Cliché: When did you first realize that you wanted to be an actor? Gabriel Bateman: I don’t really have a specific time. I just remember watching my older sister Leah go to auditions and filming and I asked if I could try and now here I am. Completely hooked. You do an excellent job of channeling the personalities and emotions of each role you play. How do you relate to some of the roles you have played in the past? I don’t really try to relate. I just take what the writer has laid out and then make a character my own. Probably Joshua on Outcast is one role that I feel very connected to because I was given such freedom. What role, if any, deeply affected you personally or changed your outlook on life in general? Playing back to back roles in Benji and The Dangerous Book for Boys, of boys that had lost their fathers, made me realize how short life is and to seize the moments. Your new movie, Benji, features your character building a friendship with a stray dog. How was it working with a dog as another main character, and is the friendship still the same behind the scenes? I love that dog. He is such a sweet boy. Every event we’ve been to I get so excited to see him. Who are some of your favorite actors/actresses? So many! Leonardo DiCaprio, Bryan Cranston,and Edward Norton are all amazing. Christian Bale gives everything to a role. Meryl Streep is just beyond compelling. Emily Blunt. And, of course, my sisters Talitha Bateman and Leah Bateman. How do you balance acting and your regular life? What is a day in the life of Gabriel Bateman like? Acting is my regular life. I am never more happy than when in a scene. But on and off set I do school, and in my free time I love to hike, rock climb, shoot arrows, and spend my time with family and friends. What are some of your career goals? I would love to play a kid who’s got something huge (illness, a physical issue, poverty, etc) to overcome. I would also love to be an iconic character with special powers. I also love the psychologically intriguing characters. So many roles I would love to pay. Do you have any advice you would like to share for aspiring actors/actresses? Study the works of those you respect and admire. And just pursue what you love, but also love what you pursue. And if it stops being fun or you change your mind, choose a different trail. Photographer: Jeff Vespa Grooming: Melissa Walsh Styling: Darryl Glover Acting is my regular life. I am never more happy than when in a scene.