Rising star Peyton Meyer is taking viewers on a comedic venture with his latest performance in the film He’s All That. Meyer plays the role of Jordan Van Draanen in the Netflix original film, a 2021 reimagining of one of cinema’s most iconic romcoms She’s All That. Starring alongside the likes of Kourtney Kardashian and TikTok megastar Addison Rae, Meyer expresses the joys of working with a varied cast and playing a very different character type than what he is used to. In a conversation that spanned dream acting roles, career-defining moments and self-reflection, Meyer joined Schön! to discuss He’s All That and his excitement toward the future of cinema.
Before we discuss the film and your other projects, how has life been for you since the lifting of lockdown restrictions?
Although lockdown was hard, it taught me a lot about appreciating the little things. One of my absolute favourite things to do is to travel, and I am excited to start doing that again and experience life!
You’re starring in the exciting 2021 reimagining of the rom-com classic She’s All That, titled He’s All That. What can you tell us about your role in the film?
Yes — if you have seen the original film, my character is essentially the “Taylor Vaughan” of the remake. My character is a narcissist, self-centered, ex-boyfriend of Addison Rae’s character Padgett Sawyer.
Speaking of Addison Rae, this film is jam-packed with a cast that also includes the likes of Kourtney Kardashian! What was it like working with such a dynamic group of people?
It was a blast. I had so much fun working with our cast. It was great getting to know these people on a different level. I know it was some of the cast’s first time acting, and I love when people take chances out of their element. Big props to Addison — she took a huge chance stacked with a lot of pressure, and she did a fantastic job.
How have the themes of the original She’s All That been updated for the 2021 world?
As you know, the remake is gender-flipped, so the entire vibe of the film is different. We are living in a different world with social media — specifically TikTok — so the messages communicated in the film reflect that.
What excited you the most about this particular role in He’s All That?
It was everything that I feared. It was dancing, it was singing, and it was out of my normal type of role. I’m happy people get to see a different side of my acting. I’ve always played the good guy, and finally I get to do the exact opposite and play the bad boy.
As you continue to embark on more and more acting roles, you get to see first-hand the developments of the film industry. What excites you the most about the future of cinema?
The messages are growing so powerfully and reaching so many people. I’m really excited to see the industry, Netflix particularly, grow with more powerful messages and greater education for our people.
What has been a career-defining moment for you so far — one that you remember the most fondly?
Well the reason I’m even in this industry was because of my old manager, who brought me to LA for opportunity. He passed away two years ago, and from that moment on I’ve been inspired on a different level. My career isn’t just about me anymore — it has a much deeper meaning for me.
Over the years we’ve seen you in some of the most memorable shows of the upcoming generation, such as Girl Meets World and Dog With a Blog. What got you into acting to begin with?
Curiosity is what brought me to this industry. I was always so curious about how the entertainment industry worked. I started down the path when I was 10, and from then on, I just kept riding that road. When you have a passion and a deep curiosity for something, you will do whatever it takes to make that your reality.
Growing up, who were your creative inspirations?
James Dean, Heath Ledger and Brad Pitt are huge influences for my creativity. The way they performed and the way they carried themselves had a huge impact on me.
You’ve depicted such a fun array of roles in your career so far! What character types are you looking forward to playing in the future?
I’ve been very lucky to work with such great show-runners who have taken good care of my characters. Of course, like everyone, I think it would be amazing to play a superhero, and I have a feeling a war movie or show may be on the horizon for me.
The year 2020 came out extremely unexpected for the majority of us; however, it did allow for some time of self-reflection. Did you start any new projects or hobbies during the pandemic?
So many new things to do! Of course a lot of time was wasted on silly things just to make it through the days. But I spent a lot of time reading. I didn’t realise how important it was to read what you are interested in. Learning on your own terms is a very useful tool, and I will carry that with me forever thanks to COVID.
What’s next for you?
Who knows? It’s like trying to predict the weather — there’s no point. Life changes every day for me. Definitely a lot more shows and movies will be on the way.
He’s All That is currently streaming on Netflix.
photography. Dylan Coulter
fashion. Anna Su @ Art Department
talent. Peyton Meyer
grooming. Simone @ Exclusive Artists
digital tech. Daniel Marty
photography assistant. Justin Dunn
words. Esosa Aiworo