Actor Devon Sawa has been in the entertainment industry since he was a child. Born in Vancouver, Canada on 7th September 1978, it was almost as if he was destined to be in the limelight.
Enrolling in theatre classes at a young age, Sawa soon found himself in several theatrical productions — and it wasn’t long before he was snapped up for major film roles, including Casper and Little Giants. As time went by, he landed his iconic role as the lead character in Final Destination, amongst other significant releases.
On screen, Sawa is an engaging, captivating and dynamic actor. I have watched his career with interest over the years. When I learned recently that he was involved in the new and upcoming Child’s Play TV series alongside Jennifer Tilly, I invited Sawa to discuss his life, career and what we can expect from the show. He kindly agreed.
Devon, it seems you have dedicated most of your life to acting. Can you recall when you first decided this was what you wanted to do?
It was decided for me. My grade 5 teacher suggested to my parents that if I want to be center of attention, maybe I should join the theater. My parents, I think out of punishment, enrolled me in a community theater and I instantly fell in love. It didn’t help me settle down in school but it did start what would be an almost 35 year passion.
What or who was your biggest inspiration of the film and TV world?
When I was a kid, I watched every movie I could get my hands on. The neighborhood I grew up in was full of kids and out of sheer luck, we were all around the same age and all loved watching movies. Stallone and Arnold and De Niro and Hoffman. Action films and Horror. That, combined with my new growing love of theater, was the perfect recipe.
You were only a teen when you first got your big break, and went on to star in several popular family films, such as Little Giants and Casper. What was it like, being so young and finding yourself in that industry?
It’s weird because many child actors had different experiences. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a thing about my childhood. Every film, big or small, was generally a good experience.
As time moved on you also starred in several other notable titles, such as horror comedy Idle Hands, SLC Punk and cult favourite, Final Destination. It wasn’t long after these run of films that you took a break from the business. Are you happy to go into why you took time out?
I had a rocky time between the age of 19 and 25. I needed to step away and figure out how to change things and to make sure that I still loved what I did. I was burnt out and had an addiction problem to address. I addressed the problems and after about 5 years I came back an adult. Ive been sober almost 15 years and I work hard every day at it.
I think it’s fair to say one of your most popular roles was that of your lead role as Alex in the first Final Destination film, released in 2000. I’m guessing you must be proud of that project and how huge it became?
I’m very proud of all the actors and filmmakers that have made FD one of the best horror franchises there is.
Final Destination is considered a classic amongst horror film fans. Are you a horror fan yourself?
Huge horror fan. Its why CHUCKY was a must-do. I remember being about 10 and renting that film. We must’ve watched it 3 or 4 times in the 24 hour rental period. Iconic.
Now we are talking about horror, it seems the perfect time to ask you about your current project. You have a starring role in the upcoming Child’s Play TV series, is that right? How did that come about?
Simply: My agents suggested CHUCKY and I screamed yes.
Can you tell me about your character and how filming is going, so far?
I can tell you nothing about my character but good try. And it’s going great. The cast is amazing. Both the OGs and the rookies.
I’m personally looking forward to the series — I’m a big fan of Child’s Play and have a lot of respect for Don Mancini and Jennifer Tilly. What’s it been like working alongside them both?
Mancini is a guy I hope stays in my life a very long time. Same with Tilly. They are wonderful people.
Were you a fan of the Child’s Play films?
Aside from the Chucky series, do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
A movie called BLACK FRIDAY comes out …. er .. on Black Friday. And a couple other things in the works for early next year.
It’s been a crazy couple of years due to Covid… did the pandemic effect you, both professionally and on a personal level?
Yes, because of the quarantine I had to make the choice to leave my family for 5 months, without coming back. The Canadian government requires 14 days in “lockdown” and the studio/network just couldn’t find the time to make it happen. It was incredibly hard, but it’s a one time thing, I feel.
You’re a father now, is that right? What would you say if your child expressed interest in getting into the acting world?
Non paying theater till he/she is 18.
Finally, any advice for people reading who are thinking about getting into the acting business?
Anyone that says its easy just got incredibly lucky. It takes work to succeed in this business. Like a professional athlete, actors should always be training when they’re not in the game.