As a young adult, Grant Hall thought he had a clear idea of the path before him. That is, until the strong conviction of a single teacher. “My freshman year shifted everything in my life, honestly,” he says. “And, thankfully, for the better. Coming into college in my first year, I had my mind focused entirely on baseball. But all that changed when my theater appreciation teacher informed me (in front of the whole class) that she believed I had the ‘perfect look for TV and film.’ That turned my entire world upside down because I had never even considered acting. I knew I loved entertainment deeply, but didn’t even know acting was a possible career path. I grew up deep in the midwest (Toledo, OH), where there isn’t much acting. But after she told me this, I decided to take action and join the improv group on campus; I worked in a couple of stage productions and started taking a film acting class a couple of hours away from my school a few times a week.” Such a glowing opinion initially inflated his ego. “It might have given me too much confidence initially,” he admits with a laugh. “Because I soon realized, after arriving in LA, that talented people are a dime a dozen, and it’s not enough to be gifted. You must work very hard at your craft if you wish to be successful. Nonetheless, I’m incredibly grateful for my teacher giving me that boost of confidence because I needed it to take the leap of faith and give acting a try.” He moved across the country and became immersed in the pursuit of his dreams. “I came to LA for what was supposed to be a summer with my brother (my manager at the time) and a couple of other people my manager was repping. After that summer, everybody left, but I stayed because I was determined to make it in the industry, and I just refused to go home until I had some success. Looking back, I fell in love with the grind and process of striving to become a working actor in Hollywood. And that passion has only grown stronger as time has passed.”
That passion took flight via the character of Kyle on grown-ish. Grant is filled with humility and happiness. “grown-ish is a show that genuinely means so much to so many different people, and it’s a privilege even to say I’m a part of it. The show is essentially about the struggles of growing up and transitioning into adulthood and living in the strange middle ground of still kind of being a kid but also an adult at the same time. Being on the grown-ish set with the whole cast and crew is honestly such a blast, and everyone does their part in trying to create the best episodes possible. I’d describe Kyle as somewhat of an antagonist to the lead of the show Junior (played by Marcus Scribner). Kyle is very charismatic and socially savvy, but slightly conniving and devious. There are many dualities to him.” Joining an established cast can be tricky, but Grant didn’t sweat it. He knew he would find his niche. “I knew that the cast and crew had been working together for a couple of years before I got involved, so I had to take the time to sit back and observe how everybody worked in unison so I could best figure out what my piece in the puzzle was. But I love all my cast mates on the show; everybody cracks me up.” Kyle is undoubtedly driven by status and image. Grant reflects: “I think he’s a product of his environment, just like we all are. The people he surrounds himself with place much importance on those things. To get the respect he craves, he has to be of a certain status and have a high-class image in the eyes of others.”
Kyle’s rivalry with Junior is exacerbated by their different perspectives and a shared love interest. “They clash because of their contrasting viewpoints regarding social issues. Junior is a character who is constantly trying to do the right thing and better the lives of those around him. In contrast, Kyle only cares about bettering his life and maybe a couple of other people he surrounds himself with. On top of that, having a thing for Annika (played by Justine Skye) doesn’t help the relationship either.” Grant reveals that Kyle has plenty more machinations to come. “I don’t want to give away what’s to come, but we can expect Kyle to do what he does best – making Junior’s life more difficult. The show is returning for a 6th season, so the fans should expect to see much more of Kyle soon!” Catch up on grown-ish on Freeform and stream it now on Hulu.
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Grant Hall Chases Privilege and Image on “grown-ish.” Photo Credit: Audrey Slinger.