There’s something charming about Garrett Clayton. He exudes a certain confidence and an undeniable attraction and it suits him well. As the photoshoot began, he quickly became an affable character that photographer Kaleb Khu could create some playful scenes with.
Beginning his acting career in Dearborn Heights Michigan, Garrett Clayton has always apparently had a knack for performing and as such followed his intuition by engaging in many of his High Schools drama club productions.
After playing Tanner in Disney Channels Teen Beach Movie and Blake in the Lifetime movie Holiday Spin, co-starring 80s star Ralph Machio, 25 yo Clayton has certainly grown up in his latest role starring alongside Christian Slater and James Franco as an infamous Porn Star.
Based on the 2007 murder of gay porn producer Bryan Kocis and the book “Cobra Killer” by Andrew E. Stoner and Peter A. Conway, the film King Cobra premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival to positive reviews.
Written By: Christian Burkholder
Photographer: Kaleb Khu
Stylist: Apuje Kalu
Grooming: Bianca Lopez
Ferrvor’s Christian Burkholder got a chance to sit down with Garrett to ask him about his role, his life and what makes him go bang.
Ferrvor: How did you initially hear about the movie?
GC: I was contacted by my managers because the production team on King Cobra asked me to send in an audition for the movie.
Ferrvor: What was your first thought when reading the script for King Cobra?
GC: I was really surprised! It’s a shocking story all on its own-and then I found out who was doing it, and the short amount of time they were trying to do it in. All of those elements combined made me eager to get to work.
Ferrvor: King Cobra has a pretty heavyweight cast with James Franco, Christian Slater, Molly Ringwald and Alicia Silverstone, How was your experience working alongside the other actors of King Cobra and who is one of your favorite actors to work alongside?
GC: It was very surreal to be working on set. I think most everyone knows about James, Christian, Alicia, and Molly’s work. I grew up watching their movies. I spent most of my scenes with Christian, and he was so down to earth and hard working which I loved. Anytime I asked to run a scene or he asked to run one with me we both knew we could count on each making this movie. It’s awesome to get a co-star who is so willing to do that. I felt like I learned a lot from him especially!
Ferrvor: King Cobra revolves around fairly risqué subject matter, what made you want to join the cast?
GC: Luckily it was a great script. And once I got to meet with director Justin Kelly to discuss the project, I felt safe doing a movie that had such risky and controversial material. The story is pretty aggressive, but it’s real! I jumped at the chance to work with the cast on such a dynamic and fresh project, and after seeing some of Justin’s other work I knew that he would be able to pull it off with the right balance of humor and drama.
The film centers on Garret’s role as Sean Lockhart, a handsome and boyishly seventeen-year-old who dreams of fame and success. After he (Lockhart) meets a supposedly conservative Stephen (Christian Slater), founder of Cobra Video, he begins performing gay porn under the alter ego Brent Corrigan and quickly becomes a sex symbol.
Left: Bomber + Shirt: Sandro Pants: Theory Shoes: Mezlan
Right: Trench Coat: Khan Designs Shirt: Kenzo Pants: Prada
Ferrvor: What did you think when you found out it was based on a true story?
GC: I was shocked! Such a gritty story especially one that is true doesn’t come across me as often as I’d like. Once I got to meet with Justin, I welcomed the challenge!
When two rival porn producers Joe (James Franco) and Harlow (Keegan Allen) try and recruit the young Brent Corrigan, things get ugly. Alicia Silverstone and an 80s favorite Molly Ringwald also co-star.
Ferrvor: Being that you are a porn star in the movie, how did you prepare for your role?
GC: Studying the job itself. Watching documentaries and obviously studying Sean/Brent his life, reading Cobra Killer and finding any video of him being himself outside of work.
Ferrvor: Any funny stories you can share from the set?
GC: One of my favorite memories from set is when Christian and I were shooting the restaurant scene and in the middle of camera set up’s he turned to me and starting singing “Gypsy” as Mama Rose right in the middle of the scene! I didn’t expect it at all, it was pretty hilarious.
Ferrvor: Beyond acting, are there any other big career goals you wish to accomplish?
GC: Be a superhero, a wizard, and a villain in movies. Do musicals/plays on Broadway. Produce my own content.
Garrett has also made appearances on Days of Our Lives and Shake It Up with the the recurring role on the latter half of the first season of The Fosters and soon he will appear on NBC’s Hairspray Live as Link Larkin.
Ferrvor: What Motivates you to keep going for the next big role?
GC: I started acting because it was fun and I loved doing it. As long as that stays a part of my job I will keep doing this.
Trench Coat: Khan Designs Shirt: Kenzo Pants: Prada Shoes: To Boot New York
In 2016, it was announced that Garrett would be playing the role of Link Larkin in the NBC television broadcast of Hairspray Live!
Ferrvor: Does anyone personally inspire you?
GC: My family
Ferrvor: Do you have a favorite quote you live by?
GC: Lead, follow or get out of the way.
Ferrvor: When in a relationship, what qualities do you look for in a person?
GC: Honesty and loyalty are the most important things I look for. I think that’s true with friends as well as when I’m dating someone.
Ferrvor: If you had to play a supervillain, who would you be?
GC: Mystery! He’s one of the more obscure Spider-Man villains, but I always thought he was cool growing up. I had this book of Spider-Man characters, and he was the most intriguing… He’s kind of an illusionist/magician, and his “powers” were more like tricks, and were based in reality more than a lot of the other bad guys’.
Ferrvor: Where do you get your fashion inspiration, who influences you the most?
GC: I like Armani, Diesel, and Marc Jacobs a lot.
Ferrvor: Where do you see yourself in five years?
GC: I hope I’ll be able to produce projects and continue to pursue my acting career as well. I think it’ll be great to work with people I know, and friends, on projects that we can build from the ground up together. That’s kind of the dream. To be able to work with friends and talented people I love, and to travel around together making movies.
Left: Suit: Calvin Klein Collection Shirt: Kenzo Shoes: Bar III
Right: Shirt + Pants: Zara Shoes: John Varvatos
Ferrvor: Any big career goals you wish to accomplish?
GC: I definitely want to make it to Broadway, be either a Marvel hero or villain, and start my own production company at some point. I’m not in any rush though. I’m enjoying the ride so far.
Ferrvor: What personal motto do you always live by?
GC: Live your life. I think that’s important to remember especially in these times, when it’s easy for people to be glued to their phones. There’s so much out there to see and do, and so many amazing people to meet. So, you know, get out there and live your life! Don’t just post curated pictures and pretend that that’s your life… This isn’t a dry run. It’s your only chance! So get out there and live it up!
Ferrvor: What is your fitness regimen for keeping your body in shape?
GC: I’m like anyone else: I try to hold a good diet and I workout when I can. I definitely spend more time in the gym when I need to beef up or get more cut for certain roles, but I’m always trying to stay active in different ways.
Ferrvor: If you could trade places with anyone, who would it be and why?
GC: I haven’t really thought about that, I guess… I don’t think I’d want to. I’m happy with my life and the way it’s going so far! I guess every now and then it could be nice to “escape” for a day or two at a time. But I think if I could do that–you know, run off and go wherever I wanted for a day–I’d still want to do it as me.
Garrett Clayton, Clayton Confidential Behind The Scenes