The American actor teaches us a thing or two about being positive while also sharing his thoughts on a music, current events and more…
If there is a personality type that always seems to sparkle with positivity, Fin Argus is definitely one of them. He’s strong-willed, responsible and, more importantly, crazy talented. From a young age the American actor knew that he is meant to be in front of the camera. Naturally, acting and music are his passions. We chatted with the multi-talented actor about his upcoming film “Clouds,” where he plays as a teenager diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer who finds a way to inspire others with the little time he has left. We also talked his thoughts on current events in America, his inspirations and quite a few other things in between.
DA MAN: Hi Fin, awesome to have you here with us. How are you handling 2020?
Fin Argus: So far, 2020 has been a trying year but also a time of immense growth. I’m incredibly lucky to have some family around, and we are safe and healthy. I can’t ask for much more.
DA: And what has the pandemic taught you so far?
Fin Argus: The time spent quarantining has allowed for a lot of introspection and learning. I feel very grateful for all this year has taught me in terms of patience, responsibility and self-love. Always a work in progress of course.
DA: We learned that you’ve been performing since you were 10 years old. Where did all that creativity come from?
Fin Argus: As I grew up, I understood quickly that my mind worked differently than most of the other kids around me. I had so much pent up energy with nowhere to put it. I’ve also always been quite the ham, always forcing my way in front of the camera in my family’s home videos. I took my first acting class when I was in first grade as another experiment to see how I could express that energy. I took to it immediately and it didn’t take long until I started auditioning for school plays and then even professional theater musicals at a very young age. The intersection between music and acting became my passion and for a while that’s what I did, until they sectioned off into my own personal songwriting, and TV/Film acting. I feel very grateful to have worked within that intersection again with my new movie “Clouds.”
DA: And what makes you comfortable being in front of the camera?
Fin Argus: I guess I just like attention? If anyone’s willing to give me any, you may reach me at my Myspace account, as well as LinkedIn. I also just really enjoy telling stories and my favorite way to watch stories has historically been movies and television. It was my dream from a young age and I never really imagined it happening. I sent in self-tapes from Chicago where I grew up hoping that somehow, I would book something that would fly me out to California and start my new life. It didn’t quite happen like that. After years of 95 percent rejection, I realized that it truly must be my passion if I’m willing to accept all that and still be determined to make it happen. I think the time it’s taken to get to where I’m at now was necessary, because it’s quite humbling to be told “no” over and over. It helped me understand that “no” is part of the job and no matter how many times I hear it, performing will still be my passion, goal and hopefully job.
DA: Tell us about your involvement in the BLM movement…
Fin Argus: I’m learning more and more every day what my role is, and right now the resounding truth is that it’s a time to uplift the voices of the organizers as well as black artists, creators and teachers. I would encourage anyone reading to do their own research and see what they can do to help the movement. There’s so much to learn and I’m only scratching the surface, but I’m committed to learning and helping in any way I can. The main focus is, and should be, the voices of the Black community.
DA: What are your hopes for the current situation in the U.S.?
Fin Argus: I hope that we can grow through this time of divisiveness and focus on helping marginalized communities in the U.S. This year has provided everyone lots of time for introspection and has held a magnifying glass up to how our system has failed so many of our population. I think the people are beginning to recognize their power more and more, and one way that power can be translated effectively is through practicing one’s right to vote both locally and nationally. It is now more necessary than ever.
DA: Moving on to your new work. “Clouds” is coming to DisneyPlus this fall. First and foremost, tell us about the casting process for “Clouds” …
Fin Argus: It has been about a year since I received the news that I booked “Clouds” and cried tears of joy for the first time since I can remember. I connected to the story from the second I got the email for the audition. It echoed some real life struggles I was facing, and I was actually already familiar with Zach’s story. The first audition left me feeling so content, whether I booked it or not. It inspired a song that I wrote for my family member who was fighting her battle with cancer at that time. When they called me in for an audition with the director, I knew I had to play the song. It was brutal and I’m pretty sure I started crying a bit, which was a little awkward considering I had to play a funny song right after. But I suppose they liked it because they called me back in for a chemistry read where I read with Madison [Iseman] and Sabrina [Carpenter]. Madison and I are old friends, so seeing her there was such a wonderful surprise. We performed the scenes together and the rest was history.
