Emerging Actor Zaire Adams Puts the Cool in School on Netflix's 'Senior Year' | Hype | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Emerging Actor Zaire Adams Puts the Cool in School on Netflix’s ‘Senior Year’

Interviewed by:
Francesca Escarraga
Interview date:
April 2022
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What inspired you to be an actor? Can you tell us your background and how you developed a passion for the entertainment industry?

I think it just was always in me. I began singing at around 3, and got started singing in church. Growing up in a singing family, being a huge fan of Michael and Janet, watching a lot of Disney Channel, I just wanted to be like them. I knew I could! After that, my dad put into an acting academy back home. Training for most of my childhood formed a real passion for entertainment.

Congratulations on your new film, Senior Year! Why did you want to be involved in this project?

Thank you! I wanted to be in this movie for many reasons, mainly because it checked off a few bucket list goals as an actor for me. I get to play a character set in the 2000s, get to dye my hair a crazy color, a cheerleading comedy? So many little film nods that I grew up admiring as a young aspiring actor.

Can you walk us through the process of auditioning for the role? What were the challenges and breakthroughs you’ve encountered along the way, and how did you overcome it?

It was actually so quick, everything happened kind of fast. I was filming a web show around the time I had to get the audition in for the movie, and got it as soon as I could. I then had a zoom callback, but I didn’t expect the director and producers to be there! And about 3 days later, I got the call. It was a rush.

Can you tell us more about your character? What do you love about this character? How did you bring the character to life? Were there particular circumstances or personal experiences that shaped the character?

I love that Seth is just a sweetheart. He’s a little geeky but it works for him. I wanted to bring a feeling of sincerity to this role while also keeping him funny. Bringing him to life wasn’t that hard because, I’m naturally a bit meek in person so playing a shy teenager trying to fit in wasn’t that hard to tap into.

What makes this story different from others? How do you think this story will change and make an impact in today’s society?

It effortlessly blends nostalgia, comedy and real life elements. It’s so funny while really tugging at your heart strings, which even surprised me upon my sneak peak. It’s giving cult classic [vibes].

What was the dynamic like between you, your castmates, and film crew? How did they make you feel? Were there particular moments on set that you’ll always remember?

Me and the castmates got pretty close, and spent a bunch of time together off set! It felt like time was going by so fast, so I enjoyed all the dinners, outings and general time we spent together. My most memorable night has to be the night we all wrapped, and had a last hoorah in Molly’s room. Definitely a fun night!

Can you give us a sneak peak of what we can expect from this film?

I don’t know what I can and can’t say! But my hair is a cool color in a cool look.

What films and which filmmakers have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

Films that I particularly love are Thirteen, the Friday series, Menace II Society and X-Men. They each kind of represent a genre I have a knack and love for. I’m hugely inspired by comedians. Filmmakers that I admire are Harmony Korine, Spike Lee, Christopher Nolan and Calmatic.

There couldn’t be a more perfect time to celebrate strong, diverse, and authentic characters on screen. What were the monumental life lessons, mistakes, and things you’ve learned in your acting career that you would like to share to aspiring or emerging actors, storytellers, and creatives in general?

One thing I learned, was to trust that ride. That bumpy, unsure ride with dry spells and highs? Trust it. Keep training, keep networking. The biggest mistakes I made were not applying myself to every opportunity that I was given at one point in time. Also, I hope young actors know that whether you’ve booked or not, haven’t trained in a while, or if you have no inspiration at the moment, you’re still an artist!

The pandemic has greatly affected the entertainment industry. How did it affect your side of things?

I was definitely feeling a moment of uncertainty. I think that was the first year I didn’t work at all. It was scary for reasons beyond my career itself, you know? But the industry is still figuring it out, and I’m blessed to have been able to be apart of Senior Year during a pandemic.

What kind of roles do you want to take on in the future?

I have a natural taste for comedy, so a buddy comedy or any comedy role is always the dream. I’d also love to be in teen sitcom or drama, a musical and a superhero film! I hope to play roles that are both relatable and groundbreaking, I want people to be able to see parts of themselves on screen.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind as an actor?

I want to be known as an all a-rounder. An artist that took risks, and was comfortable playing characters from all walks of life.

What’s your advice to young actors who want to break into the entertainment industry?

Train train train! Network! Take your time. Figure out what kind of actor you are, and figure out what kind of roles/projects fit you and you cling to!

Do you have other upcoming projects you want to share with us?

I plan on releasing my debut single sometime in July, and I’m unsure if I can speak on anything else haha.

Senior Year is releasing on Netflix Friday, May 13th.

Damaged City Festival 2019 | Photos | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.

Damaged City Festival 2019 | Photos | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

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