On his experience on My Christmas Inn, he said, “We had fun on this one. We seriously laughed all day and every day. The cast, crew and our director Peter were amazing to work with. It’s hard not to have a blast when you’re making a heart-warming Christmas movie, but this one was extra special.
He continued, “We filmed up in Utah which is just beautiful, and I hadn’t been back there to film since we shot American Mall so many years ago. So that was cool. I got to catch up with some of the crew from American Mall too.
On starring with Tia Mowry, he said, “She is one of the raddest people on this planet, and I mean it. She’s had one hell of a career and I was so honored to get to work with her. She’s super cool, so down to earth, so fun and funny. We just laughed and laughed. It’s crazy that I get to call this work. It sure didn’t feel like it.”
Mayes added, “My heart goes out to her and her family for their recent loss at the Borderline shooting, just yesterday. I am completely shocked and heartbroken for her and her family, and for the other lives that were lost.”
When asked what motivates him each day, Mayes responded, “I strive to create each day. I strive to get better at creating each day. To judge my creativity less, but to somehow still be more and more discerning. For me, the busier I am, the happier and more motivated I seem to be. Good shows, good movies, good music. That inspires me, and what inspires me, motivates me.”
For aspiring actors, he said, “To really trust your own self and gut and heart, because that’s where our intuition lies and that’s what’s always guided me and that’s really what acting is all about. Trusting your instincts.”
Digital transformation of entertainment industry
On the impact of technology on the entertainment business, Mayes acknowledged that it has changed it so much. “Us as individuals are more of a brand than ever before. It can be dehumanizing and daunting, or it can be a vehicle to show the world who you really are. And to have reach but it’s important to be authentic. Why copy someone else? No one wants to see that. Plus, it just makes you look silly.”
Mayes continued, “Now with streaming, there are more outlets than ever for quality series and movies. There’s lots of content. Good content motivates me. I could go on and on about tech in the biz, and it’s all going to keep changing, and rapidly. None of us really know what the future holds. I’m interested, and maybe a bit uneasy, as to what’s to come, but in the meantime, I’m in the here and now. I do think that Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are reducing our attention spans, which will reflect the type of and duration of content to come.”
On his use of technology in his daily routine, Mayes said, “I use Instagram every day, and quite honestly probably far too much, but it’s addicting. I do like though engaging with the world and my audience and with the fans I do have. I like to share my days with them to perhaps, motivate them? To give them a glimpse into my life? The routine, the work, and the fulfillment that comes from all that?”
Mayes continued, “I don’t really shed light on the disappointments, and that’s a whole other conversation. Social media shows us ‘all the amazing things people are doing and all their success and happiness and smiles and laughter.’ But is that realistic? No. So, it’s good to have perspective and to not let technology skew your perspective. Stay grounded.”
His long list of dream female acting partners includes such actresses as Marion Cotillard, Melanie Laurent, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Natalie Portman, Kathryn Hahn, and Gal Gadot. In music, he would love to work with Reba McEntire, Carly Pearce, Tori Kelly, and Miranda Lambert.
For his fans and viewers, he concluded about My Christmas Inn, “Guys, I can’t wait. I can’t wait to watch it with all of you. I hope you enjoy.”