Alkoya Brunson’s *Beach* Break On A New Netflix Series

Sixteen-year-old Alkoya Brunson is well on his way toward making a name for himself in the film/TV industry. At just seven years old, the Lakeland, Florida native made his acting debut as Jordan in Let the Church Say Amen, directed by award-winning actress Regina King. Brunson’s success then continued as he scored the role of Gary in the comedy Vacation and Kenneth Vaughn in the historical fiction film Hidden Figures. Next, he ventured into the small screen as Adam, the son of a witch, on the CW’s fantasy series The Originals. Brunson’s most recent endeavor, however, has earned him the most acclaim: the teen is a series regular on Netflix’s new, original series Malibu Rescue. The show follows a group of high schoolers (including Brunson’s character, Eric) who serve as junior lifeguards, along with the adventures and obstacles that come with the job. Get to know Brunson as he discusses the excitement surrounding his breakthrough role.

How did you first develop your passion for acting?

I first developed my passion for acting when I was about seven. I would sit all day and watch SpongeBob, constantly telling my mom that I wanted to be inside the TV just like him.

What actors/actresses inspire you?

Will Farrell is my favorite actor ever. He’s just so funny to me. My favorite movie of his is ‪Blades of Glory‬.

What was the audition process like for Malibu Rescue?

When I sent in my tape, I really didn’t think I was going to get a response back because I didn’t fit the description of the role. I just submitted it because comedy is my favorite thing to do. I got a callback the same day, and I freaked out—literally, I went ballistic! After I taped the callback, my anxiety was so high as I waited to see if I got the invitation to the mix and match session at the Netflix headquarters for the role of Eric. The next day, I was invited to come out to LA for the mix and match. I had so much faith that I would book the role, I flew from Florida to LA to compete against the other actors in the mix and match.

Where were you and how did you react when you found out you were cast?

The day after the mix and match, I was sitting at LAX getting ready to go back to Florida when I found out I booked the role. I couldn’t scream like I wanted to, of course, [because I was in an airport]. I just started shaking my mom’s arm, and I couldn’t stop smiling. When I got home, I screamed so loud, danced, and ran around my house.

What’s your favorite part of being on set?

My favorite part of any set is free food.

What’s it like working with your fellow cast members?

I love every single one of my castmates. We became a family while working on Malibu Rescue. We all made so many wonderful memories while filming the project. We laughed, played, pranked each other, and hung out on our off days.

What’s the most challenging part about taking on the character you have to portray?

I had to create a high-pitched voice for Eric, which was very challenging to pull off every day.  

What do you hope audiences take away from watching Malibu Rescue?

I hope that the show paints a perfect picture of what the values of true friendship are based upon. I also want kids to see that anything is possible with a little teamwork.

What are your future plans?

In the future, after a very successful acting career, I want to become a director.

This or That:

Beach or pool? Pool.

Lemonade or water? Water.

Ice cream or popsicle? Ice cream.

Summer or winter? Summer.

Florida or The Bahamas? The Bahamas, since I live in Florida.

Follow Alkoya on Social Media:

Instagram: @alkoya

Facebook: Alkoya Brunson