Avocado Toast - With a Side of Scott Cavalheiro (actor and producer)

INTERVIEW WITH Scott Cavalheiro (he/him) - Actor and filmmaker and plays Hunter on Avocado Toast the series. Scott talks with Heidi Lynch about his production company "Stained Tie Films" and the fine line between comedy and drama as an actor. As well as a shout out to the season upon us: his Netflix Christmas film "Christmas with a View"!



Heidi Lynch

Hi Scott.

Scott Cavalheiro

Oh, hi.

HL

Hi. How are you?

SC

I'm good. I'm not as matching my background as you are with those baby blue [eyes].

HL

Thank you so much. I had my first Zoom callback like 20 minutes ago. It was very awkward, but I brought out all the stops. I put some shit on my face. It's a rare thing. Tried to match my eyeballs.

SC

How'd the audition go?

HL

I don't know. It was my first one. Everyone's been doing them and talking about how horrible they are, but it was in the comfort of my own home. Had some pictures around me that I that helped me with the thing I was doing.

SC

[joking] I did one the other day for Naked News. And it went really well.

HL

I was just going to say, I want to try doing one naked from the waist down. Just to feel the empowerment of like, “yes, you can tell me to do things and I'll do them, but I'm naked, and you don't know it”. That’s weird but…

SC

Oh wow. That's a great, I wonder how many people do naked Zoom auditions.

HL

Right? I mean, I've wonder how many people act and, you know, I've never acted naked. I'm sure- I'm sure you have definitely topless many times because you’re beautiful, but-

SC

Unfortunately, yes, I've shared too much of myself with-

HL

[laughing] Not enough.

SC

Some people prefer bottomless mimosas. I prefer bottomless auditions.

HL

There you go. That's the secret to your success! No joke though. No joke though. We met when I was 17 and we were like trying to figure out how to learn, how to be actors in a weird school system. Cut to today: I was trying to pick out credits to list and you have too many. So I'm just going to talk to you about Avocado Toast.

SC

Please. I think you should. I think that's, that's definitely my top two favourite set experiences of all time.

HL

That's extremely generous. I'm sure you're joking, but I really appreciate it. I do actually, I do really want to talk to you just because Christmas is upon us and because Perrie is obsessed with Christmas movies. So she'll appreciate this. What was Christmas with a View like? Like what was shooting that like?



SC

That, that actually was - I think that was my that was my top set experience ever

HL

Amazing!

SC

Only because I mean, there are many reasons only because that are separate from Avocado Toast. Because we were shooting at Horseshoe Valley, the ski resort.

HL

Oh my gosh! I think that’s where I learned to ski!

SC

As we all did.

HL

Horseshoe Valley!

SC

Yeah. So we were in the lodge, we're in the, they have new condos and they put the actors up in the condos. And we stayed there for three weeks. So it was like, you're in this weird - not weird, this magical winter camp. And every day you wake up and you walk to set because literally you go down from your condo and you're there, you're on, you're on the ski hills or you're in the resort or wherever shooting. And I knew Kaitlyn Leeb, who I played opposite of, I'd worked with her 10 years prior on like a Sony commercial? And so it was so, and I hadn't seen her for 10 years. So it was like so nice to rekindle that. The entire production was amazing. I mean, Vivica A. Fox is one of the most hilarious people you could ever meet. She was there. And then there was some great sub stars like Jess Walton and, and whatnot. And they were just so they're so vulnerable. They're like these, you know, you know, when you meet people and they have like, you could be talking to them about avocados and they could be like tearing up. They'll be like, “they're just SO nice”.

HL

Awww!

SC

They were so vulnerable. And I was like, Oh my God, I can't wait to film with them.

HL

Well, my question too, for people who don't know this about Scott, cause you haven't had him on your set. Scott is like a master of play. He never does anything the same way twice. He likes to- he brings so much creative energy to everybody. My question is too, like what was playing like on that set? Where people into playing, do people take things really seriously? Like what was the vibe?

SC

On Christmas with a View?

HL

Yeah.

