Spy News Magazine: You grew up in a small town in Washington State, How did you get your start in the film industry?
Pierson: As a kid growing up on a farm in Washington state, I knew that I wanted to be a part of movies the second I was born, I think. So what I did when I was little: I took my parents’ video camera and I would get all my friends and my family together and we’d go film movies. They were glorious and terrible, probably the worst things you could ever watch, but I loved it. Eventually I got better at it and started submitting to different little film festivals.
And then I turned seventeen, I was coming into an age where I could finally move out and get going on my own, so I started submitting applications for film internships, acting, studios, modeling competitions and things like that. Finally one competition got back to me. It was an acting, modeling, singing and dancing competition. They flew me down to Los Angeles and eventually I won the competition. They signed me to Wilhemina modeling agency when I moved to LA and then I was like “hey, I love modeling, I think its really fun but what I really want to do is acting”. So they brought in another agency, who then introduced me to my manager, and ever since then I have been acting.
In between that I did a film internship for a live production where I got to work on concerts and do camera work. That was in Kansas City, Missouri, it lasted for about nine months.
Spy News Magazine: You haven’t had a formal education in the film industry?
Pierson: No, I haven’t. I spent time on self-education and on internship. everything I’ve learned has been hands on while shooting. its the best way to learn anything.
Spy News Magazine: Have you always dreamt of fame?
Pierson: No, maybe not fame, but the excitement of making something that changed my life. When I was a little kid watching Star Wars and Superman – it kind of changed my life. Luke Skywalker and Clark Kent both grew up on a farm, just like me, and they went off to do great things and change people’s lives. And it was kind of like me, because I wanted to grow up and impact someone else’s life just like Luke Skywalker and Clark Kent had impacted mine.
Spy News Magazine: What was the first role you landed?
Pierson: The first role I ever did… I had four lines on a Nickelodeon show called “iCarly”. I was playing a character dressed up for a Halloween party. I hit on Miranda Cosgrove, then was freaked out and ran away because she had a strange voice, that was it. It was kind of fun.
Spy News Magazine: In 2015 you took over the role of Thomas Forrester in “The Bold and the Beautiful”. How did “The Bold and the Beautiful” family meet you?
Pierson: Everyone was very welcoming on set. It’s the perfect place to shape who you are as an actor.
Spy News Magazine: When making a decision to take over this character, did you have any fears with regards to going into soap opera direction?
Pierson: I think that with any role that you take on you have to be careful about getting typecast. George Clooney and Julia Roberts, who started in soaps, played great characters and then moved on and started doing other things. I think that in a lot of ways soap operas are kind of the equivalent of English theater in America. We have soap operas that train and hone our great actors these days, so I’m hoping that’s what I’d gain from this experience.
Spy News Magazine: What is your motivation in your acting career?
Pierson: I love it. I think there are a few things in life that can make somebody really happy and acting is one of those things in my life, I feel complete when I’m doing it.
Spy News Magazine: I watched “Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List”, Was it challenging for you to play a gay character?
Pierson: I think that the only challenging part was that I was afraid of messing it up. I didn’t want to play a stereotype that a lot of the sitcoms have: like a gay guy who is out there and goofy. And sometimes he’s not like my friends who I have lived around. Not to say that there isn’t that type, but I just wanted to bring another aspect to the character. So I really wanted to do justice to that role and bring him his own life. Once I got into it and I spoke to the writers of the book, the writers of movie and the director, I interviewed a couple of my friends who have been gay their whole lives and they got to put their wisdom on me. I incorporated all of that into the role.
Spy News Magazine: How far can you go in terms of transforming your look or your weight to get a role?
Pierson: I could go a long way, go bald, grow a beard. For that role I slimmed down quite a bit, I did a lot of running and I lost about ten pounds just because I felt that it fit the character.
Spy News Magazine: What would you like the world to know about you? Is there a certain message that you want to deliver?
Pierson: Never judge a book by its cover, because you don’t know what’s underneath. I think that a lot of people look at me and think that I should act and be a certain way. Some are born weird, some achieve it, and others have weirdness thrust upon them. I like making people smile. I think that the big thing that I want people to gather from who I am, is that I’m living my dreams. I want people to come on that journey with me.
Spy News Magazine: Do you think it is destiny or some other force that is helping you live your dream?
Pierson: Both. You know, I think there’s God out there somewhere and he’s helping guide some things. I feel that there’s a supernatural side to all of it, but at the same time I don’t think that God would allow anything to take place if we didn’t do our work right. Just in general, God or no God, if I wasn’t studying to be an actor and I didn’t want to do it, then all of a sudden I’d walk into a room and say “I just want to do it one day” – nobody would like that. So it takes a lot of hard work and effort and then finally the doors open.
Spy News Magazine: I watched all the interviews that you’ve done on Youtube and you seemed like a sweetheart, always smiling. But there must be a dark side of you, what is that?
Pierson: (Laughs) Dark side? I try to save that side for close friends and the movies. Just because I have a lot of younger kids who follow me and look up to me on social media, so I want to try and give them a positive message.
Spy News Magazine: You feel responsible for what you transmit through your work?
Pierson: Definitely. If you say something negative, hopefully it’s in a way that’s bringing out something meaningful. If I’m doing something that’s dark and edgy, it should have meaning, not just be dark for the sake of being dark.
Spy News Magazine: You can fall in love with your co-star as you are spending so much time together on set. What is the biggest challenge on having a relationship in Hollywood?
Pierson: Infidelity. People aren’t loyal. But I would say for me personally and for my close circle of friends the biggest problem must be the time spent apart. You don’t get to see your significant other very much because you are both filming all the time in different cities and it’s hard. For instance, when Victoria Justice and I were dating, we both had sex scenes on movies and TV shows. It was funny because I mentioned to her: “You know, just give me a call before you do it and call me after. I just want to know if everything is OK. I don’t think you are going to cheat on me but it just makes me feel better to know that you care about me. Because otherwise it feels like you don’t care about me.” It’s a weird emotional response. And I would do the same for her. And she said: “It doesn’t really bother me, it doesn’t affect me that much, I don’t really worry about it”. And then when I had my scene come up she said I should call her before and after; she just wanted to feel good about this.
Lines will be crossed eventually at some point and then, if you are the kind of person that wants to go in that direction, so be it. Sometimes people go that way and sometimes they like to pull back and keep reserved, because it is hard. The weird thing is that on a movie you only film for a couple of months and then you don’t have to see that person again or you can date them and get to know them. But on a TV show where you are working with this person for years at a time and if you start dating or you start to see each other and then you break up – you still have to go and see them on set, so you have to keep clear boundaries at work.
Spy News Magazine: Do you choose a career over a relationship?
Pierson: Yes, at this point in my life. I want to focus on myself; I’m only twenty-four. I can keep it simple and I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings on the way of me focusing one hundred percent on my career when I don’t have time to be like: “Hey, do you want to do this and do that? Let’s go on a date”. I’m now spending a hundred hours a week focusing on my career.
Spy News Magazine: Do you have a celebrity crush?
Pierson: Daisy Ridley
Spy News Magazine: What did you dream about last night?
Pierson: I didn’t because I didn’t sleep (laughs).
Spy News Magazine: Can you name five songs that are on your playlist?
Spirits -The Strumbellas
Surprise yourself – Jack Garret
Blurry face -21 Pilots
Brazil -Declan Mckenna
Canon – Overwork
Photo by Rachid Ait