I recently had the privilege of interviewing Hallmark Channel fan favorite actor, Preston Vanderslice! He's one of the actors that came to my attention this past Christmas season while watching Hallmark's Countdown To Christmas, of which Preston was in two Christmas movies. I then saw him on the first Mystery 101 movie and reached out to him regarding an interview. He graciously agreed, and here we are!
Mercy: Welcome! Can you share a little bit about yourself?
Mercy: What started your interest in acting?
Preston: I don’t have a specific “aha” moment that I can attribute to me wanting to become an actor. On some basic (and somewhat base) level, I simply liked attention as a kid. I liked retelling funny stories and making people laugh. I was in a comedy troupe during high school where we wrote and performed our own sketches at a spring show, which was an absolute highlight of my high school days. I do remember having a pretty visceral experience at the movie theater when I was watching A Time To Kill. My buddy and I went and saw something more age appropriate (we were probably 10), but our movie ended before his parents, who were in A Time To Kill, so we sat at the back for the last 20 minutes. I obviously didn’t know anything about what had happened in the first two hours of the movie, but if you’ve seen it you know that you really get the entire story in Matthew McConaughey’s final deposition. I remember physically leaning forward in my seat. That was the first time I realized the power that good writing performed by a committed actor could have on someone’s life.
Mercy: What do you like to do in your free time?
Preston: A lot! I split my time between LA and Vancouver so it depends on where I’m at. LA has a ton of great restaurants, art galleries and beaches. But, I think my general interest are met more when I’m in Vancouver where I spend time hiking, skiing, and exploring the beautiful pacific northwest. I also love reading, good coffee, interesting beer, and engaging conversation, and am shameless if that makes me some sort of cliché hipster! HA!
Mercy: If you weren't an actor what would you do?
Preston: On some level I think I’m an actor because my answer to this question is always changing. Despite the fact that they’re, unfortunately, all too divisive these days, I could see myself enjoying politics and public service. I’m also an admirer of creative copywriting and advertising so perhaps work at an ad agency. My buddy is a journalist for the AFP where he lives in Pakistan and reports on everything around the region. It’s extreme and even dangerous at times, but fascinating and eye opening.
Mercy: If your life had a theme song what would it be?
Preston: Fun question! I listen to a lot of music so this is a toughie. Recently I’ve been going back and listening to the album Lost In The Dream by The War On Drugs and love the song “Eyes To The Wind.” They have a very big, layered, guitar heavy sound that slowly builds over the course of their songs/albums. I saw them in concert last year and was totally spellbound. It was at a music festival so the set was only an hour but I could’ve listened for another two.
Mercy: What are three things you can't live without?
Preston: Hmm. Coffee, books, and Mexican food. Obviously, friends and family, but I stuck with “things.” I’m not going to start listing the three people I can’t live without, that would get me in way too much trouble!!
Mercy: What is your favorite character that you've played?
Preston: I played a character named “Phillip” in a well written, juicy play called The Presentment. He was an extremely bright, gifted, witty yet very vulnerable character who was living with AIDS. We performed it six nights a week for a month in Edinburgh so it was quite the ride to get to sink into that day in and day out. More recently, this past February I got to dive into a very misguided and flawed character in an installment of Aurora Teagarden which was a lot of fun.
|On set of Mystery 101|
Preston: We just wrapped the second installment in the Mystery 101 series and I think it’ll turn out well! This one has a large and talented ensemble cast that I think brought a different energy to it than the first, which was a more streamlined cast. The larger cast always make for more red herrings which is fun for the viewer.
Mercy: What's your perfect Sunday afternoon look like?
Preston: Saturday is for something more physically challenging and grueling, or for getting errands done, but a perfect Sunday is all about relaxing. Lunch with friends, reading in the park or by the beach, and having long, aimless conversations with family and friends back in Texas.
Mercy: What would you like to be remembered about you?
Preston: I think I’m driven more by personal things being remembered about me than career accomplishments. Not that I’m not ambitious or hungry for new and different career opportunities, but rich relationships with family and friends are what I strive for the most. To be remembered as someone with a big, open heart, dependable and honest would be a life well lived. Oh, and someone who walked through life with a sense of humor. Genuine laughter is key.
Mercy: Any other upcoming projects you can share about?
Preston: The Aurora Teagarden episode will air at some point this summer. I did a pilot called The Lost Boys for the CW but believe it’s being “retooled”, so I’m not sure what that means exactly. And three new Mystery 101’s!
|With Kristoffer Polaha on set of Mystery 101|