An Interview with George Stults (Kevin, 7th Heaven)

© The WB/Kwaku Alston

Many times, we connect with a character and forget there's a real person behind the role. After being discovered literally right off the street, George Stults and his equally talented brother Geoff took Hollywood by storm and since then, they have never taken their good fortune for granted. I was fortunate enough to chat with George recently and found that he is not only as cool and down-to-earth as his character on 7th Heaven, but is definitely one of the most grateful actors in Hollywood -- a rare find these days.

Q: I've heard that you were discovered while out in public, what is the story behind that?

"I had recently transferred from where I was going to school, the University of Southern Colorado, to Whittier College in Whittier, California where my best friend, my brother (same person) was going to school, playing football. So, after four years at Colorado, I transferred to be nearer to him and I knew I needed a change because I didn't know what I was going to do after school. I went there knowing I was going to graduate in a year and a summer semester. After the year was up, I did what is called "walking" through the graduation ceremony.

My brother and I had one of our good friends who we went to high school with, who was actually working for a theatrical agency in Hollywood, but I knew nothing about the entertainment industry - never, ever thought I would. My brother was away visiting back in Colorado and I went out to visit my friend in Hollywood.

We decided to meet for lunch on Sunset Boulevard at a place called Red Rock. We were having lunch out on the patio and two women drove by and one of them was a theatrical agent and the other was I believe a make-up artist. The one lady who worked for the theatrical agency told the other to jump out and hand me one of her cards.

So, she did and I was like, 'Whoa, interesting, there must be some progressive older women out here.' She told me to call if I was interested and left.

I showed the card to my friend and she said she had never heard of them, but would find out about them when she went back to work. When my brother got back in town, I told him the story and he said, 'Dude, you've got to for me!' My friend had looked into the theatrical agency and she said they were legit. I called and went in and met with her and she showed interest and said she wanted to represent me and set up another meeting. So, the second meeting, I brought my brother. My brother told her, 'look, if you want to represent my brother, you've got to represent me.' That's how we got our first theatrical agent and immediately after, we started taking acting classes."

Q: I understand that you and your brother audition for many of the same roles, does that ever lead to hard feelings if one gets the role over the other?

"Well, I being the older brother, always wanted my brother to succeed. I'd rather see him get the part over me. I'm not worried about myself, I worry about him. Our parents raised us to be best friends.

Without him, I'd never be in this situation. We rarely audition for the same stuff nowadays, he's a lot bigger than me and can play older roles than I can."

Q: How did the role of Kevin come to you?

"Well, Geoff was on 7th Heaven, he had auditioned for the role of Jessica Biel's boyfriend, got the part and was in four episodes. I randomly auditioned to be a high school senior, who was supposed to be at a party with David Gallagher's character, Simon. The character was supposed to peer pressure Simon into drinking and doing stuff he wasn't supposed to do. Somehow, they [the producers] figured out that Geoff and I were brothers and the executive producers thought it would be neat to have real life brothers on the show. They brought me on to play Beverly's love interest on the show for a couple episodes and all of a sudden, it turned into marriage.

It was weird how it happened, I thought I was going to be on for a couple episodes and that was it!"

Q: Does it ever bother you to play such a "good" character?

"For the most part I like it. He's a lot nicer, a little bit dorkier than I am. It's fun, I have a good time. It's more the fact that I get to work with great people, I like that more than I like playing the character. It's rare from the people that I've known to enjoy your job."

Q: If Kevin were to ever lose his way, what do you think would be the worse thing he would do?

"They don't let the actors usually read the script until the day or two before the shooting. The crew gets to read it a lot sooner, a week before we do and they'll say, 'Wow, George, Kevin's getting a little feisty, he's never like this.' If I [as Kevin] tried being a jerk, it won't get him anywhere. The writers like it when Lucy's crazy."

Q: Has the show changed at all since Aaron Spelling's death.

"I my opinion, it hasn't. I haven't been on all 11 seasons, I've been on five now. I think it's always been creator, Brenda Hampton's baby. She does pretty much everything. I think as long as she's around and her writing staff of course, it'll always be the successful show its been for 11 seasons."

Q: What's ahead for Lucy and Kevin?

"I wish I knew. I honestly don't know anything about what's going on and I've never asked. I'm just so grateful to have my job. I've heard horror stories of other actors who were on the show before I was and they'd go up to the writing staff or Brenda Hampton and say, 'how about my character does this or that,' and shortly thereafter, they're no longer part of the show!

[laughs] Rachel, I don't ask questions, I'm just so happy to have that job! Every now and then, I'll hear Beverly slip something out and that's the only way I find out until I read the script."

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Q: Do you think there will be a season 12?

"[laughs] After going through what we did last season, I really have no idea, but if I were to take a good guess, I'd say that as long as the actors who have been on all 11 seasons do it....all the actors they really need to have a show are Stephen Collins, Beverly Mitchell and Beverly Hicks, they need them no matter what, but I think if they have them, there will be a twelfth season. No matter who comes and goes on the show, they still have really good ratings."

Q: Do you have any projects coming up?

"Nothing yet because we're not allowed to do anything until the hiatus, but I've been fortunate enough to do something during the past three time we were on hiatus. My goal is to do one thing in-between seasons. It can be difficult to do that because it has to be something that does not interfere with the production, something I'm hopefully going to enjoy because I'm so damn spoiled by this TV show. I am so spoiled by 7th Heaven."

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?

"I'm pretty much the same way I was before the show, I just have a little more money. My brother and I still live in the same craphole apartment because we're too lazy to move. My brother and I are in the process of buying a house - well, we're trying to agree on an area to buy the house."

Q: Why do you think shows from the WB/CW continually get snubbed at Emmy time?

"I don't know. It's so difficult to get a show up and running. They don't give shows a chance. If you think about all the super-popular shows like Seinfeld and Friends and you see the first episodes, they're not good. The chemistry's not there with the actors yet, the writing is awful. The shows that do make it are lucky because they've been given a chance to do a couple episodes. I think the networks should give shows more of a chance."

Q: Anything to say to the fans?

"Yes, I'd like to thank the fans for being so supportive of the show. I've said this before in interviews, if they want an autographed photo, all they have to do is write to me at the show. Everyday I'm at work, I personally go through my fan mail and send an autographed 7th Heaven photo to them."