He’s All That and More
Peyton Meyer, who has played Jordan Van Draanen in Netflix’s He’s All That (a gender-swapped reboot of the 1999 teen comedy She’s All That), first got his start as an actor on popular Disney Channel shows like Dog with a Blog and Girl Meets World. Although he has since moved on from his Disney days, his career is just getting started. With new roles and opportunities on the horizon, the 22-year-old actor has been navigating the responsibilities that come with an ever-growing fan base, all while keeping in mind the importance of staying grounded and true to who he is.
It was early on in his career that an executive producer gave him the valuable advice, which helps when he finds himself portraying a character that doesn’t paint him in the best light, to keep his work life and personal life as separate as possible. “As an actor or an artist, it’s really easy to combine the two. Separating myself from my work has really been able to keep me level-headed [when] I don’t really have the choice of showing the best side of myself,” Meyer adds.
On the off-screen side, Meyer tries “to just be unapologetically myself,” and he hopes to inspire others to do the same. Having amassed a large following on social media, he knows he has the ability to reach many people, as well as a responsibility to be a positive role model. “I definitely try to spread love and positivity any time I get the chance to,” he shares. “It’s kind of a responsibility now because it’s so widely viewed, and it’s very important to keep on track and be able to share with the people that might not ever get to know you in person.” As an example, he mentions the 2019 trip to Belize that he shared with his followers at the time. “I traveled with this company called Wanderlist, and we went to go visit some orphanages and go help them out and send some school supplies to some kids that really needed them,” he recalls. “I like to go do things with other countries that can alter my perspective, as well.”
As the world is more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been living with lockdown restrictions, quarantine periods, and physical distancing, while spending much more time online, and social-media platforms have been an especially popular and powerful tool for sharing information. With so much uncertainty and division, many have taken to social media to advocate for the causes that are dear to their hearts. However, with access to so many opinions at all times, it can be easy to lose sight of your own beliefs and be swept up in a wave of divisive rhetoric. From the perspective of someone with such an influential online presence, Meyer says it’s crucial to maintain your individuality. “I want people to realize how important it is to hear your own voice,” he says. “It’s so important to question everything and think for yourself and find your own ideas.” As we return to more face-to-face interactions after the pandemic, it’s offline where he often feels that he can really make an impact. “I love connecting with people in person, because it’s just not the same as social media, like you can try to spread your message on social media, and sometimes it works, but it’s misconstrued in so many ways, so personal contact is just so much more important to me,” he contends.
Writer: Hannah Dolin
Photographer & Videographer: Daniel Lennox
Stylist: Warren Alfie Baker
Men’s Grooming: Simone (for Exclusive Artists Management - using CHANEL & KEVIN.MURPHY)
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)