DA: “Clouds” is based on the true story of Zach Sobiech. Did you get a chance to meet with his mom and get to know more about him from her?
Fin Argus: I spent a weekend in Zach’s hometown in Minnesota where I got to meet his entire family as well as Sammy and Amy, the real people which Iseman and Carpenter’s characters are based on. It was beyond special and necessary to really understand Zach’s story and family dynamic. It almost felt like meeting old friends in a strange way. We all took to each other immediately and had an amazing time. Many tears were shed, songs sung and games of Catan played. Laura bared her soul not only in the book she wrote, which “Clouds” is based on, but also in person. She and everyone else were so generous with their time and spirit. I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without them.
DA: Other than that, how else did you prepare for this role?
Fin Argus: I needed to research and understand more about Zach’s physical state so I could portray his struggle with osteosarcoma realistically. The emotions came easy for me, but the physicality was something I had to dig deeper into. I also created a character map for every “section” of the movie, which was basically a collection of keywords that I used to remind me of not only my headspace but also physicality for every scene. As we shot out of order, this was very important because there are many different stages of health and emotion throughout the film.
DA: What was your most memorable role so far?
Fin Argus: “Clouds” hands down. It has changed my life in so many ways and I have never connected so deeply to a character. Being able to sing and perform Zach’s original music in this film was also an incredible honor. There is even a song that I wrote with the addition of a phrase of unfinished lyrics and chord progression of Zach’s. Being able to incorporate a collaboration between me and Zach in the film was never something I expected, but I feel so glad that the stars aligned. There was a scene that needed a song, so the director, Justin Baldoni, asked me to come up with a short funny little tune. I got the idea to use excerpts from Zach’s journal—with his family’s permission of course—and in the process it developed into a full heartfelt song that ended up rewriting the scene entirely.
DA: Speaking of your music, where does your musical inspiration come from?
Fin Argus: In short: my excess of emotions. I need somewhere to put them all and writing music helps me understand the value in everything I experience. If there is ever something I don’t quite know how to cope with or how I feel about, specifically, then I write a song and it helps clear things up.
DA: Do you have someone that you look up to in terms of music?
Fin Argus: Tune-Yards, Kishi Bashi, Yellow Ostrich, Vampire Weekend, Sufjan Stevens and most recently, Moses Sumney.
DA: And with acting, do you have any actor or actress that you look up to?
Fin Argus: I’m really fond of this underground actor: Timothée Chalamet. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?
DA: Are there any skills that you want to tackle next?
Fin Argus: I’ve been learning how to produce music throughout quarantine. I’ve got a long way to go before I can produce music that doesn’t sound … under-developed. But I am really enjoying the process of learning. For now, I will continue co-producing for my actual records.
DA: In an alternate universe, what would you do if you weren’t in the entertainment industry?
Fin Argus: Probably work on a farm. But what am I saying? I’ll probably do that in this universe too. I love animals. I used to think I would become an engineer, as I was always very interested and good at math. Alternate-universe-me is probably off constructing a skyscraper somewhere. Or a professional baseball player … any of these possibilities would do.
DA: Are you working on any projects these days? Anything that you can share with us?
Fin Argus: Right now, my focus is on my original music and the visual components that accompany the songs. Beyond excited to release my new project. It is reflective of the journey I’ve been on over these last many years, finding my voice and finding a genuine way to express it. Think: ukulele but angry and there’s a saxophone too.
DA: When are you most feel happiest?
Fin Argus: When I’m with loved ones exploring nature. Either surfing or camping or anything like that. Also, if there’s a board game or any type of game being played, really. That would help too.
DA: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Fin Argus: To make it to 2021.
DA: One last question … in the long run, what are some of your big career goals?
Fin Argus: To be happy and fulfilled with what I’m doing no matter where it leads me. I know I always want to write and share music, so best case scenario: doing tours and releasing many albums. In terms of acting, however unrealistic it may be, I want to continually be part of projects that mean something to me and hopefully to others as well. The terrain of a career in media is constantly shifting, so who knows what fulfilment will look like in five years’ time, but that is certainly where I’d like to be.
STYLIST Kimberly Goodnight
GROOMING Amanda Tralle
U.S.-BASED CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
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