Kristos Andrews is a five-time Emmy award winner. He is known for his starring role in The Bay. He talks about his role in "Murder. Anyone?"
What did you like about filming Murder, Anyone?
It's always great to work with James, and it was an honor to be a part of him honoring his dad. His dad had a play originally, Murder, Anyone? And James did an amazing job turning this play into a movie. And it was a lot of twists and turns, and it's like the genre changes up on you as you go through the journey of watching it and performing in it, completely switching genres, switching vibes entirely, and with enough of a pop to it to keep the performance strong. It was a lot of fun to chew that up.
Did you find any scene or gag particularly funny?
Yeah. Definitely zombie chicken. That was great. It was great working with everyone on it. It was such a good time and there was so many good moments. I thought it was pretty funny how they did my stunt double. They made that pretty funny. But the guy who was my stunt double on it, I tried to get as intense as I can, but the whole point is that stunt doubles come in and they do the back flips for you and stuff like that, so that was fun.
Did it feel like a different style of acting than you were used to filming? If it did, in what way?
The style of acting changed as the movie progressed. It started out with just upper crust, sort of aristocratic American, and it goes into British and it goes into action and it goes into horror and it goes into all these different styles of performance that you would do that would support a different genre, but we had to be quick on our toes. We even had some improv going on where James would call out an idea, and we'd go with that, and we'd just give it our best. I'm really happy to see a lot of that made the screen. It was a perfect mixture of James' talent and his dad's talent, and all of us working together as a cast, staying as committed as possible. It's a lot of fun just staying on our toes and enjoying the process.
What specifically about This Just In enabled you to win an Emmy for producing that production?
Yeah, that was a great time. We partnered with Associated Television on that. I was very grateful that it was Pop TV's Emmy nomination, but Associated Television's Emmy nomination. As the company, LANY Entertainment, which I'm part owner in, being partnered with that is what technically garnered me the producer credit. But I was treating it like my baby where we'd have to make the most of it, do passes to make sure all the content is as quality as possible, and that we're creating something for the audience that we know we're delivering to.
So I love being in front of the camera as an artist, to lead with heart as an actor, but I also love being a part of the big picture as a producer. So that is a lot of fun. I'm grateful, on This Just In, my character, Tyler, was also nominated for an Emmy for This Just In, and that was such a good time. And similar to Murder, Anyone?, there's a lot of comedy, and This Just In was a straight-up comedy, so my performance was comedic. That was a great time. I felt very grateful and honored to be recognized for a comedic performance, which I'm usually doing dramatic performances, so that really felt good and I'm very grateful for that.
What do you like about filming for the show, The Bay?
The family aspect, everything about it is driven by more so passion. We support each other like family, and we just get into the work for the work itself. It's not really everybody treats it so much like a job, they show up to do their work and leave. It's more like we support each other like family. So that vibe, that element to it really makes a huge difference. I'm very, very thankful for that.
Do you have a favorite scene or storyline that you filmed on that show?
There's a lot of good scenes. Happy with my storyline with my whole family on the show. Mary Beth, who plays my mom, she's great. Karrueche, who plays my wife, she's amazing to do intimate scenes with, but to do heartfelt scenes with even more. So she's very supportive in there, and I feel very comfortable being vulnerable with. It's hard to just pinpoint one scene because there's so much good content on the show. Viewers will just have to tune in and see.
The last season we went to Puerto Rico and some crazy stuff went down. My character Pete is on a mission to save his wife, while I actually play my own twin, and typically speaking, my own evil twin. I thought this would be ... I don't know, I was not fully into it when Gregory and Wendy had the idea that I should do this. But I knew if I was going to do this, I'd have to give it my all and just make sure it just connects and it's raw and gritty and 100%, or more than 100%. So Adam is the other twin. Viewers will have to tune in to see what goes down. It is really crazy switching from Pete to Adam, to Pete to Adam. Completely different energy. It was definitely a workout as an actor.
