Photographer Joshua Shultz
Bellus Magazine (BM): How long have you been acting ?
Mateus Ward (MW): As long as I can remember, I have loved entertaining people. When my family moved from Maui to Los Angeles, was when really I decided to start acting. I guess I was about 9 or 10 years old when I got an agent and started auditioning.
BM: Tell us about your character on “Murder in the First” Dustin Maker…
MW: This is by far the most challenging role I have ever played. He is so complex and has so many layers. It’s so easy for people to label him as “crazy” or “evil” but as an actor, I can’t see him that way. I had to find his humanity. He is smart, calculating and determined. He is obsessed with being in control. Dustin is the type of kid that thinks he is the smartest one in a room… and he usually is… and he has secrets. This is a very serious issue that this series is tackling, and I just hope I do it justice.
BM: What was it like working with the cast of Murder in the First?
MW: I love this cast! It was so much fun! Everyone made me feel at home the moment I got on set. I felt so lucky to learn from these amazing actors, I mean Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson are so talented, plus working every day with veteran Leila Robbins and Currie Graham was just incredible… Emmanuelle Chriqui was so sweet and kind, and of course Adam Kulbersh is probably the funniest guy I know– he’s always giving me a hard time and we constantly played pranks on each other the entire season– he keeps things on set light, and helped me from going crazy. Everyone was so nice and supportive!
BM: What is next for you?
MW: I have several projects on the horizon, which I can’t share yet. I am also currently developing a passion project, which is an anti-bully concept called REBEL.
BM: Where is the best place for your fans to stay up to date with your journey?
MW: I am on Twitter and Instagram. Follow me @mateusward on both twitter and IG! It always makes my day to hear from my fans!
BM: Bellus is latin for Beauty. What does beauty mean to you?
MW: To me, beauty is individuality. I find things that are unique very beautiful.
BM: What advice can you give to other rising artists out there who are looking to become actors?
MW: Study, work hard and stay focused. If you love it, do it. I can’t tell you how many people told me I’d never be on TV or in films, but that just motivated me to work harder. You can’t give in to those voices. Don’t give up. Just do what you love, and keep doing it as long as you enjoy it.