Currently starring on ABC Family’s hit series Stitchers, Kyle Harris took time out of his busy schedule to chat with Talk Nerdy With Us. Read our interview below, and don’t miss episode six tonight at 9pm|8c!
Stitchers is your big first TV role. What did you do to prepare for it?
Kyle Harris: “We originally shot the original pilot last June, then we found out that it got picked up around October. We got picked up to reshoot that pilot. It was a different process on both accounts. The first time you’re preparing for it and you’re thrown into it and there’s so many things that are happening … you’re doing a table read, you’re hoping that you’re still making the cut because every round is essentially another round for us as actors to maybe get cut. There’s a lot of stakes and still lots of tensions high with everyone running around and hoping that we’re doing the best that we can do. Once we found out we were picked up we could breathe a bit.
The only people that got kept with the project were me and Emma. We knew that and we were like, “All right well they like us but now we’ve got to reshoot the entire thing we just did and hopefully do it just as well.” That was a bit of a head case going back into it the second time around knowing that our jobs were solidified, the show was solidified, we were solidified. However, we still had to bring the same stakes performance level as if we didn’t know what tomorrow would bring.
I just kind of trusted the material and I trusted that I was the guy that they wanted for the job and I brought inherently what I was doing in the audition to the rest of the script as far as keeping him charming, and keeping him light but at the same time keeping the weight of the stakes still relevant knowing that this guy that I hope to be relatable is dealing with technology and these secrets that are completely unrelatable to any other 20-something year old. That was a lot to juggle at first but then when we found out we were okay. It definitely has gotten easier and more comfortable as the episodes went on.”
Besides the casting changes did a lot change from the one pilot to the other one that you guys filmed?
“Yeah, as far as the lab. It was a whole different lab. We were shooting the lab initially in the original pilot at a magnet factory in LA, by LAX. This is my first series regular role so I was really bright eyed and bushy tailed. I was like, “Oh my gosh, so cool.” But then when we got to come back to do it again I was like, “Oh wow, this is a whole new … This is like Stitchers 2.0.” We built the lab, it was a whole different concept of the script. They wanted the script to be a little more dangerous as far as the first episode is about the bomb going off, they wanted that to be prevalent as far as the danger and the immediate response to the Stitchers team. The original pilot was about sex trafficking, we were catching a sex trafficker, which ended up being episode 4 later down the road. There was a few changes script wise. There was casting changes as far as Camille and Linus were concerned. Maggie, in the original pilot, her character used to be my mom as well.”
“What was an interesting thing is that I worked for my mom and I also lived at home with Maggie, my mom. I don’t know who decided not to make that call the second time around. I am glad they didn’t because I thought that was a little strange. Maggie is no longer my mother and I no longer live at home. I was definitely more of a tragic nerd the first time around.”
Speaking of your character’s history and making him relatable, how much of it did the writers give you and how much of it did you create on your own?
“It’s all in the script. Of course as actors you do several takes and you try to slip in some Kyleisms and some things as the show progresses and as we’re watching, the actors, we’re like, “Oh that made it in there.” I’d say 90% of it is on book, what’s written. I’d say Camille, Alison’s character, she’s the one that’s probably gotten away with the most as far as ad libbing her own stuff, and rightfully so since everything that comes out of her mouth is gold. We try every now and then to add our own little spin on it. Sometimes they get the laugh and you’re like, “Oh that’s great.” Then you watch it and you’re like, “Why did that make the cut?” That’s an actors life.”
Speaking of bringing Kyle into Cameron, your background is actually in theater. Are we going to see Cameron sing or anything like that?
“They’ve always been joking around about the idea. It won’t be in season one by any means. Our producer Jonathan Baruch is a big Broadway guy. I come from that world. They really want to try and add that in at some point, but also I’m not the only one that sings, “Yeah I come from a Broadway background.” Also Ritesh who plays Linus has a musical theater background. Alison, I originally saw her in a musical in New York City before I even knew her. Sally also the woman who plays Maggie she also sings. Emma was a vocal major at University of Australia too. We all weirdly enough have an extensive vocal background. They’ve been toying the idea for a musical episode.”
“We haven’t jump started just yet. I want to put that out there, but that’s definitely an option, because of the muli-faceted talents that we all have.”
Since in Stitchers now, Maggie isn’t your mother and you have a really sweet bachelor pad … What’s your favorite set to film on?
“Definitely my apartment. I would absolutely rent it if they let me. It’s one of the coolest sets I’ve seen on TV. You watch TV and you’re like, “No one lives like this.” Who cares, you get to work in that environment. What’s great about shooting in Cameron’s apartment is there’s so many comfortable places to sit and hang out on so when we’re not being used, instead of sitting in our typical actor chair we’re hanging out on the leather couches or hanging out on my bed which we all cuddle up and get friendly. It’s awesome. It’s such a comfortable space for everyone to work in. In the refrigerator there’s drinks in my fridge that people take. It’s very convenient for everyone.”
