Colin Ford

Featured in November 2019 issue #193

Breaking Character with Colin Ford
By Sonja Grunfeld

Colin Ford has been acting his whole life, but his lead role in Netflix’s Daybreak has catapulted him into the spotlight. In this conversation, he shares some of his acting secrets and what has made his experience so special. If you haven’t watched Daybreak yet, you will want to after learning how sweet and inspiring Colin Ford really is off- and on camera. This young star is ready to survive the apocalypse and be our It-guy.

Do you remember the moment when you realized that acting was something you could really go somewhere with?

I always knew that I wanted to be an actor from a very young age. After high school, I applied and was accepted into several universities. I was still working on Under the Dome, and when it came time to make a decision, I realized that being on a set vs. sitting in a classroom is where I wanted to be.

Tell us about one of your first experiences on set. (How old were you? What were you feeling?)

My first time acting was when I was five years old on the set of Sweet Home Alabama.  I am not sure exactly what I was feeling at such a young age, besides excitement. For me, acting has never been like a job, it has just been something that was a part of me. I love to travel and to meet new people; all I’ve ever wanted to do was entertain people.

Who have you worked with in the past that has made you a better actor?         

Working with Matt Damon changed my life. Matt showed me the kind of man and actor I want to be. He has a fantastic career, wonderful family, and is generous to everyone he meets. I admired how he was able to give himself to his work, and still make time for his family. He taught me to always remain humble and I will never forget that experience.

What has been your favorite scene to film to date? What makes it so special?

There is a scene in We Bought A Zoo, where Matt tells my character (his son, Dylan) that all you need is 20 seconds of courage, 20 seconds of insane bravery, and you can change your life around. I know it was just a story and a script, but I held onto that. Every time I am nervous or afraid, I just remember: 20 seconds of courage.

You are now playing the lead in Netflix’s Daybreak. What is different about this role versus others you have played in the past?

I love the responsibility of playing the lead in a series. Up until this point in my career, I generally have played someone’s son. While I am certainly thankful for every single job I have ever done, having a more substantial role in a series feels really good. There were some long days on set, but I was totally happy because I knew I was making something very special. 

The show is set in a post-apocalyptic world. If you actually lived in a post-apocalyptic world, what would be one thing you would save? What do you think is a quality of yours that would allow you to survive?            

I would save my family (dogs included). I wouldn’t want to rebuild a new life in the apocalypse if I didn’t have the ones I love the most by my side. I’m very practical and tenacious. I think those qualities would serve me well in the apocalypse. I wouldn’t give up!

What is a new challenge that you have encountered in playing the role of ‘Josh’?

“So I hear you’ve been talking to-camera, how are you finding it?” Was one of the first things Matthew Broderick said to me while filming. I replied, “So far so good! One thing that is a little tricky is…” and before I could finish my sentence, Matthew added, “the fact that you can see your reflection in the lens.” “That’s it!” I replied, surprised to hear that Matthew could relate. It was a relief to hear that something that was a new challenge for me, was for him as well. I was able to overcome it and just focus on the acting. Challenge completed!

Outside of playing ‘Josh’, what might we find you doing on a free night?

On a free night, I might be out with friends or having people over to my house to hang and watch a movie or sports. I’m a big sports guy, I love to watch basketball, football, and baseball. Really excited about basketball season now, especially with two stacked teams in LA!

If you had a movie/television show about you, whom would you want to play Colin Ford?

Getting to be an actor has been my dream come true, it’s all I ever wanted. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and had no connections to the entertainment business whatsoever. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone specific that I would want to play me, so I would do a worldwide search to cast someone and hopefully make their dreams come true. If I was casting someone to play a younger me, then I would pick my Daybreak mini-me, Gavin Warren, he was a pleasure to work with and a fine young man.

Global warming is a big threat to the state of our planet. Do you believe this will be the end of it? What do you think needs to be done to keep the planet alive?

I think education mixed with conversation is key. The other day, a friend and I were chatting about recycling and I hadn’t known how harmful some trash bags were. For instance, black plastic bags aren’t recyclable, so now when I go to the store to restock, I’m going to purchase a brand that is specifically recyclable. Without the conversation with my friend, I would have kept buying the same trash bags that I am used to. Just a small conversation taught me something new, and now I can make more of an effort to make a smarter, environmentally friendly choice. If we all become more aware of things that are harmful, I think we can be better equipped to make wiser, conservational decisions.


Photographer: HENRY WU @hello.henry
Creative Direction: ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC @alekandsteph
Styling: KATERI ZAPP @katerizapp
Grooming: ALEX THAO @alexthaohair
Production: @BELLOMediaGroup x @MaisonPriveePR_la x @bonnetalex18

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