Spencer Hermes-Rebello

📷 : Lee Clower

In the August release of Apple TV+ series Surfside Girls, Spencer Hermes-Rebello plays his first series regular character Remi alongside a cast including Miya Cech as Jade and YaYa Gosselin as Sam. The series is based on the bestselling graphic novel of the same name by Kim Dwinell and, with the show release, Spencer attended the Apple TV+ Summer Block Party at the Americana Mall in Glendale, where he was able to sign books with Kim Dwinell. Answering our questions, Spencer talks about being in the cast of Apple TV+’s Surfside Girls, starring as Remi for his first regular character on screen and having the series released in August.

Can you tell us about the new Apple TV+ series Surfside Girls, which was released in August, and was there anything that drew you to the show?

Surfside Girls is a show filled with adventure, magic, pirates and is a heartwarming tale of friendship and celebrating differences. Surfside Girls is based on the bestselling graphic novel of the same name, written by Kim Dwinell. It’s an exciting adventure following best friends Sam and Jade, as they spend their summer solving the mystery of Surfside and the cursed treasure. Along the way, they meet a friendly ghost pirate Remi, who helps them to solve the mystery. After meeting Remi, Sam wants to help him break the curse while Jade is determined to find a scientific explanation for the existence of ghosts. To solve the mystery, Sam and Jade will need to combine their very different approaches of logic and imagination. Together, they are determined to connect the clues, solve the mystery and save Surfside… and maybe they’ll help a couple of pirate ghosts along the way.

The opportunity to play a pirate ghost was too cool to pass up. I was really drawn to the show because it had a cool Goonies type vibe involving pirates and cursed treasure and I mean, let’s face it, pirates are cool!

You play the series regular role of Remi, how would you describe your character and what is he like to play?

Remi is a ghost pirate that will forever be 14 years old. He is discovering the modern world for the very first time and speaks with an old world charm. Remi is loveable, inquisitive, determined and loves to ask questions and he’s quite funny in his interpretation of the modern world. However, he is desperate for help to save his home, the Obsidian Flyer from disappearing. Remi is constantly looking for Captain Devar’s approval in his quest to save their home. He looks up to Captain Devar with great admiration and is eager to please him.

It was such an honour to take on the character of Remi and bring this pirate boy to life. He was an interesting, fun and cool character to play and I enjoyed discovering the town of Surfside through Remi’s eyes. I am forever thankful for being given the privilege to bring this ghost pirate to life.

Do you remember how you felt finding out you’d booked the role and how was it having Remi as your first series regular character?

To be honest, I couldn’t believe it when I found out that I had been chosen to play the role of Remi. How was it possible that a young, unknown actor from Australia be cast in the show? It has been a dream of mine to go to Hollywood and here I was on a plane bound for Los Angeles. Not only was I headed to the entertainment capital of the world, but I was about to play a ghost pirate on an Apple TV+ series. Playing Remi was awesome and it was an opportunity that I am forever grateful for, I mean, how cool I got to dress up as a pirate every day!

What was it like getting into character for the first time and how did you find the experience on set of the series?

The first time I stepped in the pirate boots and vest, I knew that this was a life-changing experience that words really can’t describe. The whole experience was truly wonderful. A pirate has to look his best and the whole hair and makeup team and costume department were so much fun to work with each day. The production happened during the pandemic, which offered challenges, but also made the experience really special.

📷 : Lee Clower

How was it working with the rest of the cast, which includes Miya Cech as Jade and YaYa Gosselin as Sam?

The Surfside cast were amazing to work with and everyone was so supportive helping me learn about life on set, I had only ever spent one day on a set before this role. During filming, we had some challenges due to COVID, and to keep production rolling ahead, I wasn’t able to spend time with cast members off set during the shoot. Miya and YaYa are both experienced, talented young actors and made me feel right at home from the very first day. Joseph Mesiano, who plays Captain Devar, was the coolest Pirate Captain and the coolest guy, I’m happy to call him my friend. The entire cast and crew were nothing but nice and they all contributed to making my time on set super fun, I left the production knowing I made some lifelong friendships.

Do you have any favourite memories from filming Surfside Girls and playing Remi that you can tell us about?

The whole experience was absolutely incredible and it’s really hard to choose just one.

In the first week, we shot on location in Malibu and I felt right at home as I live by the beach. It was a great way to start filming for the series and set such a positive tone for the whole production. The sets for the show were amazing, especially the cavern where I first meet Sam and Jade.

How has it been seeing the fan response to the release and what was it like watching the completed series when it was released on Apple TV+?

It was such a joy to see how much my friends and family enjoyed watching the show. I was in Los Angeles when the show premiered and was able to go to the Apple TV+ Summer Block Party at the Americana Mall in Glendale. It was so much fun meeting all the fans of the show and taking photos and signing posters. I even got to sign books with the author Kim Dwinell, which was an absolute privilege.

Why would you recommend watching Surfside Girls and who do you think it will appeal to?

I would recommend watching Surfside Girls to anyone that has a sense of mystery and the search for adventure. If you love ghosts, pirates, mysteries and stories of friendship, then it is the show for you. It’s a fun show that the entire family can watch together as there is a little something for everyone.

📷 : Lee Clower

Where does your love of acting come from and how did you get into it?

From a young age I was always a little performer, sometimes maybe too much. When I was in kindergarten, I was asked the question: what do you want to be when you grow up? I answered that I wanted to win an Oscar! To channel my love of performing, I started doing after school drama classes and each year we performed a musical. Every moment I would step on stage in front of an audience or in front of a camera, I would get such a rush of excitement. It was at that moment I knew I was going to entertain and that’s what I love about acting, the privilege to entertain.

Have you been given any advice over your time as an actor so far that has stuck with you?

After I wrapped on set the very first day, the director America Young took the time to chat with me. She helped to ease my nerves and gave me some advice that has stuck with me. America let me know that as an actor you need to learn to trust yourself and your instincts and really go for it! Those words helped to inspire me and my delivery of lines as Remi.

What are some of your favourite films and TV shows to watch?

I love so many different types and genres of films and TV shows. If I had to choose one film, it would be the classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I love the parade scene, it’s such a blast when Ferris is singing right outside his dad’s office. The concept of the movie is something we’ve all dreamed of, having that secret day off. A show that I really enjoyed is Schitt’s Creek, it’s an amazing show with superb writing. I love the characters and how funny the situation they are caught up in is.

How do you like to spend your time away from acting?

Currently I’m in Year 8, so my days are pretty busy with school. When I’m not at school I can be found at the skatepark on my BMX and hanging out with my friends. When I’m not at the skatepark, I’m playing guitar and, thanks to YouTube, my skills are improving each day. The show has also inspired me to dust off my surfboard and start surfing again. I live quite close to the beach and this summer I plan to catch some waves!

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