SC

Well that one was, you know, it's, it's sort of by a network by network basis. And also if the creatives are egoless, really, I think when it comes to, you know, working on projects like with you guys, you guys are so egoless that you were so open to ideas and, and improv and also different takes on things. So that is, that makes our job amazing. As you know. And then on, on Christmas with a view, I lucked out on that as well. A lot of that movie is actually improv because it, at, when we shot it, it had a tentative deal with Netflix, but it didn't have a network that's confined to, you know, if you go to Hallmark, you can't say the word, ‘God’, you can't do this. You can't do that. If you go with OUTtv, there's also different constraints. If you go to lifetime constraints with Netflix, it's kind of, you almost have free rein and they just gave, they didn't even give us any feedback on notes or anything. They just apparently passed through the script once. So like it's good. Do your own thing. And the director, Justin Dyke who then became a really good friend. He was so good. He's he, again, another guy who's not who doesn't have an ego and he's like “Uhhh yep! Uhhh that's better than anything I could think of. So uh, let’s move on!”

HL

Awww! That’s so sweet. Yeah. It was the best part. Like you hear people saying that a lot of directors do say that like 90% of the jobs casting with Avocado Toast specifically, I mean, we had written those parts for those actors nine times out of 10. So we, as much as it is us being like generous and egoless, we were also depending on you guys, we were like, ‘we know they get this. We know they see inside our brains as we learn how to write’. But like obviously we had full trust with like you and Mag [Ruffman] and stuff like that because you'd been a part of it for so long. Like you shot the trailer with us. So did Maika Harper then she had to get recast with Nelu Handa, which we were so happy about, but we'd written the part for you. And we knew that you were gonna make it better than anything we could think of. So thank you for that.

SC

That's very sweet. Arguably, very dicey to put that in my hands. It could have went two ways and I think it went in the middle.

HL

It's a fine line, but we were on that line. We walked that tight rope and I think we got gold.



Brenda Robins and Scott in Avocado Toast the series

SC

You know, it's funny. I, I remember just checking in with Sam [Coyle], every take and I'd be like, ‘is she okay with what I just did?’ Because know Sam, she's kind of stone-faced. Right, and she's so focused and she'll be like watching the monitors and go ‘Cut. That's great. We're gonna move on’. And I'm like, yeah, are you sure? Cause I said some pretty racist stuff there. Like that was very weird. She's like, ‘yeah, it'll come together’.

HL

I know. I think every time. She was like, that's what Heidi and Perrie [Voss] want, so. ‘Yep. Yep. We're good. We're moving on’. Yeah, no, we got, there's so many things that we still didn't even get to use yet that I'm sure Perrie's prepping for some meme to use one day. But yeah, no, it was amazing. It was amazing. I would also love to just briefly chat about something that people might not know about you or might know about you, but you also do a lot of work behind the camera and you have a production company called Stained Tie. There are many projects to talk about, but because Avocado Toast the series is so focused on amplifying the female voice. And because I love your wife, I would really like to hear about Who Is Hannah a little bit and what that experience was like creating with your real life partner?



SC

Well, first off everything that is Stained Tie is because of Claire [Cavalheiro]. And I came in at, you know, the last moment at the 11th hour to be part of the company. And I think really it's just sort of a bias because we're married that I'm allowed to still work with her, but Who Is Hannah was interesting because I think Claire and I had just maybe were dating for about a year at the time and no, not even wow. Because that was 2013. And she had this story that was loosely based on her experience of meeting her biological father for the first time. And she had, it had written it with a comedian John Hastings who is just a treat. A very, very funny guy. And she sort of said, ‘Hey, do you want to do you want to produce this?’ And I was like, "yeah, I mean, no problem”.

HL

[laughs]

SC

Of course I'll do it having no idea what to do. And we, you know, we, we pulled it all together as, you know, things just magically come together when everyone is working towards the same goal and Claire was at the helm, you know, just so, so knowing what she wanted to do with it, and she just entrusted the right people Marco Brian being the director and you know, everything down to casting, Rachel Wilson, casting everyone and it was just, you know, she just knew she didn't know who she wanted, but she knew what she was looking for. And they were kind of no brainers when, when we came up with the cast and then on set, it was a very overwhelming experience. And I don't know if you've ever felt this on your first day of Avocado Toast, but it was so emotional to see all the moving parts together. It's like the you know, breakfast is hot and ready. The camera team is prepped in the camera. The lighting team is setting up everything. Claire's in hair and makeup perfectly on time. Everyone's doing what they should do. And as a producer, it's like, you have a moment of silence, which felt like it was forever where you're like, everything is as it should be. And it just, yeah, such an incredibly emotional experience. I think I had to step out and had to, I was just getting choked up. I was like, man, this is so amazing that people are coming together and helping Claire realize her, her story and her, her dream of doing it.