Last week you got to wear your glasses instead of contacts. Is that going to continue?
“That was a fluke. That was me kamikaze-ing me. I just jumped in, “Oh yeah I didn’t realize, I’m sorry, I didn’t bring my contacts, you’ve got to do this.” They’re like, “Well we have to get it approved.” I was like, “Well, you either get it approved or I’m blind. I don’t know what to tell you.” Meanwhile, I had my contacts with me but I’m like, it only makes sense, he’s waking up in the middle of the night. I would have my glasses on. I initially auditioned with my glasses and at the end of the audition I took them off to be like, “This is what I look like without glasses.” I’m thinking I’m going in for a neuroscientist, a nerdier guy, I’ll throw on the cliché glasses.
They made the ultimate decision, “He won’t wear glasses.” I wanted to make a statement because I wear glasses every day as Kyle, and I didn’t realize it was going to be such a hit in away. Man, they really caught onto that. I didn’t realize it was going to be that big of a deal. I’m throwing the idea out there because for me working 12 hours a day on set my eyes with wearing contacts is really kind of irritating. I would be much better off with my glasses, I think people would be happier if I wore glasses. We actually get to see them again in episode 11, the Halloween special they come back. You will have to wait until October.”
Oh no. Dang it.
“Yeah I know, it’s going to be a little while until you see them again. Kirsten’s character comes barging in my door again waking me up in the middle of the night as she does, the same kind of situation. I have to calm her down and I’m in my glasses again. Maybe season 2 we can push a little harder to bring them back.”
Obviously Cameron has made some superhero references, and then you made the Clark Kent reference. Whose your favorite superhero?
“My favorite superhero is the Flash. I might be a little bit biased because my best friend is Grant Gustin who is playing the Flash right now. I think that’s the coolest thing, getting to watch my best friend do this. I am like, you know what, I didn’t know anything about the Flash before I saw the show so he’s the Flash to me, and that’s kind of a cool thing. I dig it, I like him, I’ll take him. I might be a little biased but I’m going to take the Flash.”
What’s been the weirdest thing that has happened while filming this season?
“Weirdest thing … Weirdest thing … We were shooting the Halloween episode in a … They scouted a bunch of locations and they found this really creepy looking mansion in Los Angeles. The actors were like wow this is crazy, this is perfect, it’s so spooky and it’s got that classic haunted house vibe to it. Then you’re like, wait someone actually lives here. That was a little weird thinking this is someone’s actual home, as barren as it was. It almost resembled the house from Fight Club.
No one should actually be living in this kind of place, but people were. I am assuming they rent it out for several other projects, I’d assume. I think they keep it that way for that reason … I hope. That was a little crazy. We’d be filming it and then the owner would pop in and out and be a little timid. We were like, “Hi, thank you for letting us shoot here, why don’t you put some paint on the walls? Why don’t you clean up the kitchen.” That was a little tip toey being like okay well, you actually sleep here, I get to go home at night thankfully. That was one of the weirder things.”
Twitter really wants to know, are we going to find out the origin of the scar on Cameron’s chest?
“The scar … Yeah we do, which is so funny. When they initially told that to me I was like, “I have a scar.” That wasn’t a thing that was known or as an actor that I could play into until that episode. I was like, “Oh, okay.” Throughout the rest of the season after that scar tidbit information we had to make sure that every piece of clothing that I wore was essentially high enough, as far as my shirts were concerned, as far as the buttons on my shirts were concerned, to make sure that the scar wouldn’t technically be showing. At last we do find out what the scar means and what the origin of that is, we find that out in episode 8.”
Since the show is called Stitchers, whose brain would you stitch into if you had the chance to do it?
“They’ve asked this one so many times. I always say my girlfriends dog because I think she loves me, but I really want to know how she feels about me when I don’t have food. I want to believe that she loves me but I’d really also like to see what kind of memories she has of me in there and how I actually stand in her mind. I really think every memory she probably has of me will be giving her some kind of food and that’s why we get along. Maybe I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and actually think that she loves me because of me.”
Because you are asked that question so much and you do give that answer, who is one other person (not an animal) that you would stitch into?
“That isn’t an animal … I’d also say Walt Disney because I think there was a lot more to him. I also think we wouldn’t be talking about this if it wasn’t for him. I really think that would be a fascinating mind to tap into and see what else he had in store. The topic of conversation is relevant because we’re on ABC Family and that is Disney’s network. Thanks Walt!”