Garfield Wilson talks SCHMIGADOON, racism, and family balance
Garfield Wilson takes time to discuss his co-starring role as Henry in SCHMIGADOON (Apple TV+), educating his children about racism and his Jamaican heritage.
Garfield’s transparency in this interview is inspiring and vital in starting conversations about racism in bi-racial families.
You’ve played various roles over the years. In your opinion, what role challenged you the most as an actor?
Honestly speaking, it feels like every role I’ve played since playing Femi on the series ICE has brought its own unique challenges that require something different for me as an actor. I don’t feel like I’ve been repeating myself as an actor with the roles I’ve played, which is a huge blessing and very challenging with each role.
Acting requires a lot of time away from your family. How do you balance the two?
My time with my children and my fiancé is extremely important to me, so I’ve made some significant changes to how I approach my work and carve out time with my family that is uninterrupted.
As a father of bi-racial children, how do you approach the conversation with them about racism?
We’ve raised our children to know that they come from two beautiful cultures. I’m very happy that they know both sides of their family and are loved beyond measure within those two families. That being said, we have educated them to the reality that the world will see them as a person of colour (Black children).
And that the unfortunate truth is that while North America has improved on its origins of racist policies and ideas, it has a very long way to go before there is true equality and reparations for its BIPOC.
Covid-19 has changed how we see the things around us. How has this experience changed you for the better?
I am more aware than ever before of how fragile this life journey truly is, so I am more selective of the projects I work on and hold those relationships that are important to me very close.
At this moment in your life, what are you the most proudest of?
I am living in my truth, and I am present with the ones I love and my work.
What are your challenges being a public person in today’s racial climate?
I think the challenges are the same as they’ve always been: knowing your worth and having honesty and dignity in the face of ignorance and racism in all of its incarnations.
You’re co-starring in the new musical comedy, as Henry in SCHMIGADOON. What was the audition process like, and what drew you to this character?
The audition process was precisely like what auditions have become during the Covid pandemic: a breakdown from my agent and a self-tape submission I send. I actually auditioned for a different role and was offered, Henry. The only thing that was different for me than some cast members I spoke to on set was that they didn’t ask me to sing in my audition tape. I think that casting knew of my musical theatre background.
Does your Jamaican heritage play a role in your decision-making with selecting the type of roles you want to play?
I’m very proud of my heritage and am extremely happy that I’ve been blessed to have played a wide variety of roles on some incredible projects. The trajectory continues with the projects I’ve got coming out that I can’t wait to share.
Beach Getaway or City Life? Beach life!
What is your downtime like between gigs? Lots of time with my family!
Garfield Wilson IMDB Bio
Garfield Wilson was born in Surrey, England, and immigrated to Canada when he was six years old with his Jamaican family. The middle child between his brother and sister, Garfield has enjoyed a creative life full of acting and music in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. After two years performing as lead singer to a funk/soul cover band, Garfield’s first break was playing Judas in “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He then ventured to Vancouver, BC, to pursue music and acting even further. After singing in his own band, followed by a Canadian tour singing back-up vocals for Colin James, Garfield began to focus on acting.
His first roles in Vancouver included The Outer Limits (1995) (2000), Andromeda (2000) (2001), Dark Angel (2000) (2001), UC: Undercover (2001) (2001), Just Cause (2001) (2002), The Twilight Zone (2002) (2003), The 4400 (2004) (2004), and Edison (2005) (2005). To support his acting pursuits, Garfield got certified as a personal trainer and focused the next eight years on building his own training business. Then, in 2013, Garfield enjoyed another music theatre role in Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre presentation of Dreamgirls (2013), followed by a season regular actor role in JJ Abram’s Almost Human(2013) (2013-2014).