Fourteen-year-old Grayson Thorne Kilpatrick has only been acting for a handful of years, but he’s already making big strides. To date he’s worked with a number of comic heavyweights in big studio films, but he’s also creating his own content—including a sketch that pays homage to Chris Farley’s beloved SNL character, Matt Foley.
This year Grayson will have his first lead role in Black Pumpkin, a sequel to 2016’s indie horror film Bloody Bobby. Production is set to start any time and will tell the story of two teens who accidentally reawaken the evil spirit of Bloody Bobby on Halloween night.
Check out what this young talent had to say, he just might grow up to be the kind of comedic hero he reveres.
You started acting at the age of 9 and by 12 had moved to LA. Not long after moving there you started booking parts and have since worked with people like Shia LeBeouf, Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, just to name a few. What’s it been like to see your dreams come true?
Actually, I met Shia LeBeouf on the set of Man Down and Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg on the set of Daddy’s Home in New Orleans when I still lived in Alabama.
One of the first things I filmed in Los Angeles was with Bill Hader and Fred Armisen on an episode of Documentary Now. I have also been on set with Fred Savage (Wonder Years fame) as well as other stars.
It’s really cool to be on set. I get a little nervous knowing I’m going to be alongside some bigger names, but after the camera starts rolling, we’re just actors playing our parts.
What do you dream about accomplishing in your career? I know you create shorts (more on that next), is writing, directing and producing part of your aspirations, along with acting? And is there a specific role or type of film/TV show you’d give up all your freckles to star in?
Have fun! I don’t really have big dreams of the future.
As far as a specific role, I just like being on set!
Last year you made a short called John Foley: Motivationally Speaking, which is an homage to Chris Farley’s SNL character, Matt Foley. You wrote, directed and starred in your short and I must say you did a great job imitating his persona. What made you want to put your own spin on that role? And do you have any other shorts planned?
I always admired Chris Farley and loved his work. I just thought it would be fun to make my own story relating to Matt Foley instead of performing his Saturday Night Live skit over.
I want to make more short films at some point. Right now, I’m trying to come up with a story. The John Foley idea just popped into my head. It’s hard to come up with something after a big hit like John Foley: Motivationally Speaking.
Your short was also a family venture! Not only did your mom and dad produce, you also cast your father as the principal in the story. What was it like working together and, more importantly, getting to boss your dad around as the director?
It was really cool to boss my parents around! No, really, we all worked together. They worked really hard on the producer side of the short, but it was my production so they wanted me to be the boss. It was all my production. I can’t get away with bossing them around any time I want, although I still try! [laughs]
It was great to be with my dad on set. He found out how hard it is to have to learn the lines and be able to act it out the way the director wants to see it. (That would have been ME!)
You’re starring in a Halloween film this year called Black Pumpkin. I understand it’s a sequel to Bloody Bobby (2016). The premise has a 10-year-old boy disappearing on Halloween night and 20 years later he returns to exact his revenge. How does Black Pumpkin pick up on that thread and what’s your part in it?
Black Pumpkin hasn’t started filming yet, so I can’t say much about it now. Bloody Bobby is supposed to be an urban legend and people report seeing him every Halloween.
This is my first lead role in a feature film and I’m playing the role of Lawrence.
Watch for it to come out around Halloween this year. It should be a lot of fun!
Is this your first horror movie? I’ve always had a fascination with f/x makeup and practical effects so I always imagined it would be great fun. What was it like for you?
Actually, this is the second horror feature film I will have made. Bad Blood: the Movie released in 2016. I played the role of Wade Jr.
I [also] had roles in a few short [horror] films, including The Unconventional Gourmet, which I won an award for — youth actor in a short film at the Bare Bones International Film Festival.
Any other upcoming projects you’d like to share with our readers?
There’s a production that I have been working on since the end of last year. I can’t say anything about it right now. That should be out this year also.
Lastly, our Talk Nerdy With Us readers would love to know what it is you nerd out about?
Oh, that’s EASY! I love Rubik’s Cubes! I started out with the regular 3 by 3 by 3 that started it all in the 1970s. I have about a dozen different ones like the 4 by 4 by 4, 5 by 5 by 5, a ghost cube which has a bunch of different shape pieces and they’re all the same color. I also have some puzzles that are not cube-shaped. I carry one of them wherever I go.
This interview has been lightly edited for content & clarity