The actor who played Gary, Ross Hull, was on other TV roles before doing Are You Afraid of the Dark? He begun his acting career in the 1987 movie Nowhere to Hide starring Amy Madigan, Michael Ironside, John Colicos, Maury Chaykin, and Clark Johnson.
He had appeared in other TV roles after Are You Afraid of the Dark? such as Student Bodies, Ready or Not, Mutant X, and Stargate: Atlantis.
Today, he's a meteorologist for CTV Southwestern Ontario.
Kevin and I had the chance to interview Ross, so I hope you enjoy.
Patricia- What were your favorite shows growing up?
Ross- My favorite shows growing up were Family Ties and The Cosby Show.
Patricia- Who were your influences?
Ross- Family Ties was one of my first real introductions to the sitcom genre and I really looked up to Michael J. Fox and how he made it look so seamless.
Kevin- Did your parents support you when you wanted to go into acting?
Ross- Yes, my parents were always very supportive of any decision I made in terms of my acting career. My mom got me started when I was a kid but I always had an out to leave the business if I chose to.
Kevin- What was the audition process like for Nowhere to Hide?
Ross- To be honest, it was so long ago I don't remember.
Patricia- Do you have any fond memories on the set?
Ross- I remember soaking everything in because it was one of my first experiences on a set. Amy Madigan and Maury Chaykin were two of the big actors on that movie and I remember studying them intently.
Patricia- What was the audition process like for Student Bodies?
Ross- As is usually the case, I don't think I read for the role I was finally cast in. There were three auditions I believe and its one of those things where you think you have a good feeling after an audition but you never really know until you get the call.
Patricia- Many people called Student Bodies a Saved by the Bell ripoff. Do you agree?
Kevin- What was the audition process for Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Ross- I actually auditioned for the pilot first and played David. Then D.J. was kind enough to have me read for Gary when the series was a go.
Kevin- What was your favorite Midnight Society story?
Patricia- Were you close with any of the cast members?
Ross- Yes, I developed close friendships with everyone I worked with. I have kept in touch with some more than others. Daniel DeSanto and Raine Pare-Coull are two that I've kept in contact with regularly.
Patricia- What was it like working for D.J. MacHale?
Ross- D.J. was a huge influence on me. When I first did the pilot I was really shy - I had confidence in my acting abilities but D.J. made me feel comfortable enough to be able to deliver on the set. I think we really connected in the sense that I was able to take direction well from him. If not for working with D.J. and the experience of Are You Afraid of the Dark I don't think I would have had the success I did later on.
Kevin- Do you think that Are You Afraid of the Dark should have a proper DVD release?
Ross- If that's what the fans want - make it so :)
Kevin- Did you ever tell ghost stories in real life?
Ross- Not really. I was more known for creating outlandish exaggerations of events that had happened at school or with my friends. I was a dramatic kid. I would also pretend I was a reporter and hound my family with a video camera relentlessly.
Patricia- What is the fondest memory that you had working in Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Ross- Finishing a take and hearing D.J. say: "very nice". Also, just chilling with the other cast members in our imaginary forest.
Kevin-What is your favorite Nickelodeon show?
Ross- I didn't grow up in the U.S. so I actually didn't have access to Nickelodeon growing up. So I guess I have to say Are you Afraid of the Dark? :)
Kevin- Were you a fan of Tales from the Crypt?
Ross- No, never watched it.
Patricia- What was the first day of shooting like on Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Ross- For me, it was like the pilot but with a different cast and a more expensive set. I wasn't as nervous because I already knew D.J. and some of the crew pretty well. There was a level of comfort there.
Kevin- Did you like the character of Mr. Sardo?
Ross- When I read the script I though Sardo was interesting then was even more impressed when I saw the actor playing him bring him to life.
Kevin-Do you think that some of the episodes were a little too dark and scary for kids?
Ross- Not really, I think one of the real good attributes of the show was that parents could watch with their kids and still be somewhat entertained. If things got out of hand then I think the parents could easily keep their kids from watching. It certainly got close to the line but I don't think ever crossed it.
Kevin- Were you a fan of Goosebumps in the 90's?
Ross- No, although it provided a lot of work for some actor friends of mine back then I don't think I have ever seen an episode.
Patricia- Are you a good storyteller in real life?
Ross- I think I have some good storytelling techniques, yes. After all what I do know as a meteorologist is very much telling a story and sometimes the weather can be scary too.
Patricia- What were some funny moments that you had on Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Ross- I remember Daniel and I getting into some trouble at times. We would throw shrubs and branches from the set at each other...sometimes even push each other into the dirt. It was childish I know but hey, I was playing a kid so I'll use the excuse that it helped me get into character.
Kevin- Were there any actual scary moments?
Ross- Besides the black stuff that I would find in my nose after a day's shooting in a studio replica of a forest with a fire burning all day - not really.
Kevin- Do you still have any of the scripts from the show?
Ross- Yes, I do.
Patricia- What was a typical day at the studio like for Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Ross- Hair and make-up and then hurry up and wait just like any other set. Once we got a rhythm going we would get a lot done though.
Patricia- What was it like being in an episode of Stargate: Atlantis?
Ross- It was a good experience.
Patricia- What made you decide to change your career from being an actor to a meteorologist?
Ross- I always had a passion for broadcasting and television news. My passion was really launched after I worked at Canada's Weather Network.
Patricia- Were you always interested in weather or did you obtain that interest later on?
Ross- Yes, I always had an interest. But once I was exposed to meteorologists and meteorology at The Weather Network then I wanted to know even more.
Patricia- You've traveled to a few places such as Russia , India , China , and New Zealand ? What fond memories and stories can you tell us about your travels?
Ross- I really appreciate the opportunities I've had to travel. The biggest impact that's had is revealing the common traits many of us have despite geographical barriers and divisions. Also, I have come to appreciate how great of a place Canada is and how proud I am to be Canadian.
Oh yeah and when I was in Russia, I was working out in the gym and one of the crew members from the project I was working on came down and told me that I was on TV. Turns out it was Student Bodies dubbed in Russian. Who knew?
Patricia- One more question. What's today's weather forcast?
Ross- Cloud cover today and a high of 11c.
Patricia- Thanks for taking the time to answer these, Ross. We really appreciate it.
Ross- No problem! Thanks for watching!
For all you Ontario residents, you can catch Ross at CTV News. For more information, check out the website at http://www.ctv.ca/. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ross_Hull.
Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.
-Patricia and Kevin
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