Taking risks: Get to know ‘Switched Before Birth’ star Bo Yokely
Model & actor Bo Yokely is a rising star in the film world. Netflix’s Nappily Ever After gave Yokely his big break, and since then he’s been blazing a path through the industry with work both in front of and behind the camera. Yokely stars in Lifetime’s Switched Before Birth which debuts this October, and in November he’ll appear in Christmas at the Grey Horse Inn.
Yokely is a multi-talented man with ambitious plans for a career in Hollywood. We had the opportunity to speak with him about acting, producing, and what he’s got planned for the coming years.
What was one movie you saw that made you want to go into acting?
As a kid, seeing Ace Ventura Pet Detective was such a huge influence, so I would say that.
Tell us about your journey in the industry. How did you get your start?
I got my start in the modeling world, and as most people know the modeling world and acting world are very closely associated. So, I was offered an opportunity to be in an awesome movie with a great role… never looked back
Who are some of your influences?
All of the 90’s action stars were by far the biggest influence on me…Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise to just name a few.
Your current project is Lifetime’s Switched Before Birth. How did you get involved in that production?
My agent calls and says, “there is this amazing role for a film in which Elizabeth Rohm is directing” and that was enough for me to get excited. After reading the script, I was very excited about the opportunity and accepted the role.
What was your biggest challenge while making the film?
The challenge for me isn’t in filming, but when I am not filming. I find the time between projects way more challenging than even the hardest day filming.
Do you have any fun stories from the set?
Every movie set has its own hilarious stories and its characters. At least 3 times on every movie set I will be crying from laughing so much…usually when the actors get slap happy from being so tired .
What do you want audiences to take away from watching Switched Before Birth?
I would want attention drawn to the lack of oversight of the IVF medical procedure across the world. Also, I am hoping the audience will see the depth of trust and genuine care that Skyler Samuels character “Olivia” and my character “Brian” have for one another.
What’s your mission as an actor? Is there something you want audiences to get from watching your performances?
I am wanting to tell the stories that only I can tell. Movies and television shows really do influence people in a deep way…I’m an example of that. I want to use my unique voice to tell stories that I would want to watch. I would hope that the audience wouldn’t see it as acting, but a real man in an extreme situation.
In addition to your work as an actor, you’re also keeping busy as a producer. Can you tell us about some of the films and shows you’re working on?
I am very excited about a show called Bloody Point. I cannot tell you a lot about it, but it takes place in the early 70’s and will be like nothing else that has ever been made.
Does your work as an actor inform your work as a producer or vice versa?
100%! The learning curve is dramatically cut down because both jobs feed and inform the other job. So much of film making isn’t seen on screen and knowing how to handle both jobs make me better at both.
Are there any indie filmmakers that we should be paying attention to?
To be honest, I am a studio film fanatic. I grew up on those type of films. Having said that, I love seeing so much success for smaller, independent filmmakers.
Do you have a preference for working with films versus shows?
I would have to say films. The epic nature of films is so impactful on me as a child. Something about walking into a big movie theater, smelling popcorn and grabbing your seat really has a special place in my heart.
Talk us through your creative process with a new project.
If I am acting in a new project, I will try to understand who my character is when no one is looking. What is his motivation for the actions he takes? And I need to be able to justify those actions. When I am in a deep understanding of that, then the words will come out naturally. I will get to a point that I will say “yeah, of course that’s what my man would say.”
In producing, I want to do something that would make my 15-year-old self excited to watch. I want to create something that I would be proud of 30 years from now. I want to do something that hasn’t been done or tell a story that hasn’t been told.
What music inspires you to create?
I usually listen to classical music if I am creating a story or a script. I will listen to edm or higher bpm music when working on a character. The upbeat music helps me see this character more clearly.
Can we expect to see you acting in a television show anytime soon?
Oh yes, I have a film hitting theaters this November 25th called Christmas at the Grey Horse Inn. I also have a film I just wrapped called Country Roads Christmas that is coming out Christmas 2022.
Do you have any advice for new actors?
Be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. That’s the backbone of what I do most days. If it scares me or intimidates me, that is what I run to.
If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life what would it be?
I would have to say The Gentleman. Guy Ritchie’s newest film is currently my favorite.
What’s your five year plan?
I want to continue my path in producing films and shows that I would want to watch. I’ll be creating a Movie Series soon that will be set in Rome in 15 AD. It will be a theatrical epic that I am so excited about.
After Switched Before Birth, when can we expect to see you on screen next?
On November 25th, Christmas at the Grey Horse Inn will be released.
Where can fans keep up on your work?
IMDb: Bo Yokely