The Orville’s Kai Wener recently took some time to talk to TVGrapevine about the show, life and what’s next!
Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got started in acting.
I was born and raised in Southern California and looking forward to my 11th birthday approaching in just few short weeks! When I was younger, I would walk around my house imitating scenes and commercials that I saw on The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. I loved it so much, that before I knew it, I was in front of an Agent that signed me and started sending me out on auditions.
How are you involved in The Orville?
I play “Ty Finn” who is the youngest son of the The Orville’s Chief Medical Doctor, “Dr. Claire Finn”, played by Penny Johnson-Jerald. Ty is best friends with an artificial life form named, “Isaac”, played by Mark Jackson, who he also looks at as kind of a father figure.
What attracted you to the project?
When I first read the script, I saw the show was created by Seth Macfarlane. That made me super excited because I know he created so many other great shows like “Family Guy”, “American Dad”, and “The Cleveland Show.”
How would you describe your character?
Ty loves his Mother and his family. He also loves adventures and has already been stranded on an alien planet, found a cave of skeletons, and helped to save “The Orville” from being taken over!
What do you hope people like about the show?
I hope that people recognize and like that “The Orville” and everyone that works on the show, really tries to pay tribute to Star Trek and all of the great Sci-Fi shows from the past.
What do you hope happens next on the show?
“The Orville” and it’s characters have so much more story to tell, so I definitely hope what happens next for the show is that it gets picked up for a third season and many more seasons after that!
What is a memorable moment from filming?
When we filmed my first episode of “The Orville” in Season 1, called “Into the Fold”, we shot it in the middle of a forrest and Bj Tanner, who plays my older brother, “Marcus Finn”, and I had a long night shoot. Mr. Seth Macfarlane was directing that episode and I think he wanted to bring our energy up, so he started giving us directions in the voice that he does for “Peter Griffin” and “Stewie Griffin” from “Family Guy.” It was the funniest thing and just what we needed to get through the night!
What was the most challenging part of playing your role?
There are some scenes that I do with a CGI (computer generated imagery) character on the show named, “Yaphit”, and I have to use my imagination to react to seeing things that aren’t really there yet when I’m filming. So the most challenging part of playing my role is making sure that I’m doing everything correctly, looking in the right place or moving in the right direction, for the special effects team to add in the CGI in the editing room.
What’s next for you?
Well I’ve been auditioning for some really great projects during this pilot season, and I am also super excited to say that I will be working on another project for the FOX network that is set to air this summer! So you’ll have to stay tuned to find out more!
Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
I have been a straight “A” student since the first grade and I am on my school’s “Math-letes” team!
What are you watching on TV these days?
For some strange reason, I’ve been watching a lot of “Dr. Pimple Popper” lately! I’m so addicted!
Anything else you want to share?
I would really like to take a moment to say “Thank You” to all of the fans of “The Orville” and “Ty Finn.” The Sci-Fi community has been really great and I know a lot of the show’s success has been because of their support!