Were there any scenes on The Bay that were particularly challenging to film?
A lot, actually, but when something's challenging, there's a core of gratification that you hold on to, and you realize this as well. If I'm going to be facing a bunch of challenges, technically speaking or broad strokes of just overall emotional challenges, well, at least it's doing something I love.
You're a multi-Emmy award-winning actor. What acting techniques do you utilize, and how do you get into character?
It's interesting because a lot of people would say I'm a method actor. I try to keep an oversight on myself as I take a deep dive into the character. So I'm being as responsible as I can while submerging myself in the energy of this character, imagining the entire circumstance of life, their relationships, even their upbringing and their future goals, whatever, just as a huge, broad, linear imagination of a character. I like to submerge in it, and it all ends up as an energy that hits the screen, an energy that you bring to the scenes.
A lot of people would say I'm method, but I feel like I don't sort of take the method thing and become all difficult and strange about it. I try to keep a responsible oversight on myself as I'm doing it, knowing I'm also in real life here. I see it as it's a hobby, it's a joy. I like to dive in to gain new perspective through characters, expedite my life experience through characters, and grow my heart's understanding of different things that never even happen in real life. But the heart doesn't necessarily decipher the difference between what happens in real life and what you could genuinely connect to through a character, through an imaginary circumstance mixed with, who knows, some emotional recall and a few things. But you're imagining ultimately at the baseline, and you're gaining at heart things you otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to gain in real life. So I treat it like it's a joy. I guess I am method, but it's without all the difficulty that happens sometimes if people get too far into it. I keep one foot in reality as much as I can.
Can you elaborate more on why acting is a joy?
What I love about acting is it helps you, in a sense, it really helps you to understand people, the art of being human. Acting is where in real life, I feel like so many things, in so many ways that you could feel, that someone will go through something and they'll have to try their best to turn themselves off. Where acting is where rather than making an effort to turn yourself off, you are celebrated for being purely human and not turning yourself off at all, but rather indulging yourself, feeling what you're feeling and allowing those feelings to process, and for an audience to feel those feelings with you while they're processing.
So it really is like the art of being human. It's where you are celebrated for being human, rather than so many things in reality sort of making one feel like they have to compress their humanity or something. So that's, I think, at the core of it, something that gratifies me very much. That's something that I love about acting.
Streaming is very popular nowadays, but back in 2010, it was a very different landscape. So how did The Bay gain an audience back then?
It's like we just started to carve out a path in the jungle, it seemed. It's not like we put a clear-cut business plan together, understanding the territory we were entering. It was more passion-driven, like, "All right, here's a way we can make a show happen, and we have a way to release this on a platform and maintain creative control and really do our thing, and release it digitally streaming," whatever we would call it. Because at the time, people were juggling what even to call this. But nonetheless, we knew there was an opening there. Also I'm used to risk-taking, from my past, skateboarding, whatever, risk-taking is no big deal, really. This is something that it was more fun to take a risk and see what would happen. We didn't really have as much expectation as what happened with it. It grew. It's like a baby that grew pretty big, more than we expected. I'm very grateful it became a part of history, us just following this intuitive nudge.
Do you find directing a screen production easy or difficult? And what are the challenges?
Both. It's easy because it's something that's easy to enjoy, but at the same time, you need to be flexible and be able to be quick on your toes, be able to work like a chef works. The best chef works with what's in the kitchen. Sometimes you don't have all the things you would hope to have, all the resources and tools and toys and everything the way you imagined it. Sometimes on the day on set, something will change, and you'll have to be flexible enough to make the most of your vision, while all these details won't match exactly how to support that vision. You have to be able to be flexible and change and keep at least the broad percentage of your vision. But you have to be flexible so that things actually work. So that is the challenging part, where you have to just be ready to adapt the script to then make the most of what you can capture to then make a great piece of artwork at the end of the day.
