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Cameron Gellman: "I speak Labrador Retriever"

Stargirl actor Cameron Gellman on the advice he'd give his younger self, learning from co-star Neil Jackson and the lost jacket that he misses from his wardrobe

Photographer: David Higgs | Grooming: Emily Zempel | Styling: Wilford Lenov

Cameron Gellman
Cameron Gellman

What would you say to your younger self if you had the chance? 

Stargirl actor Cameron Gellman has no shortage of advice to dispense to Cameron Jr. 

"I spent a lot of my early career being way too hard on myself," Gellman tells Square Mile. "I would love the opportunity to chat with my younger self and give him permission to relax." 

Wise words that become wiser still when you realise Gellman is only 21. Frankly the idea that 21 year olds are already looking back on their 'early careers' terrifies us beyond measure. Let's hope Gellman is a particular mature example of the breed. 

We'll revisit this interview in a decade and how it's panned out for him. Pretty well, we would imagine – especially if he follows his own advice.   

Life

What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?

I’m most excited about Season 2 of Stargirl! I’m thinking we’ll get back into the groove in mid-fall. I cannot wait to play in our superhero world again with a full season of experience under my belt now.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

Finally feeling confident in myself and in my process as an actor and artist after years of seeking permission to be creative.

If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?

I wouldn't change anything in my career because everything I’ve struggled with I needed to learn from, but there’s no doubt I spent a lot of my early career being way too hard on myself.

I would love the opportunity to chat with my younger self and give him permission to relax.

I’d remind him it’s about the process, the journey, and all the people he would meet along the way.

I’d encourage him to take risks like no one was watching, and always go for what was honest over what seemed cool.

I’d encourage him to find a balance between his career and all the other aspects of his identity he wanted to nurture because you can't make art when you're empty.

What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?

Everything. I have so many creative itches right now and I want to explore every single one of them. I really just fell in love with acting and feel so fired up to have another season of the show to explore that.

Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?

Any time I meet another artist who is taking care of themselves, and leading a meaningful life that includes but isn’t consumed by their work, I feel so inspired. There are so many stereotypes about the stability and longevity of acting careers, so when I meet actors doing really well as grounded adults I always want to be their friends.

Neil Jackson on the show has been a massive inspiration for me. He is one of the most hard-working, kind, introspective, and generous artists I’ve ever met. He made himself so available to me as I navigated adjusting to Atlanta. His willingness to listen and give advice about spiritual health helped me handle the responsibility of my first series regular, and I am grateful for him.

Tell us something nobody knows about you…

I just discovered how crazy I am about interior design and thrifting, I am a national parks enthusiast, and I speak Labrador Retriever.

Boom, you get three.

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Style

What’s your favourite item of clothing – and what does it mean to you?

I’ve got an old white T-shirt that says “Something's Cookin” that I love more than anything.

I found it thrifting in Atlanta while filming the first season of my show so not only does it mark the most important time in my life but it’s also been worn at least once by so many of the people I love.

Favourite accessory – watch / jewellery / etc – and why is it special to you?

I have a few pendants I really love together - my mom’s clay whistle from her childhood, a piece of turquoise, and a silver tag that says I’m a Type 1. I strung them all up on a leather shoelace from an old pair of work boots, and it always makes me feel grounded.

Pair that with a fun brimmed hat and I’m ready for sit-in blues night at the local bar.

What items do you take on holiday and why?

Assuming I’m headed to an island: my favourite straw hat, my trusty Birks, couple super cozy sweaters and flannels, baggy jeans, which I call my painter pants, a pair of well-loved white sneakers, a Bluetooth speaker, a journal, my guitar, a bottle of Hendrick’s, and a few great books.

Is there an item you threw away – or lost – that you really miss?

I bought a vintage forest green windbreaker that quickly became my absolute favourite jacket. My best friend flipped out because she was planning on buying that exact same one for me.

I wore that thing so much it became my second skin, and it got donated while I was moving during quarantine. I miss the memories tied into that jacket a lot.

It’s really special to me to preserve memories through wearing something that has seen me through important moments in my life. I hope whoever snagged it feels all the good vibes I charged it with.

What’s next on your shopping list?

I really want to find a cool silver, turquoise ring, and I’ve had my eyes peeled for a while now. I had the coolest pinky ring and I accidentally flung it off a mountain while I was playing fetch with my puppies.

What would you buy if money was no object?

I’d fund the research towards a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and bring that to my whole community even faster than it's already coming.

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