According to Reign star Jonathan Keltz, stepping back in time to play Leith is one of the best parts of the job. “Every now and then I get to just race through the woods on a horse. It’s awesome,” he tells us of his days on the Toronto set. However, the former Entourage actor admits that even he isn’t always sure what’s coming up next for his character on the drama about royals (Thursdays, E!). “The landscape is shifting [and] I’m very excited to see the role I play in all of it. [Whether] I end up going, staying, fighting, thriving or dying – hopefully, not dying!”
In our interview with the charming 27-year-old star, he revealed far more than just what makes his latest role a thrill. Here, he shares five things fans might not know about him, like what he’s learned playing Leith and which actress he shared his first big-screen kiss with.
BADGE OF HONOUR
I think what’s great about playing Leith is that he’s a character founded in love, loyalty and honour. I think getting to explore that has been a wonderful experience. He’s a man who is committed to making the ultimate sacrifice, if called upon. So something I’ve taken away [from playing him] is to not be afraid of making a sacrifice for the greater good.
MY FIRST MOVIE
When I was 16, I did a movie called Cake with Heather Graham. I played a valet and I [had to] dance with her and kiss her. I was this little 16-year-old kid on his first set freaking out. She was wonderful and professional. I saw her about a year ago at a Tribeca Film Festival event and it was the most terrifying thing ever. I felt like I was that 16-year-old kid again. It took me a good half-hour just to go say hello. It was ridiculous. I had a buddy with me, and he thought it was absolutely hysterical [to watch] how I reverted back to a terrified teen. She was lovely and happy to hear I was doing well. I said hello, we caught up and I got out!
RETURNING HOME FOR REIGN
I’m really lucky that I knew what I wanted to do from a young age, I was about 10 years old when I started shouting that I wanted to be an actor. [My parents] were nice enough to allow me to do that. I’m from New York originally, then my parents and I moved to Toronto, where I went to high school. I started working when I was 16 and then headed out to Los Angeles shortly after I finished high school. It’s so wonderful and fortunate that I had to relocate from L.A. to Toronto for the show. For me, it was like coming home.
IN THE KITCHEN
I have worked in a kitchen. When I was in high school I worked at Terroni and was literally a kitchen boy. I’d say that two of my family’s signature dishes are guacamole – we have a pretty unbelievable recipe – and chocolate chip meringue cookies. That recipe is dynamite.
I’ve got to be honest, I love live-tweeting the show with the fans. I think it’s a great experience, not just for them, but for me, too. I think it’s fun and I’m lucky I receive a lot of positive responses on social media, so I enjoy it. It’s tricky because we air during the week, so sometimes some or all of us are working when it’s on but I try to make sure that I’m available. I do think it’s important for me to watch my work. If there’s a live-tweeting party, you can be sure Torrance [Coombs] is there. My girlfriend and my parents definitely watch Reign as well.