Regarding his experience in 13 Reasons Why
, he said, "It was really awesome. It was the first thing that I ever did. My character was not afraid to be open and vulnerable, and I wanted to portray him truthfully enough. Being on that popular production as my TV debut was quite pressuring. It was really cool, but I was nervous to talk to any of the actors. They helped me build my confidence on set, which was really neat."
"I started acting because I wanted people to have an emotional response to art. That's what got me into it," he admitted. "I am really happy that the fans enjoyed the work that I put out. Thank you so much for supporting me. The response I got from direct messages on social media was really cool, especially to hear that they were moved by the scenes. It is really motivating for me to get an emotional response out of it."
On being an actor in the digital age, Ousley said, "It's definitely interesting. A lot of people talk about how it affects auditions, especially when it comes to social media followers. The more followers you have, the more valuable you are to a project. Usually, the best person gets the part, no matter who auditions. Social media is great to interact with fans, but you lose a little individuality or expression in the digital age."
For young and aspiring actors, he said, "Working to live is far better than living to work. If you are absolutely passionate about something, then I think you should chase that. You can enjoy life more if you set goals that you actually want to achieve instead of chasing monetary value. At first, don't be afraid to work for free, and spend time working on that goal. Experience is really valuable."
He is excited about his upcoming project, Big Shot
on the streaming service Disney+, opposite veteran actor John Stamos, directed by Bill D' Elia, and co-written by David E. Kelley.
Ousley defined the word success as the point where "opportunity and hard work meet." "Also, enjoying what you are doing and appreciating where you are in your journey," he said. "Success is enjoying where you are in life, always."
To learn more about actor Ian Ousley, check out his IMDb page, and follow him on Instagram.