Henry Samiri

📷 : Ben Cope / Stylist : Veronica Graye

For Henry Samiri’s latest role, he plays regular character Jasper Ward in the new Freeform suspense thriller The Watchful Eye, which premiered on the channel in January, and he filmed the show in a studio and on location in Chicago, Vancouver and New York. Since 2019, Henry has played Douglas Forrester in the popular American CBS daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful alongside a cast including Matthew Atkinson as his on-screen father Thomas Forrester, and, at the start of the year, he appeared in an episode of CSI: Vegas as Michael. Previous roles for Henry have included Timmy Wycoff in American Horror Story, Shaun in 9-1-1: Lone Star and Mason in Hacks. Talking with Henry, he spoke about filming as Jasper in The Watchful Eye, what it’s like on set of the series and playing Douglas Forrester in The Bold and the Beautiful.

In the new Freeform suspense thriller The Watchful Eye, you play the regular role of Jasper Ward, how would you describe Jasper and what is he like to play?

Jasper is a young, shy, kid whose mom has just died and he is getting used to a new nanny. Playing Jasper is fun because I get to engage with the entire cast. We also filmed both inside a studio and on location. And, we got to travel. I filmed parts of the show in Chicago, Vancouver, and NYC.

What is it like on set of The Watchful Eye and how is it working with the rest of the cast?

The Watchful Eye has some of the best people I have worked with so it’s really fun. Everyone is really good at what they do so it makes it easy to learn from them and feel comfortable no matter what I have to do. The sets are also really great. The attic is creepy and they built a secret staircase that is super cool.

What has it been like seeing the viewers’ response to the series and your character?

I don’t really get to see what’s on the internet but I’ve heard that people like it and that makes me happy.

Who do you think will enjoy watching The Watchful Eye?

I hope everyone enjoys watching it, but it’s not a kid’s show. I only get to watch it if my parents watch it first and say it’s ok.

You’ve played Douglas Forrester in the CBS daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful since 2019, what was it like booking your role and joining the cast?

I had just turned five when I got the role of Douglas so I don’t remember very much. I remember I got to eat mac and cheese. Joining the cast was easy. Matthew (Atkinson) and I started on the same day together. I just remember everyone was very welcoming and made me feel like they were all very happy I was there.

What is it like filming with your on-screen father Matthew Atkinson as Thomas Forrester?

Matthew is a blast on set! He is really funny and we have a lot of fun in between scenes. We have a lot of scenes together so we know how to make each other laugh.

Have you had a favourite storyline to work on and what do you enjoy most about playing Douglas?

My most recent storyline with the voice changer app is my favourite. The app was a green screen and I liked having to pretend something was there that wasn’t. It was also neat for me to get to act all by myself in a scene. It’s a lot different than when other people are in the scene with me. My favourite thing about Douglas is that he always gets to save the day!

📷 : Ben Cope / Stylist : Veronica Graye

What are some of your favourite highlights from working on The Bold and the Beautiful over the years?

The holiday scenes are probably the most fun. Everyone gets to be at work together at the same time and everyone is always happy to see each other. We also get to eat snacks and treats and I love when I get to play the piano.

Another highlight was the first time I got to see Douglas’ bedroom set. It’s neat to have a set that is my own. There are always a lot of cool toys and things in the room and if I really love something, they let me take it home.

Earlier this year, you played Michael in an episode of CSI: Vegas, how was this?

Playing Michael was awesome. I got to do things I had never done before on set. I filmed a drowning scene and that was so cool. I also got to have a prosthetic ear because my character had an ear defect. And, I was covered in dirt from my character being buried alive.

Can you tell us about your time filming for Hacks as Mason?

Filming Hacks was the best! We actually filmed the show at Six Flags! Literally inside the park! That was awesome. I ended up meeting one of my best friends, Elaye Handal, who played my brother on the show. We got to hang out, ride some of the rides, and kept eating all of the popcorn that the props team would give us – I’m not sure if they liked that we did that. He is still one of my best friends now and our families hang out together. Jean Smart is one of the nicest people. She included us in everything and let us hang out with her in her backstage room where it was warm.

What do you remember most from playing Timmy Wycoff in American Horror Story and Shaun in 9-1-1: Lone Star, both of which are created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk?

Timmy was fun because it was a scary scene. They had these loud leaf blowers that made it sort of scary. It was also neat that my mom, who I was acting with, was on the ceiling. I had never experienced that and it was cool to see how they got her to look like she was stuck to the ceiling. Ryan Murphy is awesome. He made it very easy for me to understand what he wanted me to do in the scenes. I didn’t really get a chance to talk with Brad.

Shaun was a fun character because I got to show multiple sides of his personality. At the beginning of the show, Shaun is angry and sad, but at the end, he is dancing in the street eating ice cream and having fun. I got to hang out with all of the cast from 9-1-1: Lone Star, which was fun and they let me go inside the fire truck!!

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

I don’t know where the love of it comes from but I feel very comfortable being on set, and learning lines has been pretty easy for me. I also really like to scene study so it’s fun to get scripts and talk about all of the different characters and then decide what my character should be like.

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

Some films I like are Wakanda Forever, Super-Pets, and Disney’s Coco.

The shows I watch are Who Was? on Netflix and Crashbox on HBO.

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

In my free time, I’m usually outside playing basketball or inside playing video games. I also go to classes for piano, drums and hip hop.

What are you hoping 2023 brings for you?

I hope 2023 brings a lot of good things and that The Watchful Eye gets picked up for a second season. I want to still work with everyone again.

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