HL

Yep. I absolutely like, I can physically feel that feeling. I had that feeling on our first day too. And it was also such a gift because I mean, as you know, for other experiences like writing, producing, and starring in something, it can be really overwhelming. The producer duties take up your whole life and your whole brain. And I wasn't used to it. I was used to just coming on and being an actor. So it's different and Perrie and I had both gotten very caught up in the stress and all the things that had to be done. And it was the day before shooting, and we kind of just said like, ‘Charlie [David], we both need to just go home for a night and work on our lines and just show up tomorrow morning at a calltime, is that cool?’ And he was like, ‘absolutely not a problem’. And he, you know, picked up all the balls. I should use a better metaphor. [laughs] He you know-

SC

He just put on all the hats.

HL

And Sam, our director led, led the charge. And when we showed up there, we sh we showed up to this beautifully set deck lit place with food and the hair and makeup team were ready for us. And we got to just do our, I walked home that night being like, ‘Oh my God, we're actually going to pull it off’. Like I was just in shock. But yeah, it's beautiful. When a group of people can put a project ahead of themselves to achieve this crazy goal that we do for a career.

SC

I know, I know it's, it's, it's unbelievable. And I mean, you know, things, things are drastically have changed since a year ago when - Oh my God. Was that a year ago?

HL

Yes. It was a year ago. It was a year ago in November. It was yeah. A year ago. That's crazy.

SC

Yeah. November 14th. I remember was my first day. And we were shooting right over here in my living room.

HL

Oh, in your home?! Which is also the set of Mag [Ruffman] and Jefferson [Mappin]'s house in Avocado Toast.

SC

If you look over here, this is the garage where no, no…

HL

[Laughs]

SC

And the bar is actually, if we look over here - every bit of Avocado Toast was filmed on my property and I couldn't be-

HL

[laughs]

SC

The diner that's to my basement.

HL

[laughs] Oh my gosh. I have not asked you for all of my favours for season 2 yet. So funny though, you've mentioned the whole thing being shot at your house… I'm just kidding.

SC

Well, let’s chat about it.

HL

Oh yeah. That's a crazy trip one year.

SC

Yeah. Wild. Well, I, I certainly hope certainly hope we get to do will you guys get to do a second season.

HL

Oh my gosh. Me too. We've got some great, great Hunter moments in store, so yeah.

SC

I cannot wait.

HL

Yeah. So also, as I mentioned, your lovely wife, Claire, I did a genius thing. I forget what it was a couple of years ago, but you were like, ‘Hey, Heidi, you want to come take this comedy class?’ And I was like, ‘yeah, comedy terrifies me. And I hate it. Sure. That's a great idea’. But then, because - Murphy's Law, you and Claire were supposed to teach this class together and you still popped in as much as you physically could, but you were shooting. But I had a really wonderful time learning from Claire. And I remember she gave me my first script was from Ghost BFF, which is another Bell Funded web series. And the script was so good and I hadn't read it. I'd heard of the web series, but I hadn't read the script, the scene involved some poop. So I was like, ‘Oh, she gets me. She gets me’. I had to like say poop or something to talk about poop. And that was that was a great experience. But it also, like, it made me appreciate “comedians”. I put quotations because for me it doesn't make sense to compartmentalize actors to say that like, this is a comic actor because often I find some comic actors are like the best dramatic actors too. And they don't get seen in that light.




SC

I've been thinking about that a lot. Like when I think of actors who, you know, my manager, my agent was asking me the other day. They're like, ‘okay, well, when, when COVID is over in 2031 what do you wanna do, you know, what do you want to do? Do you know, what do you wanna focus on?’ And they were talking about other actors. And I was like, well, you know, something, something, something Ryan Reynolds is getting old and I feel like he needs people to step in and take over his position. And then like he comedian, is he a dramatic actor? Like, how do you, you know, someone who does funny movies doesn't necessarily mean you're a comedian, but what would you call? What does he help me out?

HL

Who Ryan Reynolds? Yeah.

SC

What would you consider him?

HL

Yeah, I mean, he does comedies a lot, but I think he's got, I think he's got the meat and potatoes. Like, I think he's got a lot of substance to him. If he's put into a different category. It's just funny. Like, when you see actors who are always in comedy, he's always in comedies and then you see them in a serious role. And it just blows me away for some reason. But I find that serious actors can't always lend themselves to comedy for some reason.

