READY FOR HIS CLOSE-UP: "Every time I think I've found my niche, something new becomes a passion," says Mears, 28.
DON’T be fooled by Rudyard Mears’ soft, gentlemanly exterior. At heart, he’s a tough kid who keeps his goals in sharp focus. That’s partly why he’s ideally cast in Ashé’s new web drama series Chill, as Jevaughn (aka Jevie), an ambitious, family-oriented go-getter who finds the inner strength to cope with the myriad domestic and other real-life problems he encounters. A 28-year-old UWI Mona undergrad (pursuing a Bachelor’s in Management Studies), the acting newbie threw himself into the meaty role and, by his own admission, has been transformed by the process. Here, he chats with TALLAWAH…
TALLAWAH: Congrats on landing such an intriguing role for your acting debut. How did you prepare?
Rudyard Mears: [Director] Michael [Holgate] encouraged me to watch a lot of movies, and he would send me some links as well. I had to learn about responding to the camera and how to articulate in a scene. It was a real learning experience for me.
TALLAWAH: You have a kissing scene! How did that go down?
RM: It wasn’t in the script, but on-set Michael saw the chemistry between me and Ackera. I was not prepared for it, honestly; it was a little awkward at first. And the funny thing is, Ackera and I are actually really good friends.
TALLAWAH: On a heavier note, Chill touches on some pretty important themes and explores sobering societal issues.
RM: I feel like it is something that hasn’t been done before in Jamaica; we’re always addressing the [usual] stuff, but Chill looks at some controversial subjects, like reproductive health, HIV and STIs and the issue of LGBT rights and identity. I feel like as a society Jamaica is too afraid to take on some of those issues.
TALLAWAH: Do you think that will change?
RM: I believe it will change. Now is the right time to address them. The minds of Jamaican people have been prepared for it.
TALLAWAH: Now that you’ve been bitten by the acting bug, what do you see in your future?
RM: I’ve never given it any real thought, but after going through the process I feel like it is something I want to do more of. I want to explore my artistic side more. It’s like every time I think I’ve found my niche, something new becomes a passion. I mean, the acting really came out of nowhere.
TALLAWAH: So how do you spend your time when you’re not studying or working on the series?
RM: I’m business-minded. I run two supermarkets [in St. Catherine] with my brother and a bar with my mom. I like hanging out with my friends. I love the outdoors. Card games, barbecues. We have a lot of fun.