Lonnie Chavis chatted about his role as a younger Randall Pearson on This Is Us and his new feature film The Boy Behind The Door.
Actor Lonnie Chavis is perhaps best known for playing Randall Pearson (preteen version) on NBC’s smash hit This Is Us, which began in 2016. However, some of Lonnie’s other projects include The Water Man, Magic Camp and an extended role on TV series White Famous.
Lonnie also appeared in 1-episode roles on The Thundermans, Supergirl and God Friended Me, to name a few.
Read on below for Lonnie’s transcribed interview with Courageous Nerd. Or, watch the video version on our YouTube channel, linked below.
At this point in your career, you’re an experienced young actor. You’ve had roles in features, TV series and shorts. That being said, what initially made you get into acting?
Lonnie Chavis: With a kids’ imagination, I always wondered what the background was on TV. I thought it was real until my mom told me one day it was called acting. That’s pretty much where it started from.
You’ve played a younger Randall Pearson on This Is Us, which is concluding soon. What has it meant for you to be involved with such a groundbreaking show and help develop such a pivotal character?
Lonnie Chavis: I’m grateful to be a part of it.
Would you ever consult with your older counterparts – Sterling K. Brown and Niles Fitch about Randall’s overall journey? Or, would you all just focus on your separate time periods on the show?
Lonnie Chavis: Not really, no. We have the same soundstage so we see each other in passing, But, we don’t see each other that much.
You’ve also worked alongside Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls, Heroes) and Mandy Moore (A Walk To Remember, Princess Diaries) for several seasons. What have they taught you during your time on This Is Us?
Lonnie Chavis: I feel like everybody has their own acting style. I don’t usually take tips from other people for my acting style. I just take emotions I can use from them and use them myself.
As mentioned, This Is Us is coming to an end. What are your overall takeaways from your experience on the show and its ending?
Lonnie Chavis: It/s definitely bittersweet. I’m grateful to be part of such a long TV show, but it’s definitely bittersweet.
You portray “Bobby” in the new horror film The Boy Behind The Door. Could you outline the movie for anyone who’s unfamiliar?
Lonnie Chavis: How would I describe The Boy Behind The Door? It’s two best friends, doing what best friends do. They talk about going to California Beach. It all goes wrong, they get kidnapped and you see what else happens.
How would you describe Bobby and his role in the story? Is it different approaching a character knowing it’s just you playing it, rather than the different time periods on This Is Us?
Lonnie Chavis: No, it’s the same. Playing Bobby was interesting. He’s definitely a good friend because he had the choice to go and save his best friend. Or, to leave, come back and try to find help. He wanted to stand beside his best friend.
Where can people catch The Boy Behind The Door once it’s out?
Lonnie Chavis: It just came out today [as of conducting the interview] on DVD!
In a wider sense, what do you hope to accomplish with the rest of 2022?
Lonnie Chavis: Nothing specifically, I just hope to keep acting. Keep having fun, I guess.