SC

Yeah. Everyone always has their own take on it. And they're like, ‘Oh, Jonah Hill ?brilliant. Such a good comedian’. And then he does well in drama, but I find that I find that the other is more impressive to me for whatever reason. Because it does seem harder going from drama. Like, remember when you saw Tom Cruise and Tropic Thunder, and he's playing this guy with like hand implants and like he's bald. Do you remember the scene?

HL

I don't remember, but I want to rewatch it now.

SC

So, you know, he's certainly not him. He's not handsome. He's this sort of, you know, just he looks like an accountant.

HL

Yeah, no, you, you are. I don't know. It's tricky. I'm clearly not clear in my opinions either here, but like, Jason Bateman when he goes, like Ozark blew my mind. Because I'm so used to him and Arrested Development and, and he's like essentially playing the same character, but not the same, but it's like, he's still this really straight laced guy, but in Arrested Development, he becomes the straight man of that family. And then in Ozark, he's like this neurotically calm guy. Yeah. I think you're trying to say it impresses me when people can do.

SC

Yes, no, I agree. I agree. And I'm actually come to think of it, you are so right. That there's such a small difference between his character in Ozarc and his character in Arrested Development. And I think, I think maybe the difference is literally is just in the cinematography. They're like, you know, ‘We're going to go in for a closeup. Can you do just a little bit less?’ You're doing the same thing, but he's not like ‘I'm freaking out family’, you know what I mean? So maybe that's it. I should tell them that on a, I dunno, an Avocado Toast, just punch in a little tighter and instantly it's just a dark drama. Yeah.




HL

A dark, gritty drama. That's definitely what we're going for season 2. So really good tips. Oh yeah. Yeah. I'm just kidding. It's still still comedy. We talk about some serious issues, but it's still going to be trying to bring the funny, like always I that's my view. I like both comedy, like is so much more, more fun to me if it's weighted in something real. I think.

SC

I think - Maybe I'm speaking out of line here. But to me in terms of my taste gone are the days when you can just make and watch a flat comedy, like just straight up. If it's not addressing, you know, not canvassing some form of world issue on the whole or has like it's smarter than it. It, it leads to believe.

HL

YES.

SC

Like, well, I don't know. I was, I was been watching Cobra Kai, have you seen that?

HL

[nods yes]

SC

So I'm like, why am I watching this? It's so bad. And I'm like choking up with the humility of the characters. And like, I just identify with, with Cobra Kai so much because I'm like just someone who perceptively has a low sense of, or has been like dealt a bad hand, you know, I'm like, 'Oh gosh, I know, I know what that feels like'. And then you just have so many people supporting him, like this kid wanting so bad for him to succeed and to be like the mentor that he dreams of. And it's just like tugging on my heartstrings, but yet the show is bad.

HL

I know because you, because I think for me when I start a show and it's that bad I have to finish it because I have to figure out if it's so bad, it's good. Or if it's just bad and it takes me till the end, because there's, there'll be a moment where I'm like, ‘Oh my God, I think it's so bad. It's good. Nope. Just bad. Oh my God. It's getting so bad. I think it might be good again’. And I do always think I'm like, am I missing something? Like, I'm going to get heat from anyone who's following this. Who's a woman probably. But I tried to watch Ratchet on Netflix and it is so expensive, but so bad in my books. I'm like, Oh my God. I'm like, it's I kept them. I kept being like, is it so bad, it's good? Because so many people have said, it's good, but I just, I was like laughing hysterically.

SC

The peanut gallery from the next room? AKA Claire, Just said, “I agree!”.

HL

Oh my gosh. Thank you. Yes it's so, and it's when you look at it, I mean, you guys will know when you see, you're like, ‘wow, this thing is expensive’.

SC

Is big budget like a lot of set pieces and stuff?

HL

Yeah. And the production design and the colour and the sets and the costumes. And it's like, I have no idea what the budget is, but it must be huge.

SC

Isn't it just like, she's kind of like Mary Kills People, but in a period piece, like what is it?

HL

Sort of, it's like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The evil nurse from that it's her backstory Nurse Ratchet's backstory. So it's about like a mental health hospital in the fifties, I think. But also it's a mega mansion. And like the doctor's office is like four houses huge. But then he's just complaining about how the hospital has no money. And you're like, how are you in a warehouse of an office? But your hospital has no money - anyways, but many people like it. And I think the queer representation, the two women that are, you know, the women that are on screen, you know, the community is dying for representation that they haven't been getting for a long time. I just am like, want it to be good!

SC

Yeah. Yeah. I certainly find that about TV shows that have like, such a good message. And I feel guilty saying I don't like them.