So the flexibility part, and then dealing with a lot of different people doing their job as well. You have to have a lot of patience and a lot of energy for it. You have to have a lot of energy and maintain a balance very well, like a mental balance going on while you're being an artist. It's definitely a lot of energy. So I guess that would be the challenging part, dealing with all the moving pieces and all the different combined energy going on, and then making the most of sticking to the conclusive vision you're getting to.
Has there been any major challenges that you've experienced in your overall career?
Oh yeah. I guess a career consists of wins, but a lot of challenges. It's a balance. And if there weren't those challenges, the wins wouldn't be worth it. It's all an earned process. So you're proving to yourself; you're proving to life, you're proving to God that you really mean it when you can get through these challenges, the challenges on the way to your blissful dreams.
Are there genres that you would like to do more work in?
I'm really happy with the genres I'm currently working in. I've been doing a lot of a drama. Drama feels cathartic. It's like your heart needs a release, here we go. Let's do some passionate drama and let your heart sing rather than just going through the steps every day and real life, whatever. It's great. I mean, nothing against life itself, but drama is taking life itself and celebrating all the reading between the lines and the feelings that happen. It's a healthy process. I feel like, because it is cathartic. It can do justice for so many different random feelings you have throughout the years of your life. You just do some work with drama and your heart's happy after. It feels like it was able to process, it was able to release.
So I like drama. I like watching comedy a lot, and I like doing it too, but it hasn't been on the table as much, but yet there is one other thing I can't talk about, but it could be more comedy, which would be fun. I've been doing action, and the action's pretty fun. It's been a great time. Obviously action is a thrill physically, but to imagine such high stakes and to find a level of I'm just functioning within these high stakes is really a thrill, like an emotional thrill too, doing action.
Do you have plans to produce more of your own productions in future?
Oh yeah, definitely. I'm just going with what presents itself one at a time, while I'm also planning to sort of ... I imagine it's just kind of like a process of creating a plan, like a business plan, and then you acquire the rights to an IP and pick the ones you really, really resonate with, that kind of a thing where you could adapt, say, a bestselling book or something that makes sense. You get all the attachments that you prefer and figure out how the whole process is going to go. I definitely plan to be doing that in the future, near future and broad future, for sure. As an actor, you can be just cast in stuff. And it's great, and you do find a way to gratify yourself, your heart. It's an art form, for sure. However, when you're able to also choose the project and feel like you're a part of this whole entire project and that's a part of your heart too, then that is really something that's sweet I definitely plan to be doing that.
You've also done modeling. Did you enjoy that work? And why or why not?
Yeah, it was cool. It was fun. It was kind of like a, "Oh, why not? I'm getting hired, let's go." I learned from the process. It's still an art of projecting a vibe. When you're doing the modeling, it's still you're projecting a vibe, and that vibe would suit the brand that you're modeling for. And to be able to have a discipline about it and then find a way to enjoy that too, that was fun. It was a lot of fun.
I know you're a skateboarder. What are the coolest things that you've done on a skateboard?
I mean, essentially just riding the board is the essence of it. It's just nice to ride, and you could be bombing a hill, whatever, you could be pushing around going to the store or whatever. You're just ollying up and down a curb. But the essence of it is the best part. But I guess I was known for a few things, and one that got a lot of attention was a trick called the laser flip. And I appreciated the attention it got. It's just a trick that I felt like I randomly got good ate. There's certain tricks some people, it just works for them. And that's one of them that just worked for me. And I was happy it got some good attention, the laser flip.
A lot of this journey in skateboarding, I learned is a metaphor. It's pushing limits. You're up against fear, because you're going to jump down some stairs off a roof, grind a handrail, whatever. But if you plan well enough, you can accomplish that and you can take that risk and you can land it and you could do it. Sure, you'll get hurt, but you get up again, and trial and error, you eventually accomplish it. So skateboarding was definitely physical, it's definitely dangerous, but I'm grateful for it because I feel like I learned a lot of things at heart from it.
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