IN CONVERSATION WITH RAHART ADAMS
Interview by Marie-Pauline Cesari & Jana Letonja
Australian-Pakistani/Maltese actor Rahart Adams joined CW’s ‘Gotham Knights’ as series regular Brody March. The series premiered on 14th March. His previous acting credits include the award-winning Australian series ‘Nowhere Boys’, Nickelodeon’s ‘Every Witch Way’, ‘Liar, Liar Vampire’, ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ and Australian TV Series ‘House Husbands’.
What brought you to acting and how did you start? Was it a profession you dreamed of as a child?
I think what brought me towards acting was a curiosity for exploring different forms of performing and creativity at a young age. I explored music and dance for many years prior to pursuing acting and that gave me a solid foundation,plus an awareness of my own body and how to perform on some level. To be honest, becoming an actor and choosing this career path was more of a slow realization rather than one singular moment or epiphany. That slow realization was a build of projects along the way that I had been part of over the last ten years, each time saying to myself “Wow, I really am an actor. I think I’m actually good enough at this to keep trying and keep doing this”.
Choosing a career to pursue is a massive part of someone’s life journey and acting wasn’t something I necessarily wrote down one day and brainstormed on how to become one. I just went for it because I really enjoyed being a part of something bigger than myself and then being able to come home and tell my family about all the cool people I worked with, fun things I got to do, the places I got to visit and experience too. It also helped that acting feels very natural to me. Being able to step into someone else’s shoes or create a character to tell a story seems like a fitting extension of my own story at this time in my life. I guess those little moments of realization along the way just felt right and they still do, and that’s why I still choose to pursue it.
How did you learn to overcome your stutter and how has it influenced your life and career?
When I was younger I had quite a heavy stutter, which made it very hard to speak, let alone be understood by anyone around me. It felt impossible to get words out sometimes and that was detrimental to my confidence as a kid. My mother had the wisdom of putting me into an acting class when I was very young, with the idea that the process of acting meant I would have no choice, but to really slow down and think about what I wanted to say before saying it. Therefore, actually giving me a chance to practice speaking in front of people. It worked and then my family couldn’t get me to shut up. I think that fateful decision sparked something in me back then and when I came back to explore acting again later on in life, everything just fell into place and clicked.
Every now and then it comes back when I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed, but I’d say that It’s entirely possible that if I didn’t have a stutter growing up, I might never have given acting a second thought.
How has your multicultural heritage influenced your career and personal life?
Being a person of mixed ethnicities has influenced my life in so many ways and it informed a large part of my identity and how those around me see me too. I feel genuinely blessed to have been brought up with the values of my heritage heavily instilled in me. When I was younger, for some reason it was almost jarring for people in my neighbourhood to have a Muslim kid with a different name, whose complexion changed drastically with the seasons,who had curry sandwiches in his lunch box, who liked to dance around and listen to rap music from different countries hang out with their kids at school. But as I got older, I just became more and more proud of that side of me and people started to show a kind hearted curiosity towards my family’s culture. I’m going to write a script about it one day.
You played a lead on ‘Nowhere Boys’, a series that won multiple awards around the world, including the 2016 International Emmy for Best Children’s Television Series. How would you describe your experience working on this series and what was the biggest challenge of this role for you?
Wow, what a throwback. ‘Nowhere Boys’ was my first real induction to the business. We began pre-production of the series when I was just 16, a few years before we won that Emmy, and it was an amazing experience. To be on one of the biggest shows in the country whilst still trying to finish high school was a surreal daily life for a 16-year-old. All of us on the show were pretty new to the industry and I don’t think we fully understood the significance of it all until much later in our careers, because at the time it just felt like we were hanging out with our best mates playing around every day. I’d say the biggest challenge at the time was trying to navigate growing up in the public eye and be as professional as a teenager can possibly be whilst finishing high school.
You have played many roles in comedies and are currently starring in the new American series ‘Gotham Knights’, inspired by the dark universe of Batman. What brought you to this role and how did you approach your role in this series?
I approached this role with the knowledge that I’m entering a very protective fanbase of DC enthusiasts. With that in mind, I wanted to make sure that I brought something memorable and exciting to the table for everyone to enjoy. I feel honoured to be exploring an original character like this and I feel like now is the perfect time in my career to be doing something like this.
What was the biggest challenge of this project for you?
The biggest challenge for me during the shoot was not having an existing catalogue of material dedicated to Brody March to draw inspiration from, because Brody is a completely new character. Instead, what I found myself doing was learning about the history of Lincoln March, Brody’s father, and The Court of Owls from the comic books and then adapting that knowledge to creating the person around the words written for him, who is a product of those two ideas in today’s world.
How would you describe your character, Brody March?
Brody March is an original character that hasn’t been explored before in film or television. Charismatic and confident, Brody is the one at Gotham Academy that everyone either fears or respects. Used to everything being handed to him by his billionaire father Lincoln March, he’s got the brains and reputation and he knows it. Brody can be seen as arrogant, but he is indeed fearless and is capable of brutality just like his father. Playing Brody March has been a great experience and I’m really excited for the world to get to know him.
What are your future plans, both for your acting career and your other passions?
To continue pushing forward and challenging my ideas of what I thought possible in my knowledge of acting and the industry itself. I am innovative in so many other ways and I know that I’m only just now touching the tip of the iceberg in terms of what I am capable of. I’m excited for the future.
photographer EMILIO DUMAR