Meet George Sear — 'Love, Victor's' Breakout Actor

by Frank J. Avella

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday June 22, 2020

In the first episode of Hulu's queer-friendly, young adult dramedy, "Love, Victor," a series adaptation (of sorts) of the terrific Greg Berlanti film, "Love, Simon," the titular character (played by Michael Cimino) is getting his bearings at a new school. As he chats with a slightly pushy new friend, he near-gasps when he spots a ridiculously gorgeous fellow teen, Benji, round the hallway corner. Benji, wearing tight jeans and a black Pink Floyd t-shirt, runs his fingers through his hair before he slowly bends and takes a sip from the water fountain. In close-up we watch the water hit his puckered lips. Victor is transfixed. Benji then stands upright and runs his fingers through his hair one more time. Victor is dumbstruck.

The moment, of course, is captured in slow-mo. It's a shot that has been done hundreds of times in teen-comedies and dramas. The major difference here is that the subject and the object of desire are both male.

And I haven't even described the innuendo-laced cappuccino-making scene.

Benji is played by Brit born newcomer George Sear, a charismatic actor who sets the small screen ablaze with his good looks and sex appeal and proves to be a fine thesp as well.

Michael Cimino and George Sear in "Love, Victor"

"Love, Victor" takes place in the same milieu as "Love, Simon," which was inspired by the Becky Albertalli novel, "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda," and adapted for the screen by Isaac Aptaker ("This Is Us") and Elizabeth Berger ("This Is Us"). The series follows Victor, a new Creekwood High student, on his own journey of exploration, emailing Simon, a Creekwood alum, for advice as he attempts to navigate dating Mia (Rachel Hilson), one of the most popular girls at school while also crushing on openly gay Benji (Sear). All ten episodes drop on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

At the age of 10, Sear had a 2-episode arc on the Brit series, "The Bill," and appeared onstage opposite Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in "Waiting for Godot" when he was 11! He would go on to appear in a number of TV shows ("Will", "Into the Badlands," "The Evermoor Chronicles"), before landing "Love, Victor." He will soon be seen playing another American, this time more villainous, in the TV series, "Alex Ryder" as well as the timely film, "Reefa," about police brutality.

Edge had a chat with the charming Sear on the eve of "Love, Victor's" bow.

EDGE: How did you get involved with the show?

George Sear: Originally, the audition came in like any audition. I taped for it and they liked what I did so when they called me back, I got to talk with the director, Amy (York Rubin), and found out a bit more about the character, Benji, and where the storyline would go.

And, with that, I decided to write a song in character as Benji. It helped me get a little closer to knowing [him]. So I did that, then retaped a different scene. Off the back of that I got flown out — because I was working at the time in England — to L.A. for a screen test with Michael (Cimino), and when we read together it was one of those chemistry reads where there was just natural chemistry... I got brought back on the same day and we workshopped the coffee shop scene for a good 40-minutes to an hour. And I finally heard, a month after, that I got the role and I was just over the moon. I couldn't believe it for a good few days. It didn't sink in.

Michael Cimino and George Sear in "Love, Victor"

EDGE: Benji has an interesting journey in the series where he is there along the periphery for a while and then he really comes into his own in Episode 7 — the road trip episode where we finally get to know him. Do you have a favorite episode?

George Sear: That was actually my favorite episode. As an actor, to approach that episode, it was really good. Like you said, you saw more sides to him. You saw how he was real and complex. He comes across as very confident. And I think he is quite confident because he feels like he knows himself at this point in his life. He has a really beautiful kind of confidence. But in Episode 7 you kind of see the cracks and his struggles and his vulnerability and how he opens up. The scenes in that (episode) they were really fun scenes to work on.

EDGE: Tell me a bit about what the shoot was like and where you shot?

George Sear: We shot mostly on the Paramount lot in L.A. As a Brit that was quite surreal. The shoot was amazing. Everybody was so lovely. I think everybody was just so proud to be working on the show and that vibe just stayed with us the whole time. It made for a really beautiful experience.

George Sear in "Love, Victor"

EDGE: And you shot all 10 together?

George Sear: Yeah, we did. We shot everything in order. We would tackle an episode a week. So it was quite a lot to do.

