Actor Victor Gilbert is one of Canada’s newest young stars
Canada’s Victor Gilbert just turned 10 this month, and already, he has a career many people dream of. He is a sought-after actor, and has worked on many successful commercials, television shows, and films. He is known for his versatility and his exceptional ability to show vulnerability and raw emotion on-screen, constantly captivating audiences. There is little doubt as to why Gilbert is considered one of his country’s best young actors, and he is only just beginning.
When working on films such as The Kiss and The Walking Man, Gilbert’s remarkable capabilities captivate on the big screen. He is extremely versatile, with work expanding across genres and mediums. He has worked alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest stars on the popular Netflix series Hell on Wheels, which he says is the highlight of his already impressive career. He is undoubtedly doing what he was meant to do.
“My mom is a cinematographer and was always filming things and I was always involved. I always thought it was really cool because she would use my sister and me in her movies when she needed kids, so we got to act even when we were babies and toddlers. For us, it’s part of our family. We grew up with this,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert’s acting talents were further exemplified with his work on the most recent AUPE commercial that was released earlier this year. AUPE (Alberta Union of Provincial Employees) is Alberta’s largest union, representing over 90,000 Albertans who work in government, health care, education, boards and agencies, municipalities and private companies. The majority of AUPE’s members work in the public sector. The commercial is a fast-paced look into the types of occupations and roles that AUPE members have, showing their importance in society. The telling spot is titled AUPE: Soundtrack of Alberta.
“My mom says this is a great topic as the AUPE has many different types of very important careers. It is super to be part of an important topic for our province. My mom was part of this union at one point in a previous job she had so she said it’s very important as this union protects people for their job, their safety, their career, their pension, and their longevity on it,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert is one of only two child actors in the entire cast, the other being his sister. He was the lead actor in the section of the commercial about daycares. The scene with Gilbert takes place at a daycare center, where he plays the child the scene focuses on. In the scene, he is pushed on a swing by a daycare worker. He had to swing on a swing set and smile for the entire time he was filmed. It was shot over ten times in the cold weather, and Gilbert never lost the joyful persona he was portraying, as he was aware of his section’s importance to the entire commercial. The Director of the commercial, Colin Waugh, was extremely impressed with the young actor’s talents.
“Sometimes it’s hard to act when nothing is said. Victor had to act with his movements and facial expressions only. He did amazing at portraying joy even without saying anything,” said Waugh. “Victor has already done many great things as a young man, like films, commercials, and photoshoots. It’s very impressive. His patience on set is what distinguished him the most and will contribute to his success.”
When submitting his profile to the casting director of the commercial, Gilbert was booked without even needing to audition. His reputation is already renowned in Alberta, and the casting director knew he would be the ideal actor for the commercial. During the shoot, Gilbert played on a swing and worked with the actress playing the daycare worker. There was no dialogue or sound, as music would be played over the shot, and therefore required outstanding facial acting and body language. Gilbert was up to the task, and made sure to portray a happy, joyful child who enjoyed the company of the daycare worker. This was no trouble for Gilbert, as he was playing a character very close to his actual personality.
“The director apparently said ‘cut’ in one of the takes, and so we thought we were done filming the scene, but he continued filming us when we didn’t know, because he says that way people are really natural. That is one of the takes he used in the final cut,” Gilbert described. “The team was super easy to work with. Very casual, yet professional. Also, the whole scene was outside, and it was beautiful out, even though it was a little cold. I love playing outside. I love scenes where we film outside, especially on a playground. The lady who was playing the worker was super nice. She was pushing me super high on the swing.”
The commercial aired on Global Television, one of the country’s largest broadcasters, all throughout the province of Alberta. For Gilbert, being only nine years old at the time and having everyone he knows see his face on television could have been intimidating, but he already knew the importance of such a project for his career. He wants to help people through his work, and create a lasting impact on his audiences, and this commercial gave him the chance to do just that.
Watch the AUPE commercial here, and make sure to check out Gilbert’s work.