HL

Yeah.

SC

You know, I'm, I'm certainly in, maybe I'm not favourable with certain films and stuff like over the past years and maybe I shouldn't even name them, but they were movies where they, they started a movement, you know, and I'm like, I cannot wait to see this film and I would love what it stands for. And it's so important that this is content that people are seeing. And then I watch it and I'm like B? B+?. Yeah. You know, and I think that's fine. I think you don’t as a statement, you can appreciate and love it. But as an artist, you don't have to love the art just because the message is good

HL

So true. And it's so the most satisfying is when the art and the message are like in harmony and it meshes then you're like, Oh, you know, but not, everything's going to be like that. And it's so subjective, you know?

SC

Totally.

HL

And everyone's experience of big issues is so different, you know?

SC

Totally. And, you know, did you watch the series Succession? I'm going to geek out?

HL

YES I DID!

SC

See that is a perfect example of, it's almost in a weird way, it’s almost a satire to white privilege and yet it, it, but it's also a show about family and dynamics and, you know, and so you can kind of, it doesn't, from my perspective, you know, you can sort of watch it from any side of the scope. People can identify with the family dynamics. People can identify with making fun of white privilege, and I'm sure there's people who can identify and be like, ‘I am that rich. And I like it’.

HL

Yeah. That show that show, like it was the perfect combination of being like, ‘I hate these people and I hate everything they stand for. Why am I so invested in them?’ You know, I was so invested in the music in that show. That's my running track. I listened to the succession playlist. It's so good.

SC

Two, two minutes and 48 seconds. That song just over and over and over.

SC

Yeah. It's amazing. It's such a good show. There's a, whatever, I feel like I'm taking you off topic, but I, so Jeremy Strong who plays Kendall in the show, I watched the final episode of season 1. This is back when season 1 came out and I you know, for those of you who haven't seen it yet too bad, I'm going to spoil it. Like you should have watched it by now. You know, after he you know, run he's intoxicated and he runs the kid off the road, or he's in the car with him, the kid dies. And he goes back to his dad and his dad, basically, without even saying it, he just gives him a hug, right? In saying that I'll take care of it for you, but the hug was so ensnaring like, now your mine. Anyways! I watched that scene. It was so beautiful. And I knew someone who worked at HBO. I worked with this woman years ago and who worked, who, you know, upgraded to HBO. And I emailed her and I said, ‘Hey, listen, this is not fanmail. But if you see Jeremy like on set’, I think she was part of the marketing department for Succession. And she did like all the interviews and the press kits. And I was like, ‘can you just tell him that if there was a doubt in my mind, which I've had many that I want to leave this career and pursue something a little bit more stable he took away any doubt, because if I could feel an ounce of what he felt in that scene, to me, that is success. That would be what I need to achieve in my career’. And I'm like ‘watching that fuelled me to want to be better and do better and work on better stuff’. And I was just like, ‘I, I love it. You know’.

HL

That's nuts you saying that because I know you so well, you have that thing. You have that potential because you're the thing that I love about Succession is it's SO rooted in like deep, huge feelings and tensions, but it is so funny, but you're almost like horrified, laughing when you're watching it. And you're like, ‘Oh my God, this is horrifying’, but it's, it's dark comedy, but you have this huge well of that stuff inside of you and are so funny that I feel like if you get a part or a script like that, you will be able to do that thing. That's very cool.


Scott Cavalheiro in "Christmas with a View"

SC

That's very kind of you, what you're saying is it's too much it's overwhelming to hear, but no, no.

HL

That's it. I'm rewriting Hunter. Hunter’s going to have some, some deep angst. The beautiful Hunter is going to have some serious depth season 2. He will have gone through some shit.

SC

Ya he has daddy issues.

HL

Daddy issues that he takes out on Patty.

SC

If there's any homework you should prescribe anyone from this podcast is probably watch Avocado Toast and then Succession.

HL

[laughs] Yes. Right.

SC

I think that's something else.

HL

Okay. Amazing. Well, on that note, we'll leave you with that homework, everyone. Thank you so much, Scott.

SC

I so love talking to, I mean, our history is just so, so rich and it's always so nice to see you, especially see you do so well. And I'm so happy to be a part of this journey of yours.

HL

Diddo my friend. We're lucky to have you.


To find out more about Scott's work you can follow him on

Instagram @scottcavalheiro

Twitter @scottcavalheiro

IMDB

And his websites:

https://scottcavalheiro.com and http://stainedtie.com







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