Culture Playground had the pleasure of sitting down with creative, actor, and storyteller Caleb Grandoit. He’s an experienced actor continuing to make his presence known whether it be in front of the camera, behind the camera, or putting it down on paper his energy is sure to be felt. His debut on the Netflix Original Grand Army caught our attention but his raw material & authentic spirit keep us reeled in.
“I just write a lot,” Caleb shares. He is not shy to the creating process. Caleb keeps his gears going, he recently graduated from college in Staten Island studying The African Diaspora with a minor in drama. We see his words brought to life in a short film written, directed, and produced by him titled Only Seen As Three.
The current state of the country has not gone unnoticed to Caleb as he speaks his truth and the truth so many others hope to be brought to light. When asked why Grand Army is important to him he shares that the stories matter. The stories are written with complexities and nuances that show on screen. He highlights the beauty in capturing many black experiences. DACA kids facing deportation, the first generation Haitian child, the stories have layers. He also speaks up and shows up for black women, something Culture Playground holds as its first priority. We asked him what activism does he take part of in his personal life. He says he writes. He told us “I’m not being ignorant to the fact that I am not a black woman. I can never write from the perspective of a black woman, but I can try to speak from a place where I can try to understand.”
Caleb Grandoit worked with Katie Cappiello, the writer for Grand Army, for over five years. He learned about the auditions and originally went out for the part of John Ellis. He was sent the audition material, and only had a day to learn it. He went in, did his thing, and didn’t get the part. He later got a call from Grand Army saying they had a part they wanted him to audition for, and the rest was history. He now stars in Grand Army as Ronald Toussaint.
Caleb shares his experience with working on set and just how quickly everything really took place. Caleb had already established strong relationships with other cast members of Grand Army. He mentions flying to Toronto, waiting to be called for scenes, and enjoying sharing space with other actors. When he first hopped off the plane, as soon as he got to his hotel there was a car there to take him to fittings. The second day filming Caleb mentions how nervous he was when he didn’t receive a call to come down to his car outside of the hotel, his friends reassured him to walk outside and he was ready to go. His days then transitioned to hair and makeup and shooting his part as Ronald Toussaint. He said filming was more like a day hanging out with friends. He knew most of the cast already including Brittany Adebumola who encouraged him to take an interview with us. Shout out Brittany!
In five years, Caleb sees himself in a more solidified career hoping to use the capital he gained from Grand Army. He also plans to have his first real project out. His dream role is a black panther. He shares his love and appreciation of the Black Panther Party. He likes civil rights films and more dramatic roles. Like the movie his friend is involved in called Judas and the Black Messiah. There is a movie being produced by Michael B. Jordan that he would love to have a role in. It is possibly a movie adaptation of the Static Shock comics.
You can find Caleb listening to anything from John Coltrane to Kendrick Lamar. He just completed writing another project inspired by the Breonna Taylor case and quote Protect Black Women. Culture Playground is ecstatic to see what this 22-year-old has ahead of him.