Editor: Michael St. Michael @michaelstmichael
Photography: Zach Alston @zachalston.nyc
Wardrobe: Raven Roberts @_ravenroberts
Men's Grooming: Emily Klein @emilykleinnyc
Interview: Dylan Jader @thedylanjader
Prune: You have an impressive resume, and your big break came with the role of
Anush in Aziz Ansari’s Master of None. Talk to me about that experience.
Gerrard: That was the best thing ever. I got the audition, and I hadn’t booked anything as big as Netflix prior to that. It called for an in-shape Indian man who enjoyed working out, and I thought, “damn, I really hope I book this.” I went in and it was a fun audition. I got the call two weeks later that I booked it, and I was so excited. Alan (Yang) and Aziz (Ansari) were the most welcoming people. The fact that it got the reception that it did was just an added bonus, but it was awesome all around.
Prune: Once the recognizable roles arrived, how did your career change?
Gerrard: Once Master of None came out, it was a big hit, so casting directors recognized me. Starting an audition with someone who’s already seen you in something they appreciate is great. It made auditions more fun and upped my game in feeling more confident. People trust you more because they’ve already seen you, so in that respect, it gave me a boost.
Prune: Fans are currently binge watching you in Orange Is the New Black. Talk to me about your character, Adarsh.
Gerrard: Adarsh is a nurse. He stays behind in the medical area after the riot, and he teams up with Burset (Laverne Cox) to take care of Humphrey, who has been shot. I stay on taking care of patients and do my job until I am forcefully removed from the area. It was awesome, he’s a good guy and he feels like he needs to do what he was hired to do.
Prune: You’ve instantly been labeled “the only good guy” in OITNB. Do you want it to stay that way, or would you like to see Adarsh get in some trouble in upcoming seasons?
Gerrard: Trouble is always great; however, I love the idea that there are good people in the world. Everyone has a dark side to them, so I think seeing some of that might be interesting, but it doesn’t always have to be so cynical where everyone has some horrible aspect to their personality.
Prune: Were you a fan of OITNB prior to your role?
Gerrard: Definitely. The fact that my scenes are with Laverne (Cox) to begin with was so awesome. Everyone on that show is so talented. It was a treat. Being a fan of a show and appreciating peoples work, and then being there to act with them is out of this world.
Prune: That leads into my next question, what is it like to work with such a well accredited female cast?
Gerrard: The fact they were all amazing strong actors was so great. I learned so much. Being on set around people like Laverne Cox, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, and Emily Althaus, they were all just awesome. To see them in their element doing their thing was like an acting clinic, as well as just the best experience ever.
Prune: What is your best memory from filming?
Gerrard: That is hard. My best memory from set, as weird as this sounds, was hanging out in crafties. I hate just sitting in my trailer. At crafties, you’ll meet everyone. That is where they have all the snacks and such. I got to meet and hang out with all of the actors, and it’s a show that has so many principals, so getting to meet the entire team felt like meeting a family. Seeing how different the actors are than their characters may have been the coolest thing as well.
Prune: Netflix shows always seem to find great success. What do you think the secret behind every good show is?
Gerrard: I’ve been on three thus far, and I’ve had very similar experiences in the sense of production – always feels like family. Everyone was happy to work, and it was very much team oriented. It happens from the top down; the stars are always very welcoming. I don’t know exactly what it is, I don’t know what the special sauce is, but Netflix is doing something, man.
Prune: What series are you currently binge watching?
Gerrard: Glow. Glow is so good. It’s such an awesome premise and such an awesome show, and the fact that it was based on the wrestling world makes it so cool. They do such a great job with it.
Prune: What upcoming projects do you have?
Gerrard: A couple of scenes in season 3 of Odd Mom Out. My scenes were with Andy Buckley, who I love. He’s so down to earth. I’ll also be in a couple episodes of next season’s Search Party. As an actor, until you’re a series regular, you always have to find means to survive. I’m very into fitness, and I’ll also be getting my personal training business running in about a month – I’m taking clients if anyone is interested.
Prune: How did you originally get into the acting and modeling industry?
Gerrard: I originally got into modeling right after college – I got in with Ford Models in New York. I fell in love with a girl who wasn’t comfortable with me modeling, got serious with her, and stopped. I started working in investor relations, which lasted about six years, and I was making great money but working a lot of hours. I realized it was not what I wanted to do with my life. When my relationship fell apart, I thought about what I wanted to do. I started taking acting courses at night and it was the perfect storm. I loved it, stuck with it, and booked my first play. I was mesmerized, so I kept on training. It started snowballing and eventually I made it here.
Prune: Let’s talk fashion. What is your go-to style?
Gerrard: Fitted t shirt, jeans, boots.
Prune: What are your three favorite fashion trends at the moment?
Gerrard: Do I even know fashion trends? I’m a big long t shirt guy, and I like a fitted t. Button up short sleeves are cool. Just the fitted look as a whole.
Prune: Time to fashion prune. If you could eliminate one trend at the moment, what would it be?
Gerrard: I’m not very judgmental. To each their own.