FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Netflix original Ginny and Georgia has been on the top 10 list for longer than any show in the world, including Tiger King.
While local actor Mason Temple didn’t expect to be a celebrity, he certainly has the roots.
“When I was a baby, I modeled baby clothes and did commercials in Taiwan. My mom was a model and my dad did commercials in Taiwan as well,” says Temple.
Temple got into theatre in elementary school, but he remembers the Stage North production of A Christmas Story as the play that started it all for him.
“By the time I got to high school I was doing plays with the musical theatre program, but me and a bunch of friends started our own theatre company called Spectacular Chair Factory. We caused a lot of ruckus with that company.”
Temple recalls his experience with the company through what he calls his crown jewel of acting, a satire of life as a NPSS student called Hallways.
“A bunch of us came together and wrote this satire about what it’s like to go to North Peace. It was a cursed production, lets just say that, but it’s something I look back on fondly. I tell people from the city about that and they’re like, “that sounds like some real cowboy stuff.”
The path from the Spectacular Chair Factory to Netflix involved a lot of plays at festivals, getting exposed to professionals in the industry. Temple asked them what his next step should be as someone who grew up in a rural city.
“They told me to go to Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton or wherever, and go to an acting school to get trained. The school everyone was recommending was Studio 58 in Vancouver. Vancouver has always been a destination I thought of landing after high school, so that’s where I went.”
Before landing his role as Hunter, Temple says he struggled to book any gigs, partly because of his race.
“I’m biracial, so I dont really visually fit in any standard categories. Things have changed, especially since the summer of 2020. Being half-Asian, there’s this weird thing where casting directors tried to pair me with full Asian families, and of course, it didn’t look right.”
Temple compares his big break to the move LaLa Land, where out of nowhere, an opportunity changes the character’s life.
“It was just a case of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills.”
Speaking of skills, Temple was able to incorporate a skill he learned in Fort St. John into the show.
“I actually brought it up as a joke to the [show] creator that I can tap dance. Shout out to Emry Mika who is teaching high school theatre right now at NPSS, and then Amy Beard. So they ended up writing it into the show, which was a bit of a surprise for me.”
Talk about right place, right time, and right skills.
“I never thought I’d ever use it in my life, but I ended up using that in my first big gig.”
While Temple doesn’t like to think of himself as a celebrity, he admits it’s hard to deny now.
“Maybe 24 hours after the show dropped, I already had 1,000 DM’s on Instagram. I’m getting bullied by Gen Z kids because they think the character is the patron saint of cringe. And you get millenials and Gen X moms who are just in love with me. It’s super weird.”
With season 1 of Ginny and Georgia setting records for weeks in the Netflix top 10, Temple will likely have to get used to getting recognized.
Catch the full interview with Mason Temple on Moose Talks.