Alex Cubis represents part of the new wave of successful young actors reaching their mark via a variety of platforms and mediums. In the past year alone, the trained thespian has started hosting his own podcast for iTunes, served as an official juror for the 4th Annual Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival (LADFF), and appeared in a lead role in the hit mockumentary “Unverified” for Funny Or Die. These accomplishments, all on top of his other leading acting roles around the world, mark what he calls “the result of lots of hard work.”
The Australian actor will appear in a juicy role in the second season of a cultural juggernaut for a huge streaming service. But before we get to that, Alex sits down with us to talk about how his career has reached such dizzying heights. “I’ve been very blessed.” Blessed indeed. After moving to Los Angeles to feature as the lead of auteur Mike Gan’s film “No Evil,” opposite “Marvel: Agents of S-H-I-E-L-D” actress Julia Aks, Alex was invited to attend numerous award ceremonies in celebration of “No Evil’s” success. Some of those festivals, including the Palm Springs ShortFest, Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, and Internationale Kurzfilmwoche Regensburg in Germany (all of which qualified the project for Oscar-contention), brought Alex in direct contact with key decision makers in Hollywood.
“Many people I met along the way were already familiar with my work, so meeting these power players face-to-face I think just gave a more relatable face to my name.” Some of that work with which those power players were familiar include Alex’s leading role as Erik in Netflix’s “Mako Mermaids,” which brought him worldwide fame to millions of viewers, celebrity football player Kyle Mannix in ABC’s “Rake,” and romantic love interest Ryan Sanders in the Amazon-show “The Gauntlet.” Those roles in part attracted the people behind the LADFF, a world-renowned film festival helmed by industry leaders Hollis McLachlan and Sonja Mereu (producer at Flathead Films), to invite Alex to be a judge for their slate of films. Per Hollis, Alex “voted on the following categories: Acting, Production Value, and Representation of Diversity.”
Alex elaborates on his experience judging at the LADFF. “It was really fun and inspiring – it felt like such an honour to have my opinion about these films valued. Some of the films I awarded, like “I Am Still Here” have gone to be profiled in Deadline about their importance causes. In that case, it brought much needed attention to the issue of sex trafficking.”
As noted by EverFest.com, “the three-day celebration of cinema features independent works in the realms of short and feature length film and span all genres, from gripping emotional dramas, to light-hearted, feel-good comedies. Q&As, expert panels and world premieres are just a few of the additional attractions.”
But judging films and acting is not entirely what has kept Alex occupied recently. In fact, he’s been busy with a slew of acting and industry projects that have reinforced his position as a trailblazer in entertainment. Most notably, he stars in a leading role in the US feature film “Just Within Reach,” opposite fellow high-achieving actors Estella Warren (“Planet of the Apes,” “Law & Order: SVU,”), Thomas Duffy (“The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Varsity Blues,”) and Lenny Von Dolen (“Twin Peaks”). That project, helmed by Broadway director Anna Bamberger, has already received coverage from several leading publications in which Alex was profiled for playing the lead role of “Mike,” a young man who is caught in the middle of a drug ring in a wealthy community while also having to care for his sick father. Alex also enjoyed working alongside producer Shea Farrell, known for his work on the Golden-Globe winning “Glee” and “Ally McBeal”.
“I was very fortunate to have the experience on working on “Just Within Reach,” Alex tells us. “The story is a really strong one and we were really lucky to shoot on such cool locations in Los Angeles.”
Straight after that project wrapped, Alex was onto his next one, a pilot for YouTube Red called “Nia” in which he played the dark role of Womanizer. While the character’s name might suggest it was insignificant, it was in reality anything but, with Alex acting in a lead role. “That character was very different to mine – but because I had the most lines in the project I had the responsibility of living in his twisted energy the entire shoot. Quite the challenge!” That it was made for the innovative online entertainment company meant the shooting experience was faster, but also, as Alex explains, “afforded the producers and director greater creative freedom.”
Showing off his talent for exploring a wide range of genres, Alex moved onto playing the lead role of Andrew in the hit mockumentary series, “Unverified.” Distributed by the comedy powerhouse Funny Or Die, from founders Will Ferrell and Adam McKay (“The Big Short”), “Unverified” found awards success at the Accolade Global Film Festival, was given glowing reviews by TubeFilter and Film Ink among others, and co-starred Joel Hogan (“Open Water 3: Cage Dive”), Courtney Dlugos (“South Beach”) and Landon Merrell (the upcoming “Dumplin’ with Jennifer Aniston).
All the while, Alex’s wide reach in the acting world is being confirmed with his hugely popular podcast, “Honest Conversations with Alex Cubis” where he has hosted fellow stars like Cariba Heine (“H20”, “Designated Survivor” with Kiefer Sutherland) and Peta Sergeant (“The Originals”, “Snowfall” on FX) on iTunes. Commissioned for a second season and licensed for worldwide distribution by Nova Entertainment, Alex exclaims to enjoy “sitting down with incredibly successful people and deciphering their points of view and how they formulate their artistry.” It probably helps that Alex, whose loyal online fan base is only one mark of how screenings of his projects garner intense audience interest, has substantial experience in the theatre too. His roles on stage, internationally and at home, are frequently cited by producers for being the reason why they trust him so much as an actor.
Up next for the ever-busy Aussie? He’ll be playing the key role of Nicolas in season 2 of the Netflix critical and commercial smash, “Dear White People.” Alex adds, “being directed by Justin Simien, who won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, has been pretty awesome.” Alex’s role in the series is crucial because he plays an antagonist, representing a critical component in the tapestry of white privilege which has brought the award-winning series worldwide attention and a loyal fan-base. “I’m excited for that to start airing. The second season should be even better than the first.”