Adventurous, funny and outgoing is how Texas actor Kale Culley, 18, describes himself. Kale plays August – the son of Cordell Walker (Jared Padalecki) – on the CW’s new “Walker” TV series. His love for acting began at age five when he tried to make people laugh or get a reaction from them.
Why did you want to become an actor and at what age?
As a child, I’d say around five years old, I always loved making people laugh or just getting some sort of reaction out of them with different characters I created in my head. So to do that on the big screen and put a smile or a frown on someone’s face, maybe put a tear in someone’s eye, was an absolute dream. A feature film called 6 Below was my first acting role at 10 years old.
What do you like, or don’t like, about acting?
I like everything about acting! Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I can relate to every little bit about a character and sometimes the character is a complete stranger. I love making constant adjustments to characters. I think there is a misconception that once you understand everything that needs to be understood, once you’ve memorized all that needs to be said, that you’ve finished your job and you can go and perform…characters are people too, and people change subtly over time. The same process would go playing a monster from space that was born 3000 years ago, human or not. I love telling stories through other characters’ eyes. Live a life in someone else’s shoes. Experience what makes them happy, sad, angry, guilty, etc. (there’s nothing I don’t like about acting)!
You’re co-starring in the reboot of “Walker” on the CW, which is in its third season, and you play August, the son of Cordell Walker. Tell us about that. How did you land that role? What’s it like working with Jared Padalecki, who had a long run on the TV series, “Supernatural”?
This audition process was not easy at all! I went through every single stage possible, seven to be exact. It was nerve-wracking, but in the end game I was given this role. Working with Jared is incredible! As an actor who was new to the series regular game, I was scared. Asking questions to myself like “What if these people don’t like me? What if they don’t accept my character?” Let me tell you…these people are the exact opposite. Sorry, I’m supposed to be talking about Jared, but all of us on that set are one big family. To answer your question Jared is the nicest guy, and I have learned so much from him!
What do you hope the future has in store for you?
I know that the future is going to offer many beautiful things. I will 100 percent do feature films! That is where my heart has always been set. I would love to be a part of an HBO Max series as well! I also have stories from my heart that the world has yet to see. I’m currently writing a project that I’ve wanted to write for ages. How a film looks is incredibly important to me, and I’ve always been inspired by legends like Steven Spielberg and the best cinematographer ever (in my opinion), Roger Deakins. I definitely have plans on telling stories through the lens as well.
What would be your ideal role to play and why?
I honestly can’t pinpoint the “ideal role”. Each and every role you’ll see me play in the future, and have seen me play in the past, all mean something to me in their own beautiful way! So, honestly, every role I play is my ideal role.
How do you prepare for your role as August on Walker?
Every new season that Walker has, getting into “August mode” just gets easier and easier. It seems every year August becomes more and more extroverted like myself. But I will say before I even traveled to Texas to film the pilot I dedicated 24 hours to “Arlo,” which at the time was August’s name. It was funny because people were coming up to my parents asking if I was okay. Little did they know I was method acting. Which just to be clear, no, I am not a method actor. Sometimes you just have to spend a little bit of time with a character to understand them.
What sort of advice would you give other kids who want to become an actor?
Make sure it’s honest and comes from the heart. Don’t act or tell stories for anyone but yourself.
If you could not act, what would you be doing or want to do?
I’d be a chef!! I can cook a mean dish that’s for sure. Or a musician… but why only limit myself to one thing?
Cover photo courtesy Amy Casson Photography.
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.