EDGE: The show has important messages for teens, queer teens in particular. It's important to tell these stories, right now especially. Did that influence your wanting to be part of the project?

George Sear: Yeah, definitely. One of my friends went and saw "Love, Simon" four times when it came out in movie theaters, because he really connected to it. I feel really proud to be part of a show that has such a great message for the LGBTQ community. To be able to be a part of that, I'm just really grateful. When you're able to work on something that actually might mean something to someone... if anyone watches the show and can take away anything from it about being yourself then I think that's amazing.

George Sear in "Love, Victor"

EDGE: In your first few scenes you are introduced as eye candy. You must be aware you of your major good looks but with the talent to back it up. Do you ever worry about not being taken seriously because of your looks?

George Sear: Firstly, I need to say, thank you. I just think, you can't really worry about that stuff. How someone else perceives me is out of my control, to a degree, like when it comes down to looks — especially when you're an actor and you're auditioning. I think everybody's look fits certain roles. Right? I try not to think about it too much and try and do the best job I can with the roles I do get. It has happened to me before in auditions where I think they think I don't look like I could maybe pull a certain role off for whatever reason.

Michael Cimino and George Sear in "Love, Victor"

EDGE: The chemistry between you and Michael Cimino is pretty palpable.

George Sear: I honestly think it was one of those things that we just naturally had. I felt that in the room the very first time we read together... like when you mentioned Episode 7, I remember when we were doing the scene in the car, we were just two people talking to each other but the energy while we were doing it was really quite palpable and it was one of those moments as an actor that felt really satisfying where you felt like you were really putting the work in. I really enjoyed working with Michael. We actually hung out just last week. He's a great guy.

EDGE: You got your first acting gig at 10. Was it some you wanted to do and when did you know you wanted to be a part of this industry for certain?

George Sear: I was 10 and my mom used to run a bakery in the town I grew up in in England. And she was making a cake for this local drama school. And in return, they were like, 'as payment, we'll give one of your kids acting lessons.' So I did it. And I enjoyed it. And when I was there this director from this TV show came in and he ended up giving me an audition and that was the job that I landed. "The Bill," this British cop show that was really long running... that was how I got my first job. I had this 2-part storyline and it was kind of an intense storyline, actually. And I really enjoyed it but I really didn't think of it as a career back then... I didn't really take it seriously until I was about 15 or 16, when I was in my final year at school. That's when I really fell in love with it.

George Sear in "Love, Victor"

EDGE: At 11, you were onstage opposite Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in "Waiting for Godot." Did you glean any helpful tips working with them?

George Sear: Both Ian and Patrick are lovely people to work with... Being with them onstage was such an honor and a great memory to have. Ian, in particular, he gave me a book, "The Complete Works of Shakespeare" and he wrote a little message on it: "George, there are some great parts for you in here." And eight years down the line, when I was part of the TV show, "Will," which was about Shakespeare, I opened up this book and reread some of the plays in there and it was a really nice, full circle thing.

EDGE: Do you see yourself as someone who would like to work in all mediums moving forward?

George Sear: I was just talking to my neighbor about this yesterday actually and yeah, definitely, I was just saying I'd love to do a bit of theatre again, because it's been awhile... as long as it's a good character and there are great people to work with, then I'm happy to move in any medium... I would definitely like to go back and do some theatre at some point and really dig into a play.

EDGE: If you could cast your next experience, what actor, actress and director would you most like to work with?

George Sear: I'd be torn between directors. I think, Paul Thomas Anderson, because "There Will Be Blood" was one of my favorite movies. Or Robert Eggers. He made "The Witch" and "The Lighthouse." I'd be torn between those two. Actors, that's a really tough one. Maybe Tom Hardy. And I've always been a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence so I'd love to work with her.

"Love, Victor" can be seen on Hulu.

Watch the trailer:

Frank J. Avella is a film and theatre journalist and is thrilled to be writing for EDGE. He also contributes to Awards Daily and is the GALECA East Coast Rep. Frank is a recipient of a 2019 International Writers Retreat Residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy), a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, a 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant and a 2015 NJ State Arts Council Fellowship Award. He is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright (CONSENT, LURED, SCREW THE COW, FIG JAM, VATICAN FALLS) and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.