with some hilarious high school hazing. I played Adam’s youngest friend ‘Squeaky’ and my character found himself getting a pretty funny hazing experience! Working on the set of ‘Cold Case’ was amazing. It was a true learning experience to be around some of those top actors. In ‘Chocolate Girls’, a story about friendship and young love, I played ‘Tyler’ – my very first lead role, and first time I had to kiss a girl! I just remembered I couldn’t stop laughing the first couple takes! Haha! All three projects were great experiences…ones that I learned from and was able to continue to build my career off of.
ED- You then really took off in television with roles in two episodes of ‘Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide’ and appearances in ‘That’s So Raven’, ‘Zoey 101’, and ‘Phil of the Future’. Please compare your acting in these compared to your earlier projects.
SMA- Ahh yes, the Disney and Nickelodeon shows were a blast! I can’t tell you how fun it was to be on those sets – just so full of energy and fast paced – sometimes it felt like you’re just running around playing with your buddies! It kinda’ was like that actually – on our breaks we’d always be hanging out, playing waffle-ball, pulling practical jokes – you name it! The Nickelodeon and Disney pack is a tight bunch – everyone knows everyone and we never stopped having fun – even on set we were just having a great time with our characters. All of the roles I played were just so poignantly hilarious! It was great to open up and let that kid that’s inside all of us be free and live.
ED- You didn’t stop there and appeared in the productions of ‘Akeelah and the Bee’ and ‘To Save a Life’. Tell us about these projects.
SMA- Well, let me start by saying it was absolutely amazing to be a part of “Akeelah and the Bee”. I was so beyond honored to be part of such a powerful project with a great message of reaching for the ‘impossible’ in the face of adversity. I played the role of ‘Dylan’ a young and talented speller pressured by his oppressive dad to win the National Spelling Bee. Though sometimes harsh and seemingly cutthroat, ‘Dylan’s actions are mostly fueled by his fear of is father. We get to see later on, at ‘Nationals’, near the end of the movie, ‘Dylan’s true character… and it’s nothing short of a triumphant ending for both ‘Dylan’ and ‘Akeelah’. Working with Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, long-time friend Keke Palmer, Director Doug Atchison, and the rest of the cast and crew was incredible. Talk about a truly talented group of individuals! I can only say that it’s one of my favorite projects, best experiences as an actor, and I will never forget it. “To Save a Life” would have to rank right up there as one of the most heartfelt and moving projects I’ve been honored and blessed to be a part of. It’s great when you find yourself working across from professionals who really want to make every moment shine because the story that is being told deserves the utmost respect and care. “To Save A Life” is about the real threat of teen suicide. It’s not just in books and movies… It’s actually the #3 killer of teens. But ‘TSAL’ is more than that to me. It’s also about hope, family, the hardships and trials of the teenage years, and true friendship. The first time I read the script I instantly fell in love with my character ‘Jonny’ and the transformation he goes through. I could totally feel his hurt, pain, loneliness, and emptiness that exuded from him, and I knew I had to do the character justice. Not only was the cast, crew, and story amazing, but “To Save a Life” truly compels each and every one of us to reach out to each other and be better people… I can’t tell you how many emails and messages I’ve received from people of all ages who tell me they’ve changed the way they treat others, or have stopped cutting, or have contemplated suicide and decided to get help since seeing the movie… It is eye-opening, and the hurt all around us is shocking, but, “To Save a Life”…does just that – it’s saving lives.
ED- With so much acting experience under your belt, what production venues are you looking to perform in next, and what would be the genre of film that you’d really look to act in?
SMA- Well, I’m really open to all genres of film, but I’m always looking for projects and characters with depth that will stretch me as an actor, and I have some really cool projects that are around the corner – a hip hop flick – you might not know it but I’m a dancer on top of being an actor, so it’s always cool when you can incorporate your skills in your projects, several foreign projects in the Philippines, Korea, and India, starring in 2 web-series – one I’m writing – yep, I’m trying my creativity out on paper! And my latest and greatest feature film – “Jungle Prince” where I play the lead role of ‘Prince Elias’, that’s being produced by Last Chance Productions (www.LCPFilm.com). So, right now I’m just crazy amped for everything I’m lined up to do! I have God, my parents, my fans, my amazing agent Ross Grossman at Affinity Artists, the best manager and coach in the world, Steven G. Lowe, and The Actors Room (www.TheActorsRoom.com) to thank for where I am today.
ED- Sean, I know that you will go far and have already achieved so much in your career already. We wish you much luck in the future and want to thank you for the time that you spent with our readers. Please promise to stay in touch with The Eerie Digest, so that we can update our readers with the many accomplishments that we are sure that your future will hold for you.
Hey, thank you so much ED! It’s been an honor and a privilege! – SMA