Photo Credit: Christopher Sheffield
"The only way it is going to be tough or impossible is if you believe that."
Bret Green urges aspiring actors to work hard and believe in themeslves, because that's just what he did. The Michigan native took a marketing job in Arizona shortly after graduating. With a fast flick of destiny, it was apparent that he wasn't in the right field and so, with nothing but self-belief, Bret moved to LA to follow his acting passion. And it was definitely the right move. He landed representation within a year and has since been seen on ABC hits like How to Get Away With Murder and The Goldbergs.
Currently Bret leads the new CBS series, The Inspectors. He also recently took to twitter to announce that he will be on the new season of Bones.
HYC caught up with the actor to discuss his recent rise to success, The Inspectors and the best acting advice he's got...
RP: Acting is a tough journey. Especially when society can pressure you to quit dreaming and "great real job." How did you find the strength to leave your marketing position and dive into acting?
BG: The way I see it, I tried the "real job" and hated it. If I had never tried it, I would not be able to appreciate how great it is to be an artist. I think I just started thinking long term and realized that I could not work in marketing for the rest of my life. Now, I wake up every single day feeling fortunate that I get to do what I do for a living and I definitely count my blessings.
RP: What do you love most about acting?
BG: I love that I get to express myself with no judgement. I think people admire actors because the characters they portray say and do things that a lot of people are afraid to do, so it feels good to allow them to live vicariously through my characters.
RP: You've worked on series like How to Get Away with Murder and The Goldbergs. What's it like to be on the set of such a popular show with such highly regarded talent?
BG: How to Get Away With Murder was my first ever TV credit so that was quite the honor. I mean, the first time I stepped foot on a real TV set I met Viola Davis. There are not a lot of people who get to tell stories like that. Working on The Goldbergs was my first introduction to comedy, and man what a show to work on. Those actors are all hilarious and I got to learn quite a bit from them.
RP: And now you have your own show. You play Preston Wainwright on the CBS show The Inspectors - Congrats! How did you land that role?
BG: Thank you! I went through the audition process just like everyone else. It took about two months for me to learn that I booked the role, which was the greatest moment of my career.
RP: What's your favorite part of playing Preston?
BG: I liked the challenge of learning how to live in a wheelchair. Physically challenged people are some of the toughest individuals I have ever met, so I was honored to get to attempt to portray a character like that.
RP: Yes, Preston is confined to a wheelchair after a bad accident. What kind of work did you do as an actor to get in that headspace and relate?
BG: There was quite a bit of research and training that went into it. I worked with a few consultants who helped me learn how to use the chair and how certain daily tasks should look and feel. The hardest part was getting into the mindset of a person in a chair. The limitations they face, the looks they receive, the sense of pity you feel from others. It was tough to get used to, but I am glad I got to attempt to walk a mile in their shoes.
RP: The series is really a vessel to show the world what the USPS does. In addition, I've noticed that viewers take away a different lesson from every episode. What have you learned most from the experience?
BG: I have learned, unfortunately, that there are some really clever criminals out there who will take advantage of you for their own benefit. A lot of the crimes are what you'd consider "white collar" and relatively unknown scams. We are just trying to do our part to teach the general public about these scams and how to be safe.
RP: I came across your "rap reel" - it's very creative! Do you think it's important for actors to do things like that so they stand out?
BG: I try to do anything to standout in this business. Being a good actor is not enough. If you are just good looking that is not enough. You have to bring something to the table that no one else can replicate, which is kind of what I try to do with the videos I make. I would highly recommend to all actors that they should think outside of the box and do something that makes them standout.
RP: You give Abrams a shoutout in the video. How did you get connected with such a prestigious artists agency?
BG: I am very fortunate to be with a great agency like Abrams. I am, in fact, one of the success stories from agent workshops. Some people aren't crazy about paying money to be seen by an agency, but the stars aligned and it was right place, right time for me. I still thank my agent's assistant every time I see her for calling me in for a meeting.
RP: What's the best piece of advice you have for aspiring actors?
BG: People are going to tell you it's tough. People are going to tell you it's impossible. The only way it is going to be tough or impossible is if you believe that. So don't. Tell yourself everyday that you are the exception. Work hard, get good training, and believe in yourself.
RP: Any other upcoming projects?
BG: I am going to be guest starring on a few TV shows this year, but I have to keep those under wraps for now. Keep an eye out for me moving forward, though!
Be sure to check out Bret (@bretjgreen) in The Inspectors on CBS.