You may know him as the hilarious drunk, in-your-face fictional character of Trevor Philips from the Grand Theft Auto video games, but there is a lot more to actor Steven Ogg than just bashing faces in… or at least we prayed there was before meeting up with him to chat!
From appearing recently on television shows such as Better Call Saul and now The Walking Dead and Westworld, Steven has garnered quite the following of passionate fans in all types of demographics.
The Levity Ball sat down with Steven at his home in New York to find out more about his career, inspirations, his days of performing in drag and his love of art & tighty whities.
When did you first know you wanted to get into acting?
“I was performing in drag as Betty Boop in elementary school- don’t ask! Ha ha. Performing and its ability to affect others definitely had my attention from that point!”
What was the first role you ever got?
“I was maybe 11 and it was a ’50s themed movie for The National Film Board of Canada. It was my first attempt “dancing” to Glen Miller and my first “kiss.” Both were relatively terrible! Ha ha”
What is the best acting advice you have ever gotten?
“Well there is the craft of acting and then the business of acting – two entirely different beasts. Certainly for the former an acting coach in NYC said to me, “It’s all about changing the other person. Actively listen. Communicate through change.” Simple, but powerful, true, and effective. I continue to heed that advice.”
Who was your role model growing up and why?
“My Grandad who lived in England. The epitome of a strong, but gentle man and one that lead by example. He was Rudyard Kipling’s IF brought to life – an amazing listener too!”
Are their any personality similarities between yourself and your famous character of Trevor in the Grand Theft Auto video games?
“WHAT THE F**K ARE YOU F**KING ASKING ME?! WHAT KINDA F**KING DUMB F**KING QUESTION IS THAT?! Okay, doubt you can print that nor should you – ha ha!! That character of Trevor was such a wonderful crazy, nut job to portray – so fun! Similarities? Dirty, tighty whities aside, I’d say our passion, commitment, and loyalty. Those three things we share! And maybe a sprinkle of the fun of being unpredictable.”
You are now on AMC’s The Walking Dead … what were your initial thoughts when you received that call to be on the show?
“I thought, “Is that the zombie show?” NO! I was thrilled. It is one of my son’s favorite shows so I knew it would equal big points for Dad! Sharon Bialy, the wonderful casting director who also cast BETTER CALL SAUL, was amazing during my audition – such a helpful, supportive person. I was very excited!”
Your character had a major part in the finale… are you excited about next season?
“I am very excited, but nervous at the same time. You never know what’s going to happen to whom nor when. I’d love to be a part of that amazing family for as long as they will have me!”
What was one of your favorite memories while shooting TWD in Atlanta with the rest of the incredible cast?
“Such a love fest… Not THAT kind of love fest! The entire cast and crew are such wonderful, generous, open, accepting, grateful, and fun people! It was amazing! It was a very emotional time, but everyone maintained their sense of humor and their work ethic and commitment to their roles is inspiring. Sitting around the space heaters or in the warming van on those overnight shoots felt like we were all sharing stories and laughs around a campfire. It’s funny because the “work” is the drug most definitely, but the memories are all built around all the moments that happen during your time around set. Makeup trailers and space heaters in the cold – that is where ALL is generally revealed!”
What other projects are you working on currently?
“Very excited and grateful to be a part of HBO’s upcoming WESTWORLD. An incredible cast and created/written/directed by Jonathan Nolan and produced by JJ Abrams – crazy!! Dressed-up in all that western gear, shooting under a full moon on a dream set with Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood and Shannon Woodward to name but a handful. Yes please!!! It’s just such an incredible group too! Yes, gushing over this production as well! Ha ha. There are other projects in the pipeline and hopefully more pipes filling up.”
You were born in Canada, but now live here in New York… what do you love most about this place?
“My son definitely! And my dogs! And then the country house away from here. I’ve been here in New York for over 15 years and can still have a love/hate relationship to it. The Highline has been wonderful and a most welcome and much needed addition. I love the Chelsea galleries and museums in the city!”
And final question: What do you want to be remembered for?
“My colorful socks, my commitment and passion towards what I believe and want. The passion and that I never stopped trying – to be better, to learn more, to dream bigger, and to wear my heart upon my sleeve for dawes to peck at. (gotta end with a Shakespeare quote!)”