In the Paramount+ animated series Transformers: EarthSpark, Cyrus Arnold voices Jawbreaker, with Series 1 premiering in November 2022 and Series 2 hopefully releasing soon. On screen acting work for Cyrus has seen him in last year’s Stephen King’s adaptation Mr. Harrigan’s Phone on Netflix as Kenny Yankovich, with other films including Murmur as Angel, 8-Bit Christmas as Josh Jagorski, and near the start of his career, he played Derek Jr. in Zoolander 2 alongside Ben Stiller. Cyrus joined Series 2 of The Exorcist as David ‘Truck’ Johnson III, and he is set to appear in the upcoming Netflix film Family Leave. Answering our questions, Cyrus told us about his role of Jawbreaker in Transformers: EarthSpark, filming as Kenny Yankovich in Mr. Harrigan’s Phone and working on the festive film 8-Bit Christmas.
Can you tell us about your character Jawbreaker in the new Paramount+ animated series Transformers: EarthSpark?
Jawbreaker is the definition of a gentle giant. Extremely sweet, innocent, with a heart as big as his stature. He’s slightly naive, and makes a really strong connection with Mo, a girl who discovers him and helps him join the EarthSpark family.
What is Jawbreaker like to voice and how was it seeing the animation for the first time?
Voicing Jawbreaker is a lot of fun. The writers on the show are so funny and give him such a sweet presence. Bringing that to life is always a really great experience. And seeing the animation for the very first time was really exciting. You record the episodes before they show you animatics, so it wasn’t until later that I get to see the animation, and that was really exciting.
How much did you know about the Transformers franchise before booking your role and how did you feel joining a Transformers series?
I knew a lot about Transformers before I got cast! Growing up, my friends and I were always Transformers fans. We saw all the films, knew all the characters, so getting to be a part of the actual franchise was an honour.
How has it been seeing the viewers’ response to the release and why would you recommend watching the series on Paramount+?
Seeing the viewers’ response was really cool. A lot of people really enjoy the show, seeing people’s art on social media and getting to be in touch with the fan base is wonderful. Honestly, I’d recommend seeing it on Paramount+, aside from Nickelodeon, as you get to stream the entire story. It could feel like a ten-hour movie.
You played Kenny Yankovich in Mr. Harrigan’s Phone for Netflix last year, how was it being part of a Stephen King adaptation?
I cannot tell you how badly I’ve wanted to be a part of a Stephen King adaptation. I’m reading Misery right now, and just finished The Shining. I’m a King nut, getting to play a bad guy in one of those adaptations has genuinely been a dream come true.
What did you enjoy most about filming as Kenny and was there anything that drew you to the character?
What I enjoyed most about playing Kenny was being allowed to go into a pretty intense place. I was given the space to be really intense, and John (Lee Hancock) is probably one of the kindest people I’ve met. Jaeden (Martell) was super welcoming and friendly too. What drew me to the character was playing somebody that’s broken and dark. It’s a rare chance to get to play those kinds of characters. When I heard they were making this, I had to throw my hat in the ring.
We understand you were in the cast of Murmur as Angel, can you tell us about the film and what was it like to work on?
Mumur is a techno-horror film about a group of young filmmakers going out into the woods in participation with a really submersive VR game. Without giving anything away, terror ensues, haha. Working on that was great. It was in the heart of COVID, I wasn’t doing anything, and it was probably the best escapism I could ask for. I still keep in touch with everyone from that set.
How was your time playing Josh Jagorski in 8-Bit Christmas and how did you find the experience on set of a Christmas film?
Playing Josh in 8-Bit Christmas was so fun. They really gave me a lot of freedom to improvise and go over-the-top. There wasn’t a dull moment playing him, it was a blast. Being on a Christmas movie gave me a lot nostalgic tingles! All this snow and Christmas decor around makes you feel like a little kid again.
You played Kip Quade in the 2020 feature film Run Hide Fight, how was this?
Playing Kip in Run Hide Fight was really intense. It’s a movie about a school shooting. There’s a responsibility to stay grounded and not be gratuitous to that subject matter. Thankfully, our director Kyle (Rankin) was a fantastic captain and kept everyone grounded, and still made the set a nice place to be.
What are some of your favourite highlights from working on Runt as Borgie?
Highlights from playing Borgie in Runt are mainly getting to work with Cameron Boyce and Aramis Knight. It’s bittersweet thinking about the movie, obviously because of Cameron’s passing. He was so sweet and kind. He really made me feel like I belong. Aramis is still a close friend of mine and I met him on that set. He’s awesome.
For Series 2 of The Exorcist, you joined the cast as David ‘Truck’ Johnson III, how was it being part of the second series of the show and playing your character?
Being a part of the second season of The Exorcist was also an honour. I’m a huge horror guy. That was the first thing in the genre I got to participate in. The talent in front of and behind the camera is unbelievable. Jeremy Slater created it, John Cho played my dad. Brianna Hildebrand from Deadpool played my sister, and also really felt like an older sister figure while doing that show. Playing a character like Truck was something I’d never done before. Getting to do drama like that, and play such a sweet character like him, and to see the dark turns the series takes with him was so special. The Exorcist is one of the fondest memories I have.
Towards the start of your career, you played Derek Jr. in Zoolander 2 alongside Ben Stiller, do you have any stand-out memories from this project?
Stand-out memories from Zoolander are definitely being in Rome for four months. It felt like the greatest field trip of all time. And getting to work with that many greats at that age, where you’re learning and building your character, was something I’ll forever be grateful for.
What do you remember most from playing B.J. in Sam & Cat for Nickelodeon?
I do remember playing B.J. from Sam & Cat! My first TV job. Was super nervous, but I was really excited. I was ten so I don’t remember too much, but I had a great time.
How is it having guest roles in shows such as Royalties, Outmatched and Fresh Off the Boat?
Doing guest stars on shows like Royalties, Outmatched, and Fresh Off the Boat, were also really great. Especially Royalties. It was, like, one day, and John Stamos was so kind and gracious to me, it was unbelievable. That guy’s a stud, haha.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you get into it?
My love of acting came from my mom and dad showing me the movies that shaped me. I’m a performative guy, and I loved making them laugh. I got into it naturally. It’s something I wanted to do, and I started through commercial auditions and smaller stuff like that as a kid. Thankfully, I got to move on to being a part of some really incredible projects.
What are some of your favourite films and TV shows to watch and how do you like to spend your time away from your career?
My favourite movies and TV shows are honestly older horror stuff. Tales from the Crypt, John Carpenter and Wes Craven films are definitely some of my favourites. I spend time away from my career being in my backyard under the umbrella with my dog and reading. It’s heaven.
Do you have any upcoming projects you have already filmed or that you will be working on that you can tell us about and what are you hoping 2023 brings for you?
Sure! I have a part in Family Leave, a Netflix movie with Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms! McG directed it. That was also a blast. I’m really excited for that to come out. And Season 2 of Transformers should hopefully be out soon! I’m just hoping 2023 brings me some more peace! I’ve gotten a lot of time recently to spend on writing, and I hope that continues. Thank you, guys.
Follow Cyrus on: