Levi Meaden is best known for his breakout role in the fourth and final season of Netflix’s acclaimed Emmy nominated series, The Killing, from Executive Producer Veena Sud. As “AJ Fielding,” Meaden played a charismatic and over-achieving student at the military academy whose friendship and protection came with a price.
Levi can be currently seen recurring on Syfy’s new show, Olympus. The series captures the dangerous courage of a few brave men and women who banished the Gods to the realm of the unconscious – a place they called the Underworld or the Kingdom of Hades. Olympus premiered on April 2.
Raised in Calgary, Alberta, Levi started acting at the age of 12 in local theatre. After high school, he moved to the Czech Republic where he studied writing and directing at the Prague Center for Film Education, formerly a branch of FAMU. Faced with a lack of quality English-speaking actors, Levi called on his past experience, working in front of the camera not only in his own films but also dozens of other student films. Under the watchful eye of Simon Howard, a graduate of the Drama Center London, Levi began to truly hone his craft.
Upon graduation Levi returned to Canada and moved to Vancouver, BC where he landed roles on such hit American shows as iZombie (CW), Almost Human (Fox) and The 100 (CW), on which he recurred. Levi also returned to stage for the play, Beyond Therapy. He next stars on screen in the psychological thriller Alice in the Attic.
Levi still enjoys working behind the camera as much as being in front. His first major producing effort, a feature length documentary titled Citizen Marc, recently premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival and was released in theatres in 2014.
When did you decide you want to be an actor?
It was an ongoing process. As a kid, I would basically decide my future job based on whichever movie I had just finished. This usually meant I wanted to be a jet pilot one day and a lawyer the next. So naturally my parents suggested acting as a distraction. I do not think they realized I would try and make a job out of it. As I got older my focus shifted behind the camera, and I ended up going to school in Prague for writing and directing. Due to a lack of English speaking actors, and my experience I ended up shifting my focus to acting. I think it was there that I decided.
What was your first role?
There was dozens of short films but my first paid role was in a film called 1313: Bigfoot Island, it was interesting to say the least.
What were your dreams as a child?
I had a recurring dream of a wizard that would trap my family and friends and force us to play a life sized game of chess—oh wait, you mean the other kind of dreams. Fall in love I think. Also wanted a fighter jet, not sure that one attainable. Maybe I can play Goose’s kid in a Top Gun sequel.
Tell us about your character Kimon in the SyFy series Olympus?
Kimon is an inherently lonely character. He comes form the lowest echelon of Greek life and has worked hard to get into a position of some stature. He is willing to do whatever it takes to keep from falling back into the hole he crawled out of.
How was working on a very successful show like The Killing?
It was a dream come true. I have been a fan of the show since the first season, so when I was cast I was ecstatic. I think it was a pretty special experience to be on the last season of the show, especially since it had been brought back from the brink of death twice. Every day on set was a joy. The crew, the cast, the producers, everybody was so happy to have one more season. I think it may be the happiest set I have ever been on. Which is saying something given the dark nature of the show.
Tell us about your role in Alice in the Attic?
I play Jack, a young man who visits his estranged aunt after a 10-year absence. When he arrives he discovers that she is locked her daughter in the attic due to a strange illness, and taken in two comely catholic girls. With the help of the girls I begin to discover more and soon come to question my aunt’s mental state. A love triangle forms and I am forced to make a decision about what to do with my cousin. It is a twisted, challenging thriller. I can not wait for people to see it.
Besides acting, do you have any hobbies?
I am a huge movie nerd. So I spend a lot of time watching old movies. I worked as a cook for years, so now cooking is my zen moment of a day. I also try to write every day.
What do you like to watch on tv?
My favorite drama is probably Thursday Night Football. But other than that I watch a lot of comedies, like Bob’s Burgers, Archer, Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and Silicone Valley. As far as scripted drama’s go, I love Game of Thrones, and True Detective. My favorites of all time though are Simpsons (season 1 -9 make for the best TV show ever), Twilight Zone and Arrested Development.
Keep working on my acting career; slowly begin to branch out into writing and directing. I still need to get to a place with writing and directing where I feel confident in my ability.
How’s your typical day?
I wake up around 10, answer emails, and look over scripts and sides. After that I generally tape auditions for a friend or myself. Then I go to the gym. Shower. Cook. Write. Then goof around with friends.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Alternating between working on a series and working on my own projects.
What’s your own definition of happiness?
Who and what inspires you?
Football, old movies, and music. Also Gore Vidal, Charles Chaplin, and Orson Welles.
Best advice ever given?
Treat everything with the severity it deserves but a lightness of touch.
What is on your bucket list?
Star in a Top Gun sequel.
What quote do you live by?
I try not to live my life by a simple quote alone, but I guess, “Okay, let’s see what happens next.”
if you could star in a re-make of a classic film, who would you want to play?
Goose in a Top Gun remake.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
Your ego will keep you from enjoying a lot of things. Get over yourself kid, being morose does not help.
What do you like most about acting?
I think it is the chance to live in the moment. A lot of times in life it seems like I am constantly waiting for something in the future or looking into the past but when I’m acting I get to just focus on the moment. It does not always happen, but when it does it is amazing.
Something people don’t know about you?
My roommates and I foster dogs. We are often too busy to take care of a dog full time, but if we find ourselves with a down week or two we take in what we can. There are a number of agency’s that do it and it’s a great way to find companionship and save a life. Word of warning: it can be trying at times.
What music do you like?
I have been through a phase of almost everything, but a few years ago I got bored with everything but hip-hop, so now it is exclusively that.
How important is Social Media for you?
I want to say it’s not important to me, but that would be a lie. It is an addiction, and as much as I want to get away from it, it keeps pulling me back in.
Where we can follow you?
What’s your favorite sports team?
I love football, and I love the Seahawks. Closest thing to a home team we have in Vancouver.
I can not go a week without craving a good hamburger.
Favorite Travel destination?
Berlin. Love that city. Love Germany and Europe, but Berlin is truly amazing. Also the beach from Top Gun.
Photo Credit: Marc Cartwright