Houston Rhines is a TV and Film actor making his way in Hollywood. Known for CBS’s Training Day (2017), Jenny’s Wedding(2015) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013), Rhines is also starring in Kelly Clarkson’s music video “My Life Would Suck Without You.”
Houston didn’t plan to be an actor, but somehow he was drawn into the “film industry world” by a bizarre series of coincidences. After a horrible car accident, movies such as “Rocky” aired while Houston was laying in hospital; but despite being in pain because of the accident, the ‘big screen’ entertainment motivated him to start a whole new page in his life, which ultimately helped him overcome all the adversity. He talks about how his acting career subsequently changed his life and highlighted his amazing TV and film projects while sharing with us some exclusive insights into new upcoming projects.
Houston, can you tell us about your acting beginnings?
I grew up just outside of Akron, Ohio. I was in college just doing my student thing when my ‘dorm neighbour’ asked me to be in his film. At the time I was rocking a pretty mean nose ring so I think I had a particular ‘look’ that he wanted. After that, I started following him to his film club meetings and learned that this acting thing is a real thing I could get into. I told people from my hometown I was going to school to study acting: the general consensus was, “you don’t go to school for acting!”
How did it feel to act alongside Katherine Heigl in “Jenny’s Wedding“?
I always pick up something when I work with an actor as talented as Katherine. With her, it was being open and honest in a scene. She really is a professional and knows what she’s doing.
What are your other best projects to date?
I think each project I’ve been involved with has giving me something that I can hold onto for life. So it’s hard to say which is best. I learned a lot listening to the wisdom of Morgan Fairchild in “eCupid”; ‘how to be me’ and relax from Nathan Fillion on Castle and how it’s so great to be unpredictable like Michael Madsen and Eric Roberts were in “Angels Fallen”. Similarly I also gained lots of first-hand experience when I decided to follow Li Jing (world famous and accomplished fight coordinator, with huge studio movies under her belt) on set, because she was a dynamic and intelligent fight-coordinator that I could learn from and importantly, retain new skills for life. That action stuff is really fun!
How did acting change your life?
I can tell you the very real and powerful way that movies changed my life. Most specifically, it started when I was in a bad accident a few years ago. In the hospital hating life, I was actually told I might never walk again. The “Rocky” movies happened to be on television. As cliché as it sounds it actually fired me up to bust my ass and work harder to get where I wanted to be. Ironically I’m now better off physically than I have ever been before and I think that’s what movies can do for people; provide true motivation and challenge to move forward. Now I want to provide that for other people. You never know how a scene might affect someone and help them. It could be inspirational or just a scene that makes them laugh. I’m lucky to be in this business and really want to provide that service to other people.
Do you have any interesting film or TV projects coming up?
“Angels Fallen” with Michael Madsen, Eric Roberts, and Nicola Posener is a good example. I play the angel Gabriel but he’s not the version you’ve seen in other films. This one likes to kick ass! “The Protégé” with Jeannette Sousa, Breanne Hill, and Philip Boyd. It’s Daphne Zuniga’s director debut. I’ve been a fan of her work as an actor since I can remember, so it was a blessing to be involved in her first directing gig; plus female directors always seem to help connect me emotionally to a role. Daphne was no exception. She was amazing to be directed by.
Here he is in Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You.”