There are those who call it a result of eclectic interests, some could call it “plain ol’ luck,” others might say persistence. No matter what it is, Keiynan Lonsdale is here to stay, knocking on Hollywood’s doorstep.
Probably the best demonstration of who Lonsdale is –specifically his character and persona– is in his response to the question, what constitutes as ‘good fashion’ to you?
“Everyone’s so different, as long as you’re rocking your individual style and feel confident in it, there’s usually a way to pull it off,” he says. He follows that ideology, with the acknowledgment that he couldn’t live without: his onesie, Timberland boots, a thoroughly worn Sonic the Hedgehog shirt, ripped grey jeans from Zara and a simple ball cap.
Photographer: Ricky Middlesworth
Written By: Christopher Ho
It’s subtle, but there is an underlying feeling of calm, yet strong confidence that springs from the 24 year-old. He’s got heart, and he’s not embarrassed about being his playful goofy self, especially in an environment of stuffy, oftentimes overly serious Hollywood sets.
Maybe it’s a composure fostered by having 11 brothers and sisters, growing up. Or maybe more so, his fairly recent big-break as “Uriah Pedrad” next to fellow star, Shailene Woodley, in the Divergent series.
For Lonsdale, filming for Divergent was a good introduction into the film industry. Undaunted, he confesses, “I was thrown in the deep end really, so it forced me to learn quickly and learn a lot.”
This past summer, the biggest buzz surrounding the Australian, was the announcement that Lonsdale would take on the role of Wally West, better known to DC Comic aficionados as Kid Flash – the eventual successor to high-speed superhero, The Flash.
Shot in Vancouver, filming for TV is fast, the young actor admits –more so than filming for cinema. “You really need to be on your game before you walk onto that set in order to deliver a performance that you can be happy with.” Despite this, playing Kid Flash has been a lot of fun –due to the characters interesting background story, says Lonsdale. A component that pushes the actor’s excitement to reveal more and more of Wests’ personality as the show progresses.
Besides running, in order to keep in shape for the role, Lonsdale dedicates most of his time to working through each script and really cementing the character in his mind; that and diving into a pile of comic books for role research.
That dedication to embody West, did not go unnoticed, especially for Andrew Kreisberg, co-creator of The Flash series. Kreisberg said, upon meeting Lonsdale for the first time, “we instantly knew Keiynan embodied all the heart and courage of a hero.”
The upside of a quick turnaround when filming for television, is learning at an accelerated rate. One that Lonsdale tries to absorb as much as he can with each project that he’s involved in. Given his brief introduction to the big screen, everything feels new and that impression may stick around for a while, so he says.
Although Lonsdale feels mostly adjusted to his new home in LA, the constant moving is a challenge to developing some consistency in his life. “I don’t ever feel like I’m in one place for long enough to make it 100% my home.”
On any normal given day, Lonsdale begins his mornings with the habitual breakfast of: avocados on toast, four eggs, mushrooms, kale and sometimes an added friend banana for variety. After that he can be found writing music, once again, for variety.
As a matter of fact, variety is something Lonsdale thrives in, as he surrounded himself in it growing up. Something he and his inspiring idol, Michael Jackson share in common. Jackson too played an interest in numerous projects, but what held it all together according to Lonsdale was his energy. “He had this energy on stage and on his records that no one can ever replicate,” an energy that continues to influence Lonsdale, whether it be style, dance moves, music or even the way he carries himself.
Having his hands in acting, video DJ’ing, dancing and music, he ignores dissenters who threaten that he focus on one activity instead, or else end up with no career. So far he’s proved them wrong, as it never feels like too much for him. His passion for these creative outlets counteracts any weariness, he’says confidently, “they all play a huge part in who I am everyday.”