Anthony Keyvan belongs to a new generation of artists representing people who used to be left out by most media years ago. So far, as an actor, he has been credited in almost 30 projects on film and television. Among them, you may recognize him for some of his most famous roles like Nathan in Alexa & Katie, Pablo in Generation, or Rahim in Hulu’s sensation Love, Victor.
We cannot hide our excitement when we see him performing and know young people finally feel represented in the shows they adore. Therefore, we talked about this important topic, his journey on becoming an actor, and so much more. For those reasons, we hope you love this exclusive interview with Anthony Keyvan, one of the young actors who is making progress in Hollywood.
My family is my biggest support system
VT: Since you started working as an actor at a young age, how has your family’s role and support in this journey?
AK: Since the day I began pursuing my dream of becoming an actor at the age of 5, my entire family has supported me in every way possible. We didn’t know anything about the entertainment industry, but my parents made it their goal to help me achieve my dreams and did everything in their power to help me succeed.
My mom, being a Filipino immigrant and the first in her family to finish college and get a Master’s Degree, prided herself in her academic and corporate accomplishments. However, she realized very quickly that a child actor has a very demanding and unpredictable schedule. So, she did what any amazing mom would do, and she put a pause on her own career advancements and made herself available to take me to work, auditions, callbacks, classes, etc.
Meanwhile, my dad picked up another job to keep us afloat, while my younger brother, Jared, spent the better half of his childhood in the backseat of my mom’s Tahoe, going back and forth from LA to OC, sometimes every day of the week.
Despite the economic hardships we were facing during this time, my family made my career a priority no matter what. I know without a doubt, I wouldn’t even be close to where I am now professionally if it weren’t for the sacrifices my family made in order for me to follow my dream.
My family is my biggest support system, and my success is their success too, so I will never stop doing what I do.
VT: One of your first roles was a participation in the 2009’s worldwide hit series Lost. Back then, were you aware of the success of the show? How was it to be later recognized as the young Naveen Andrews?
AK: My first ever TV gig was Lost, and at eight years old. I had no idea just how popular the show was until I booked it.
It was a big deal to my parents for sure, they were so excited, not only because it was their absolute favorite show, but because it was my very first audition for television; and that exact day, I signed with my current team, so I think it gave my parents a sense of relief that this is what I’m meant to do.
What’s actually really interesting is that, a few years later, I again played the young version of Naveen Andrews’ character on a different show: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, as Jafar. I still get tagged in edits of him and me on Instagram to this day!
Making progress in Hollywood
VT: You are part of an era in which young people can enjoy TV shows like Love, Victor, and Generation. What does it mean to you to be part of these productions that have been widely accepted and were not freely portrayed in the past?
AK: I think it is really cool that I get to be a part of this new era of TV and film where the shows we are seeing are becoming more and more representative.
Not only that, but getting to be a part of shows like Love, Victor, and Generation is incredibly special and a dream come true that I get to do what I love while also helping a lot of people who resonate with the characters I play. That’s a feeling I never imagined I’d experience as an actor in this lifetime, and it’s something I’m really grateful for.
VT: What are your thoughts about the current media representation of diverse characters?
AK: I think it’s amazing the progress we are making in Hollywood, with more and more showrunners, writers, directors, and more, being people of color, young people, queer people.
It’s a shift that I haven’t seen before and one that, truthfully, I never thought I would see in this industry.
We still have a long way to go, but for the first time in my 16-year career, I get to play a character who, like me, is Iranian. That’s really special, not only feeling represented as an actor but getting to be one of the first to represent people who look like me on television.
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle
VT: In a world where we have been facing terrible ecological disasters, you live a vegan lifestyle. What can you tell us about it?
AK: Living a vegan lifestyle has so many benefits, not only for your own health but the health of our planet. The cattle industry is responsible for more than the greenhouse emissions produced by all transportation in the world combined (planes, cars, buses, etc.); if just half the population adopted a vegan lifestyle, we would essentially cut our CO2 output as a planet by at least 35%.
Not only that, but just one vegan saves on average 220,000 gallons of water a year!
VT: Also, you have been involved with charities. How did that passion start? Why do you consider we all should help those who need it the most?
AK: I, first, started donating to various mental health charities at the beginning of the pandemic and slowly started advocating more and more.
I just feel that, as someone with a platform that can reach a lot of people, it’s important to use that influence for good and raise awareness for topics that need attention. I think if you have the power to help those less fortunate, you should.
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
VT: What do you think is the best of being part of a multicultural family?
AK: There are so many things I could list. First of all, our gatherings are epic. The food, the music, all under one roof, it’s magical. I think just the different traditions we share across the board are my favorite things about living in a Filipino/Iranian household.
The more diversity, the merrier
Most of the time, I think we are blessed enough to live in a generation that recognizes the power of media and uses it for wellness, fights injustice, and celebrates inclusion by showing the beauty of diverse people and multiculturality.
Anthony Keyvan not only represents those values but also promotes them every time he can. With his smile and kind words, he always reminds us that, in the world, all and sundry are beautiful, and our diversities make us greater.
From now on, let us keep in mind the saying about candles he shared with us, and let us illuminate the world with our good deeds.