When I go to see a movie in theaters, I don’t just fall in love with the plot – I grow attached to the characters as well. The same is said for all of my TV shows! We watch these characters grow up, progress as actors, and we learn to share their hopes and dreams. One young actor that is a gigantic inspiration to kids everywhere, is Kai Wener from The Orville! I have to say, I have done dozens of interviews for Fan Fest – and even as a young star on the rise, his words and goals are extremely motivational!
It became clear to me that even at a young age, Kai is extremely passionate about not only the world of film – but his family as well. If you have not caught up on The Orville yet, you absolutely should. It is a phenomenal show, and Kai is absolutely incredible!
Jules: What is your favorite thing about being a part of The Orville cast?
Kai: My favorite thing about being a part of The Orville Cast is how much fun we all have! Everyone on the show can be super silly and no one takes themselves too seriously, which helps a kid like me when the days can get a little long. I’ve even spent my last two birthdays onset, and both times, everyone helped me celebrate with a cake and piñata! I mean, do you know how cool it is to have Mr. Seth Macfarlane singing “Happy Birthday” to you with the rest of the cast? I always have a blast on set!
Jules: Are there any parts of your character Ty Finn that you see in yourself?
Kai: Absolutely! First and foremost, Ty and I both love our moms with all our heart! Second, we both make it a point to bug our older siblings, and lastly, I think Ty and myself can be really brave for being a kid and we are both always down to go on an adventure!
Jules: Out of all the projects you have done, which has been your favorite and why?
Kai: I’ve been lucky enough to work on some really cool projects and with some really great people, but The Orville has been my favorite so far. It’s definitely the biggest project I’ve worked on so far, but also the longest. I’ve been able to build some really special relationships with so many people, like Miss Penny Johnson-Jerald, who plays my mom, Dr. Claire Finn, on the show. My fingers are crossed that there are more seasons of The Orville so that I can keep working with everyone for a long time. Not to mention, I get to film on a spaceship and work with Mark Jackson, who plays an artificial life form named “Isaac” every day!
Jules: You get to be around some pretty cool robots and creatures in The Orville! What was your first day like on the set?
Kai: Yes! Mr. Howard Berger, who creates the aliens and creatures for the show is amazing! My first day on set was a whirlwind at the Fox lot! The first meeting of that day was with the wardrobe department, where I met the wardrobe designer, Joseph Porro, and was able to see all of Ty’s clothes. Next, I was driven to another part of the lot to meet Mr. Seth Macfarlane, which made me so nervous! After that it was off to the table read for my first episode, where I got to meet the rest of the cast, including Adrianne Paliki and Scott Grimes, who I’ve watched on TV before, so that made me even more nervous! But then, I finally got to meet Miss Penny Johnson-Jerald who was a “Mama-Bear” right away and was so nice and welcoming, that all my nerves just went away. It has been a really fun ride ever since then!
Jules: You get to learn and work with Seth MacFarlane on the set of The Orville! What have you learned the most from working with someone like Seth?
Kai: Working with Mr. Seth Macfarlane has taught me that I can do anything I put my mind too. I say this a lot, but I really wish everyone can see how hard he works because it’s just incredible. But the best thing he has done for me is having the same expectations for me, as he does for all of the other cast members, even though I’m a kid. When you have someone like him, or Mr. Jon Cassar, who also produces and directs the show, it pushes you to hang in there and give it your all. It makes you feel like you can do anything in this world when you get to finally see how everything comes out in the final airing.
Jules: If you could be a guest star on any TV Show, which TV Show would that be?
Kai: I have to go with Teen Titans Go! I haven’t had the chance to do much voice-over work yet, but I think it would be awesome to be on that cartoon! I’ve always said being a superhero would be cool, but being a supervillain would be even cooler.
Jules: You have accomplished so much at your age! What was it that inspired you to pursue a career in acting?
Kai: I think it was just all of the great shows that I have watched on TV. My parents always tell the story of how I would watch something on TV (one of my favorite shows was Wonder Pets on Nickelodeon) and walk around the house mimicking the characters on the show and even the commercials that came on. I guess sneaking to watch too much TV kind of helped me!
Jules: Who is an actor or an actress that you look up to for inspiration?
Kai: Will Smith has been someone I’ve looked to for inspiration for a long time because he’s very multi-talented. The first movie I watched him in was Men In Black and I thought to myself, “How cool is it that Will Smith can be funny, then be an action hero, then make a theme song, all in the same movie?”
Jules: Do you have a message for all other kids and actors alike out there, who are looking to reach their goals of furthering their acting career?
Kai: Acting can be like playing any sport or learning a particular skill. It takes time to become great at it and it takes lots of practice. There are going to be losses that you have to get over and wins when you get to book something. If you love to do it and have fun doing it, stick with it, and hopefully, there will be more wins than losses.
Jules: If you could be the side-kick to ANY superhero, who would it be?
Kai: If I could be a side-kick to anyone, it would have to be Iron Man. Tony Stark is the coolest guy and I would love for him to make me my own suit as he did for Spider-Man!
Look out for future updates for the upcoming Season 3 of The Orville!