(Published Dec. 9, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit
“I feel like I am constantly learning,” said actor Steven R. McQueen, who plays young vampire hunter Jeremy Gilbert in the hit horror-drama series “The Vampire Diaries.” He told the Inquirer in a recent e-mail interview that acting in the weekly, hour-long show continues to be “very rewarding.”
The grandson of late actor Steve McQueen and the son of actor-producer Chad McQueen, 25-year-old Steven previously appeared in TV shows “Everwood” and “Numbers” and in 2010’s “Piranha 3D.” Steven has been campaigning to play Nightwing, the grown-up Robin, in the TV series “Arrow,” but official word has yet to be announced if he has nabbed the part.
His “TVD” character Jeremy, adoptive brother/biological cousin to main character Elena (Nina Dobrev), continues to undergo supernatural transformations—including seeing ghosts, becoming one himself, and coming back to life. Jeremy was initially a drug-addicted orphan, but the presence of vampires, werewolves, witches and spirits in his hometown forced him to grow up.
How would you describe Jeremy's growth in the five years that you have portrayed him on the show?
He went from being young and rebellious to taking charge and control of his life, and trying to protect the people he loves. I hope he continues to become stronger.
Your character was killed and was revived a few times. How do you feel about Jeremy's supernatural transformations?
Against (the vampire) Silas, that’s the only time he truly feels like a supernatural creature because Silas’ powers don’t work on any of the hunters. Being a hunter is like having adrenaline running constantly through your body, like being at the peak of human performance.
How would you describe the rapport of the “TVD” cast members, five years later?
I started when I was 19 years old and they are my family. Ian (Somerhalder) and Paul (Wesley) have really looked out for me throughout the years; they’ve been like big brothers to me. I can genuinely say if I ever needed to talk to someone I could call anyone on the cast.
Describe your fitness regimen.
It changes all the time. I try to work out seven days a week, eat chicken and vegetables and a little bit of dark chocolate here and there. I try to keep active. If I don’t feel like being in the gym I can switch up my routine and go paddle boarding with Zach (Roerig). I have a good group of guys that I hang out with in my gym and we either lift or kick box or just find ways to keep the body in motion.
Name some of your biggest artistic influences.
Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Downey Jr., Sean Penn… the list goes on and on. Non-actors, I’d say anybody who’s dedicated themselves to a particular art--one person who comes to mind is [legendary 1600s swordsman] Miyamoto Musashi.
How would you describe the show's fans?
We participate in conventions all over the world where fans come to see us and interact with us face to face, and that’s a really rewarding feeling. It’s really cool. They are so dedicated!
Was it difficult to strike out on your own, since you came from a family of actors?
The fun thing about acting is there is no way to perfect it. You learn more and more every day. For my journey, I’ve had a great experience of being on a TV show and filming with new directors and new actors week to week. It’s one of those things you just go for, you hop in with both feet, and it’s been very rewarding so far.
What are your dream roles?
I’ve always wanted to play a superhero. I hear they are making a new “Star Wars.” That would be cool too.