There are spoilers ahead so if you aren’t caught up on Season 3 you should get caught up now. We were very fortunate last year to speak to Austin and were very happy to talk to him again this year.
FoF: Thank you for taking time out of your schedule again this year to chat with us. I know scheduling can be very tricky.
Austin: My pleasure Charles, thank you.
FoF: Congratulations on the season 4 renewal. Can you tell us how you found out?
Austin: We had finished filming season 3 and since we are a show that was on the bubble, we weren’t sure if we we would be coming back. I had just finished an audition when I found out. My brother and I have this tradition of going to Outback Steakhouse when we have something to celebrate. That night we celebrated out there.
FoF: How important of a role has the Beasties (fans) played in helping secure not only this renewal, but even last season’s renewal?
Austin: I think you can’t underestimate their position or their effect on the decision of the network. I think the Beasties definitely have something to be proud of, both last season and this season. More so this season because the odds were really stacked against us, but over the past two years the People’s Choice Awards, the online presence and online polls and were trending and the websites dedicated to the show. We’re starting to get into, dare I say, Supernatural category where they have a huge fan following across the world to the point where they have conventions unto themselves. Hopefully one day that will be us. That day is not necessarily here yet, but the fans do prove to be a driving force in the lifeline of the show.
FoF: I can say the Beasties seem to be some of the most passionate fans, we’ve seen in the last five years.
Austin: Yes and I think they were so spurred on with this being the first season of TV that online presence was quantified and factored into a statistic. The Nielsen Twitter TV rankings were another statistic for the networks to look at. To see who online and on social media especially Twitter were talking about. I know there are a couple of different readings for online presence. We rate pretty high on all those scales. You have Beasties all over the world staying up all night to help our show out there.
They are passionate, committed and determined. I have gifts from Beasties around the world that show not only their passion but their creativity. That’s another thing, they have heart. There are common things when you talk about cult classic type of TV shows or films, where people interpret it in fan fiction, art, our show provides creative motivation and inspiration for a lot of different fans. What’s really great is I am a creative person myself and you see it interpreted through someone else’s eyes. You see a drawing or painting or a design. We have people that send me drawings and stickers…
It’s a fun thing to have and a way to see the appreciation of a fan and really understand it at a casual level. We have fans that write poetry based off the episodes. We have fans that do video recaps of the episodes, which is people stepping out of the usual anonymity of social media. It’s intimate as they step out to create this.
You have people that are so inspired and passionate about the show that they are willing to put themselves on video celebrating the BATB (Beauty & the Beast) because everyone else in the fandom is doing that and risk making a fool of themselves and risk being seen but that’s part of the safety of online social media. I think our fans are different than that; they are breaking the barriers of the usual social media. They reaching out and making contact in ways that other fandoms don’t do. Our fans are meeting up with each other and hanging out and buying each other presents and sending each other gifts. To me this is a testament to their goodness.
FoF: Has the current storyline regarding Liam been in the works since the beginning or is it something that was developed for season 3?
Austin: If you are talking since the pilot, Muirfield and Liam’s involvement no. We are learning of the guilt that JT carries for his role in convincing Vincent to join the program and their history from it. It’s this brotherly love but also the guilt that all the pain and strife that Vincent’s has gone through over the past ten years is JT’s fault or JT feels like it is.
JT didn’t create Muirfield and do all that stuff but he got Vincent involved and everything that has led from there, the domino effect has made JT feel guiltier and guiltier. I think that type of stuff would be discussed; were they just college roommates or childhood friends. So before we get into a few years down the road, I could play those things throughout the season.
FoF: JT has had a rough season (this interview was done prior to the season finale) From gaining his healing abilities to being on deaths door. Did you find that difficult to portray ?
Austin: No, it was fun going through the process. As everyone will learn, JT believes Liam’s blood is the key to his cure. By the end od the next episode JT gets the blood needed.
FoF: As you may remember the World Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is very important to Austin. We wanted to share this from our first interview with Austin from 2014.
FoF: You are the Celebrity Ambassador to the World Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Would you share with us your work with them?
Austin: I think now more than ever there have been more celebrities, musicians, actors and athletes that have been public with their struggles with type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes nearly 30 years ago when I was 9. Celebrities have used their struggles to bring awareness and raise money for research to improve the maintenance of this disease but hopefully one through research to find a cure for the disease.
My participation in the activities is to provide an example of someone who is lived with type 1 diabetes for most of their life and has succeeded and hasn’t let it get in their way. Actually in a way, I learned having it since a young age and dealing with the ins and outs of keeping my blood sugar a level, eating a certain diet and being on a certain regiment of insulin injections. There was a structure imposed by my type 1 diabetes and its maintenance. That has taught me as an adult, a person/actor to be structured with a regiment and to work at it. In fact, work even harder.
Athletes talk about how having type 1 actually spurred them onto achieve greater things because they had so much more to overcome. I have worked that much harder to prove that it hasn’t gotten in the way. That you can have a normal life as well. I wouldn’t call my life normal (laughs) but you can live the life of a person without type 1 diabetes. You set goals for yourself and you can achieve your dreams. Even if that dream is being a brain surgeon, professional soccer player, an actor, musician or anything doesn’t change what you can achieve. Being young and diagnosed with type 1 is heavy but it isn’t just you, it affects your entire family. Your parents more so than your siblings are charged with your care and have to learn along with you. They have to learn how to respond to ups and downs, reactions and lows/highs (of your sugar) and how you should eat.
What I hope to do and provide is an example for kids to look up to. I didn’t have many celebrities who had type 1 diabetes to look up to. So hopefully I can help with raising money towards everyone’s collective goal of finding a cure.
We want to thank Austin Basis for taking time out of his filming schedule to chat with us again. Beauty & the Beast will return in 2016 to the CW.
Be sure to follow Austin Basis on his Twitter feed here
To find out how you can help the World Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation here