Lafayette actor Bryce Romero thrives in the moment as he seeks big-screen success.
Bryce Romero knows what he wants — a career on the silver screen — and he’s on his way to getting it.
A Comeaux High grad who earned a degree in performing arts from UL this past spring, Romero is, like so many before him, cracking into the biz the old-fashioned way: crawl before you walk, walk before you run.
The 22-year-old Lafayette native’s roles have been minor so far — mostly non-speaking appearances — but they’ve been in some big Hollywood movies: The Maze Runner, a fall 2014 teen sci-fi blockbuster in the mold of The Hunger Games that grossed more than $100 million at the domestic box office; this spring’s Hot Pursuit ($33 million) starring Reese Witherspoon and Sophia Vergara; and the Arnold Schwarzenegger zombie flick Maggie, which also came out this past spring but was a major dud. Romero will also appear in the second installment of The Maze Runner franchise, The Scorched Trials, which hits theaters this fall.
While Romero still lives in Lafayette, he plans to eventually relocate to the West Coast, but he wants to do it on his own terms.
Here’s what The Ind wants to know:
When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in acting?
I’ve known that I’ve wanted to pursue a career in acting for as long as I can remember, which is kind of weird because I’ve always been a pretty shy person. It’s always been a passion that was inside of me, though. It was something that I was determined to do, and still am. It’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do and I’ve never looked back.
What was your first role, including high school/community theater productions, and what was your first professional gig?
The funny thing is that I hadn’t started acting or even training before I was 18. So my first role actually came when I was a freshman in college. It was in a play at UL called “The Rabble,” which was actually a French play that was translated into English. I was in several other productions at UL, but I would have to say that my favorite to work on was a beautiful and hilarious play called “Clybourne Park.”
My first professional gig came after I signed with my agent, Brenda Netzberger at Open Range Management. I worked a few months on The Maze Runner. It was a great experience getting to work on a film from start to finish and it even gave me an opportunity to work on the sequel, which comes out in September. My first professional role came when I booked a supporting role in Maggie starring Abigail Breslin and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was even recognized by Collider [movie news website], which named me its “Unsung Hero,” which is really cool!
Tell us about your experience appearing in major Hollywood films? Was it intimidating? Were there surprises? Was it just as you imagined?
I think that it’s always pretty intimidating going into a role. It should be. You should always challenge yourself. But at the same time, it’s so much fun. You just have to let go and trust that all the work that you’ve done will take you where you need to be. There’s no better experience than that moment between “action” and “cut.”
What are your goals as an actor?
My goal as an actor is to reach a level of success where I can pick and choose what scripts and roles that I truly believe in, and do those.
What’s the best part about filming a movie? The worst or most grueling part?
As I said before, that moment between “action” and “cut” is really what it’s all about. If you think about it, that is the reason why everyone on the cast and crew is there. Each and every person does the absolute best work that they can, specifically for those moments. Also, if you are able to make friends with some of these amazing people, the moments outside of that are so much fun, too. It makes everything so much better. I guess the most grueling part is if you don’t know anyone on set and you just have to wait around for hours to be called to set.
If you’re still Louisiana-based, do you have plans to move?
I am still Louisiana-based. I do plan on moving out to Los Angeles one day, but I’m hoping that the work takes me out there, rather than just kind of winging it. I have an incredible agent down here, and I think that we work really well together. I trust her with everything, and she always makes sure to help me do what’s right in my career. I know that when the time is appropriate to make that step in my career, she’ll help me make that transition and guide me through it.
If you weren’t an actor what profession would you choose?
If I weren’t an actor, I would still have to do something that would involve me being in the film industry. So I would probably love to be a writer or director. Which I hope to do in addition to acting, someday. I love telling stories and being creative.