Christian Convery discusses playing the lead role of “Gus” in Netflix fantasy drama “Sweet Tooth”, produced by Robert Downey Jr.
At only 11 years of age, Christian has previously worked with the likes of Dennis Quaid, Keegan-Michael Key, Judy Greer, John Cena and Queen Latifah.
In this Exclusive interview, Christian discusses playing Gus on Sweet Tooth opposite Will Forte and Nonso Anozie. Read on to find out how he landed the role and why Christian thinks people will enjoy watching the show.
Welcome, Christian and thank you for taking the time to do this!
Christian Convery (CC): Hi! Thank you for having me!
At a young age, you have already accomplished so much as an actor. When did your journey in acting first begin?
CC: My professional career started at the age of 6 years old when I booked my first job on a movie called “Hearts of Spring”. My agent Trudy Aronson at the time of only 1 month sent me out on an audition while I was vacationing in Las Vegas and I did a self-tape. A week later, the director, Marita Grabiak took a chance on me, and I got the job and had the opportunity to play a very naughty boy!
It was so much fun for my first job as an actor! I remember having to ask my mom on most takes if it was okay to act and say these things on screen and actually do all the naughty behaviour! I learned very quickly what exactly the magic of making movies and TV and the art of being an actor was. I decided that right there and then that this is what I wanted to do and the rest they say is “History!”
You play the role of “Gus” on Sweet Tooth, a new fantasy drama produced by Netflix. How would you describe the show’s premise to anyone who is unfamiliar?
CC: 10 years ago, in the world of Sweet Tooth, there was a virus that sent the world into chaos. But something amazing emerged from this virus called “Hybrids.” A Hybrid is part human part animal, and we focus on one particular hybrid in the show called Gus. Gus is part deer, part boy who lives in the woods secluded with his father.
Gus unexpectantly meets a wandering and very tough loner named Jepperd. Together, they team up and go on adventures together to see what is left of America, to find answers to Gus’s origins, to find Jepperds past and to find what is called “Home.”
Compared to other characters you have played, how different or similar is Gus? In fact, is he close to your real-life personality?
CC: Gus is actually like me! He is agile, energetic, positive, happy, hopeful guy – and we both love nature. And especially, my favourite candy… Sour Gummies! I can’t give anything away, but you will see later in our show why both I and Gus love Sour Gummies! In addition, Gus and I both love to do parkour, in particular love the “Kong” movement.
As a major Netflix series, how was the audition process for Sweet Tooth? Did you meet anyone who was also cast?
CC: The audition process was a big one! I certainly had to earn this role as they were looking all over the world for Gus. I did the audition process like usual where you do an audition and then later you get a call back if they like you, and if they like you after the call back you get the job.
You’re no stranger to working with accomplished actors – your Sweet Tooth co-stars include Will Forte and Nonso Anozie, while Robert Downey Jr. is a producer. Was there anyone you were intimidated to meet on this project?
CC: I was not intimidated by anyone as I treat everyone the same which is, I’m always nice and open with everyone and treat everyone with respect. But I have to say…..I mean “Robert Downey Junior” that’s Iron Man! And he is the executive producer of our show along with his wife Susan! So it’s more excitement to meet and speak with him more than anything! So cool!
As Sweet Tooth is based upon Jeff Lemire’s comic book of the same name, how much preparation did you do for the role? Did you have an opportunity to read the comic-book and more of a sense who Gus was, as a character?
CC: After I got the role of Gus in Sweet Tooth, I went straight to researching about how deers act, react, move and feel and smell. Deers are very quick and agile in order to survive, and I had to train to do parkour for the role! I did training because Gus is part deer and therefore I needed to know how to be fast, agile, a great jumper, and quick on the feet.
I got to train with the stunt team and learned parkour! Regarding comic books, before booking this role, I actually had never really read comic books or graphic novels. But when I booked Sweet Tooth, I then ordered all 3 deluxe editions of Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth and read them like 5 times each! They were amazing! And I now love comic books!
In your own opinion, why do you think people will enjoy watching the series when it drops?
CC: People will enjoy it as it’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before! I personally have never seen a movie or TV show that incorporates the concept of hybrids. And I think that stands out. Also, it’s family-friendly rated on Netflix in America as TV-14, so some children who are younger may need parental guidance.
But it’s jam-packed series with action, adventure, Syfy, magic, dystopian, and post-apocalyptic elements. It is about a friendship between a hybrid boy and a “big man” who set on an adventure together to see what’s left of America in search of answers while encountering allies and enemies along the way.
Another upcoming project of yours is feature film Tiger Rising, where you co-star opposite Dennis Quaid, Queen Latifah, Katherine McPhee Foster and more. What can you tell us about the premise of this film?
CC: It’s about a boy named Rob Horton who meets a girl named Sistine and finds a tiger in the woods. After Rob tells Sistine about the tiger he found, they go out to try and set the tiger free. But there is a lot more than just that to this story….You will have to wait to find out!
What was the biggest learning experience you took away from Tiger Rising?
CC: Learning what black licorice tastes like! Just kidding! No, seriously, the biggest learning experience I took away was about how you should always be honest, and let your emotions out because if you don’t and pretend to be someone you’re not, it can lead to stress, or diseases and problems in your daily life.
Professionally or personally, what do you hope to accomplish with the rest of 2021?
CC: I want to book another great role in a movie and do season 2 of Sweet Tooth!
For fans of the Sweet Tooth comic book, what is one thing you can tease about the upcoming show?
CC: Honestly, there is really nothing to tease about because I want you to wait to see everything, but, it’s gonna be crazy and one epic ride! Fans will love it as the essence of the story stays true to the comic book while introducing a lighter new tone to it with some new and exciting characters!
Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us, Christian! Take care and stay safe!
CC: Thank you! And you too!