By Alex Gonzalez
Who’s Watching? introduces a rising screen star, who details their latest role, and how they got there, in their own words. In Halo, a new show adapted from the hit video game series, nonbinary actor Olive Gray plays Miranda Keyes, a powerful scientist with a strong sense of right and wrong. In addition to acting, Gray sings and writes poetry, making them a force to be reckoned with, not unlike their kickass sci-fi counterpart.
Name: Olive Gray
Astrological sign: Sagittarius sun, Sagittarius moon, Leo rising
Born in: Cambridge
Where they live now: North London
Their first gig: My first gig was a TV show called [The Story of ] Tracy Beaker. At the time, it was the biggest kids’ TV show. I went to a charity event and was spotted in the crowd and was asked to audition.
Their breakout moment: I would say playing Grace in Save Me. It’s on Peacock in the United States.
What they turn to for inspiration: My mum is just the biggest inspiration ever. She’s the most wonderful, wise, and brilliant person, alongside my dad. And Angela Davis — I love everything that I’ve ever read that she’s written. I’ve gone to see her talk and was blown away by what she had to say. For someone to create that level of change and to also still be current in creating change today, is super rare. I think it’s super inspirational that she’s still at the forefront.
Fiona Apple, too, I think she’s one of the most wonderful musicians ever. She is a constant inspiration for me in music. Judy Garland is also an endless inspiration. She was put through so much by the film industry and still persisted and made such amazing work in spite of that. She has the most wonderful voice I’ve ever heard in my life. And Hayley Williams [of Paramore], similar to Fiona, I’m just super inspired by her and the music she makes.
Who they lean on for support: My mum, my dad, my best friend, Clayton, and my brother, Tyler.
Their latest role: I play Miranda Keyes on Halo. She is the head of xenological research and development at the UNSC. The UNSC is this big military empire. Miranda is super hardworking, highly intelligent, and skilled at what she does. She’s ambitious, and she’s passionate, but I think that the thing that sets her apart from that world is her strong sense of justice. She wears her heart on her sleeve. And in a logic-based environment, it’s very unusual.
What they’re streaming: I just finished Inventing Anna. Apart from that, I must confess, 90 percent of my viewing experience is cartoons. So right now, I’m rewatching BoJack Horseman for the third time. I thought it was quite fitting, as I’m in Los Angeles for the first time. I’m also watching Bob’s Burgers.