If you’ve watched Girl Meets World you’re probably familiar with the name Uriah Shelton (Joshua Matthews). You might also recognize him from a few episodes of 13 Reasons Why (Pratters). Just so we’re clear, though, that was just the introduction. We’re not actually going to talk about either of those roles. Instead, we recently sat down with Uriah to talk to him about his starring role in Enter the Warriors Gate.
In Enter the Warriors Gate, a teenager is magically transported to China and learns to convert his video game skills into those of a Kung Fu warrior.
ENTER THE WARRIORS GATE is written by Luc Besson (Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Lucy, The Fifth Element) and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken, The Transporter, The Karate Kid), and directed by Matthias Hoene (Cockneys vs Zombies). The film features an all-star international cast including Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Spectre), Uriah Shelton (Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” Disney Channel’s “Girl Meets World”), Mark Chao (So Young, Monga), and Ni Ni (The Flowers of War).
Interview with Uriah Shelton
Sci-Fi & Scary: In Enter the Warriors Gate your character is a gamer. Do you enjoy video games in your free time? If so, what genres do you prefer? Shooters, RPG’s, survival Horror?
Uriah Shelton: Open world games. I love Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto. Just something with an open map. I get bored really easily with video games so when I have new sceneries constantly popping up, it is really important for me when I’m playing games. Red Dead, Far Cry and Grand Theft Auto are my favorites.
Sci-Fi & Scary: Were any stunts difficult for you to do? Are there any in particular that stand out?
Uriah Shelton: There is one stunt that really hurt. It was when Mark Chao and I are battling the tree nymphs. I get cut down from their little lasso traps that they got me hanging from. We film the fall and I was actually standing hoping to roll back onto my back. I said that’s not going to look good. I was jumping up and like throwing my legs in the air and slamming down on my back from like 5 feet up in the air and it knocked the wind out of me so bad. But it looked great on camera.
One stunt in Vancouver – I was getting chased by bmx bikes by the bullies. And for the most part I didn’t do any of the bmx stunts but I decided to try one stunt out. I decided to jump down from the staircase and i jumped down that staircase and ended up skinning the meat and skin off my shin bone in the process. I didn’t do any more bmx stunts after that.
Sci-Fi & Scary: What do you imagine the target audience will be for Enter the Warriors Gate?
Uriah Shelton: Honestly, pretty wide demographic range – anywhere from 13-14 to even younger than that. It’s a pretty clean movie. Also, it’s fun. There’s fighting. There’s action. There’s Dave Bautista. You got WWE fans going to be interested. You got fans from Girl Meets World going to watch. Fans from China who love seeing Ni Ni and Mark. Think we got a very wide variety of people who are going to be interested in this movie and going to like it.
Sci-Fi & Scary: I noticed that China was listed in the shooting locations. Did you go and if so did you get to experience much of the country or was all of your time spent shooting the movie?
Uriah Shelton: Yes, I got to experience China in a very intimate way. It was such an amazing experience even though I didn’t get to do all the touristy things that most people would normally to do. I got to do more of the native stuff that most people wouldn’t get to do. I get to hang out with people at the countryside. I get to eat at these small cafes, not really cafes but little restaurants that these family set up and been there for decades. I got to feel for the entire culture and understand more. It’s just a gift really.
Sci-Fi & Scary: You’ve done quite a bit of television work. Is that a medium you prefer or is it just how it happened?
Uriah Shelton: I loved doing tv. It’s really wonderful. I do prefer movies. It is not just how it happened. It is just two different mediums of the business – television and theatrical. Thing about tv is great – set schedule, get to know the character that you get to work on in a number of years, episodes or seasons. Great thing about movies is it is new. You are always filming 3 to 4 months at most times. It is everything that is new. You have a short little amount of time to develop the character then off to the new character. It keeps things fresh and new. It’s great but it doesn’t allow the extensive character development, in my opinion, that you get from tv show.
Sci-Fi & Scary: How did you see your character’s evolution from a bullied, nervous teen to more self-confident?
Uriah Shelton: Jack is a kid who runs from a fight and kind of hides. He is not used to that kind of scenario so he doesn’t know how to handle and runs. It is not necessarily the easier option, it is the only option he knows. Then when he is thrust into the warrior’s gate, he has to learn how to defend himself. He has to learn how to fight. He can’t just run away from his problem like he has to confront his problems head on and take on the challenge. I think it created a sense of confidence in him. so when he did have to deal with bullies when he got back to his world, he can handle it confidently. He already dealt with much bigger things in the warrior’s gate so coming back in dealing with the bullies, it’s not a big deal for him. He’s got it. He’s got the confidence now. He’s good to go.
Sci-Fi & Scary: Were there any scenes you particularly enjoyed shooting in Enter the Warriors Gate? Were there any scenes that required large amounts of re-takes?
Uriah Shelton: A lot of our scenes required retakes since you are dealing with that many extras, moving parts and dealing with locations are a challenge. It ended up being a fairly easy shoot. I had fun during the whole thing whether we were hiking up the mountain to film on the mountain top or honestly, getting sent to the hospital is all part of the filming process as long as nobody gets seriously injured. It is part of the fun.You never know what is going to happen next.
Sci-Fi & Scary: In closing, are there any other genres of movies that you’re eager to try?
Uriah Shelton: I love to do drama. I love to do that. I love to do comedy. I’m down for any type of movie. I never want to limit myself as an actor to the possibilities that are out there. I am down for anything. If anything that I do, I do the best of my ability. As for preference, yes, action, drama.
Want to see Uriah Shelton in a starring role? Then check out out the trailer for Enter the Warriors Gate now at https://youtu.be/DTixFRwNKq4 !
And if it suits your fancy, Enter the Warriors Gate is now available on DirecTV and in Theaters, VOD and Digital HD.
You can purchase it now at Amazon .