Family Reunion Star Lance Alexander on Playing Elvis and What the Show Means to Him
Netflix's Family Reunion has quickly come to be one of our favorite comedies on the platform, winning our hearts with its unique blend of warmth, humor and insightful social commentary.
The show revolves around the six-member McKellan family from Seattle, who after a family reunion in Georgia decide to move there to stay closer to their extended family. In his breakout role, actor Lance Alexander plays Elvis, a family friend who develops a crush on oldest daughter, Jade.
Elvis is one of our favorite characters on the show, and we got the opportunity to chat with Lance Alexander and find all about how he brings the character to life.
Sweety High: Have you always wanted to become an actor?
Lance Alexander: You may find this hilarious, but the truth is I didn't really realize acting could be a job or career. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved putting a smile on the faces of people around me and to simply entertain! I was 11 when I discovered my gifts could help me earn a living.
(Photo credit: Chris Evan)
SH: How has your family supported you in your journey to becoming an actor?
LA: My family is definitely the reason I'm in Los Angeles pursuing my dream right now! When my journey started, my mom and I came to Los Angeles by ourselves, while my sister and dad stayed in our Ohio home. It was very hard being separated from the rest of my family and friends, but I did my best to stay focused so that I could make everyone proud. I was so homesick, I even missed fighting with my sister!
My family made the sacrifice to run two households for nearly three years so that I could live my dream. From the very beginning, I remember my mom would often say, this is for Team Lance, and it was always so nice to hear. So when I work and find success, I'm not only doing it for me but for my team!
SH: What's the most valuable life lesson you've received during your career?
LA: The most valuable lesson definitely has been to stay faithful and trust the process. As I move through this journey I have learned things may not pay off in a week, or even months and sometimes it takes years, but if you put in the work and time, one day all of your hard work and sacrifice will be rewarded. Even though sometimes you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to find the light within yourself and use that to light your path! I just keep reminding myself it's a marathon and not a race so watch my pace and "Go get it"!
SH: What was the audition process for getting the role of Elvis in Family Reunion?
LA: To help my nerves and maintain my sanity, I have a rule to forget about auditions when I leave a casting office. However, when I read for the role of Elvis, I simply could not stop thinking about the audition because I instantly connected with this character! I went in three times, and the first time was the most nerve-racking because of the required country accent. My final audition for Elvis was actually on the Paramount lot on a Wednesday in October, I will never forget that callback! I wasn't really nervous, but it appeared the callback group was getting smaller and smaller and I knew I needed to nail every aspect of my performance. When I finally booked the role, the excitement and the feeling I had was out of this world. I'm certain my team still remembers the phone call and my reaction. In this business, you get a lot of no's and I have learned not to focus on those, however, when someone says yes, I never forget the time, place or the amazing feeling.
SH: What are your biggest similarities to Elvis?
LA: I love playing this character because we are very similar, which is why I relate to Elvis so well. He is fun-loving, loves the Lord and is extremely carefree—just like me! Elvis is very active in his church and we both love vacation bible school. Elvis is a well-mannered teen with a big loving heart, who is always up for a good time! He is a little timid at times especially when it comes to breaking the rules. Elvis is also an entrepreneur and I would like to consider myself one as well. I used to have a fidget spinner business and a one-man concession stand.
SH: What are your biggest differences from him?
LA: The major difference between Elvis and me is that he is a little more girl-crazy than me. I'm not certain Elvis can live without Jade. I, on the other hand, will just let love happen naturally.
SH: What does being a part of the show mean to you?
LA: Being a part of Family Reunion has totally been a blessing in many ways, one is being able to add a grandma to my family who is Mrs. Loretta Devine. Both of my grandmothers are deceased and Mrs. Loretta welcomed me with open arms the first time I met her and has always been very caring and nurturing to me. Not to mention any scene with her in it, is always magical! I am forever grateful to the show's creator Meg DeLoatch for believing in me and allowing me to bring Elvis to life. Elvis has truly been my breakout role and I am eternally grateful for this opportunity. It's so awesome moving around town and traveling to other places and having people recognize me as the kid who plays Elvis. One of the coolest experiences was when I went to summer camp and a bunch of kids came up to me saying they loved my character and asked if we could take pictures. It truly made my year!
(Photo credit: Chris Evan)
SH: Is there anything else you'd like your fans to know about you?
LA: I would like everyone to know I appreciate the love and support for this crazy dream of mine. If you don't already follow me, please check me out on TikTok. I do comedy skits and I base them off of real-life events! You can also follow me on Instagram @thelancealexander.
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