Aidan Gallagher is always concerned about environmental and social issues. Despite being one of the most famous artists of this generation, he uses his media resources to express himself, share with his loyal fans, and, above all, to speak out about the importance of taking care of ourselves and save the planet one day at a time.
You probably saw him in Modern Family; maybe you have been following his career since the first time you watched the Nickelodeon TV show Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn; possibly, you watch his videos and enjoy his music; or perhaps, you came to fall for him when the Netflix hit drama The Umbrella Academy took over the world and you found out the awesomeness of Number Five; even so, Aidan Gallagher shows himself as a simple teenager who has lots of love to share and wants you to join him and many others in this movement of people who are working for making the Earth a better place.
He is a really busy person, but I had the privilege of interviewing him for this issue of Vanity Teen; therefore, I invite you to keep reading this article, find out more about him, and share the nice message he has for all of us.
Vanity Teen : I cannot tell you how important it is for me to know people like you (young and with a strong media-based platform) talk about environmental issues. I mean, many young guys want to speak up about important topics like that one, and some adults think they are too young to give any advice due to their lack of experience, or some others sustain that what those teens say have been scripted or somehow planned for others. Nevertheless, when referring to you, many people say phrases like “the youngest Goodwill Ambassador”, and aware that is not a bad thing, my question is this: what is it like to be young and be taken seriously?
I suppose it would be gratifying for any teenager seeing as during the first few years of your life you can often feel like you have to prove yourself. But peoples’ impression of me is much less concerning than the threats that our world is facing. So I would say it feels good, but I’d much rather people take the message seriously than the source
VT: How have you managed to share your environmental and social concerns when most of the people who contact you want to know more and more about The Umbrella Academy?
It’s because of the fact that most people my age don’t think about environmental concerns that I’m a UN Ambassador. It means that there’s a large portion of uninitiated change-makers that I have the power to reach.
VT: I have seen you are really committed to informing your followers not only about the environment and healthy eating habits but about the COVID-19 and where they could find help. How the pandemic affected you personally? And what can you tell those who are struggling with mental-health-related issues after the coronavirus restrictions and the lockdown began?
I think it’s affected me mentally rather than physically though I was lucky enough to find a cruising altitude within the first couple of months. I know people that have been affected by it and I’m concerned with the lack of safety my peer group is willing to engage in. I see a lot of people my age still going out to parties and hanging out with friends without adopting any safety precautions. There are also those who adopt an irresponsibly relaxed approach to “staying safe” ̶ opting for a mask under the chin, a mask with gaps around the nose, or no eye protection. A lot of people my age think that they’re invulnerable and that this pandemic is something that doesn’t pertain to them. This is a life-altering health concern that affects them and everyone they come into contact with, and a lot of them are treating it with the level of concern of wearing a helmet when riding a bike (i.e., they think it’s a passive thing that they might be able to get away with). Ignorance (or in some cases the conscious choice of ignorance), is an incredibly selfish standpoint that a lot of people my age are unfortunately taking.
VT: You have one of the most famous faces nowadays, yet you decided to change your profile picture on social networks and put a message to remember everyone that Black Lives Matter. What motivates you to take actions like that?
As someone in a position of immense privilege, I felt it was my responsibility to show support for the BLM movement. I thought changing the profile pic would have the greatest amount of impact as fan accounts would subsequently change their profile pic.
VT: What do you think about representation and media?
I think diverse representation promotes diverse ideas. Furthermore, you can’t really have any type of innovation in any field without new seeds put forth. The implication of that, in terms of confidence and ambition for all peoples, is unmeasurable so I think it’s very important.
VT: Let us talk about your music. What are the perks and the most difficult parts of being almost in total control of the production and the creative process of your music projects?
The perks are that I can get much closer to what’s in my head, which means at the end of the day I’m much more artistically satisfied and confident in my work. The downside is that my inexperience may mean that I can’t always articulate the ideas that are in my head with accuracy.
VT: Many teenagers see you as an inspiration, and I have noticed you use transparency as a form of encouragement. I mean, you talk to your fans about the importance of planning and having a schedule, you also explain how you do to create your own content and tell them where they can find some resources. Even though, you make it look like dedicating yourself to arts is kind of easy. What would you tell every young person out there about commitment and self-discipline?
I’ve always found things that I love to be incredibly easy to do, so I don’t know that I’m the most disciplined when it comes to the things I love — I just love doing them.
VT: Among other things, you sing, you act and you direct your own videos; do you picture yourself doing these activities for the rest of your life?
I’d like to for as long as I can.
VT: Could you tell us what to expect from your music projects this 2021?
Well, I’ll be shooting The Umbrella Academy Season 3 this year, so I expect that I’ll be writing more than anything else.
VT: Anything else you would like to share with Vanity Teen?
We are living in a global pandemic. The abnormality and seriousness of that fact can often be watered down by the duration to which this pandemic lasts. We must remember how deadly and contagious this virus is and we must think beyond just ourselves in our chosen level of caution.
Those of us in the privileged position of being able to self-quarantine inside our homes have a moral and communal obligation to do so, as these safety precautions are often the difference between life and death for the people we know, the strangers we don’t, and ourselves. Millions of people have died and will continue to die of COVID until there is widespread distribution of a vaccine. But until that happens, we must all treat it with the same level of caution as we did those first few weeks. The pandemic is now worse than it’s ever been, and we should treat it as such.
We all can do our part to ensure the safety of others. United we stand, divided we fall.
Before we go
Yes, Aidan Gallagher is a great actor, such a talented musician, and nobody can deny it; but during this time, I came to know he is even a kinder person than we can imagine. I hope his passion for the environment keeps us motivated to love one another and let us be that generation who really cares and stands up for what really matters.