Having been up since 4 in the morning and fresh off a flight from the East Coast, there is a tinge of fatigue in Melvin Gregg's voice. And understandably so. He later reveals that despite the long flight back to LA, he'll be headed to audition not too long after our conversation ends. Such is the life of an up-and-coming, especially as an already in-high-demand actor.
With several critically acclaimed films and series under his belt like American Vandal, High Flying Bird, and most recently, Snowfall on FX, it's safe to say that "busy" is now Melvin's new normal. Which is arguably in stark contrast to how things were when they were just getting started. Originally moving to California to pursue acting, Gregg found himself trying to secure as many gigs as he could--which often came in the form of short commercials and indie films.
But it wasn't until he decided to take his talents to the streets of social media, that he would begin gaining more leverage to support his acting endeavors and eventually land his way back on the big screen. He tells xoNecole, "With doing all of that, I was really just trying to get back into traditional media. Acting was always the goal. I redirected my focus at the top of 2018 and I've been able to consistently work and level up with each project. I'm thankful, but I'm not content. But I do understand the process and I trust it completely."
We got the chance to catch up with Melvin where we talked about stepping away from Vine, what he appreciates most about his current relationship, and why he feels that true love is all about timing.
xoNecole: It's safe to say that most people were introduced to via your hilarious videos from Vine. Was it hard translating your talents from just a social media setting to a more traditional one?
Melvin Gregg: Not really, I was acting honestly before I did social media. Social media was sort of a stretch for me because I'm somewhat introverted. So being over the top and what I had to be online, my energy had to be a lot higher. And with the platform I was working on (Vine), it had a majority audience that I wasn't used to. So I had to adapt and study what was working, teach and train myself to do it. Coming back over to traditional media was where I wanted to be so it wasn't that hard. But the hardest thing I will say is that, when you create a monster with social media, you have to fight it when you move back over. Because people only want to see you in the light they first saw you in, you kind of have to go uphill to try to win people over on a different medium.
"When you create a monster with social media, you have to fight it when you move back over. Because people only want to see you in the light they first saw you in, you kind of have to go uphill to try to win people over on a different medium."
Which do you enjoy more: creating social content or acting in traditional films/TV shows?
The content I created online was never anything to where I had to come out of myself in a public space in the sense that I wasn't doing stunts or pranks. Everything I did, I produced, edited, [and] I was working with other actors as well. So it was similar to the traditional format, it was just a lot shorter. What I enjoyed was just having creative control to really do what I wanted to do, from top to bottom. Writing the product to shooting, directing and editing. But when it comes to acting, you pretty much only have one job. I enjoy it though because it is a longer format and you do have time to really play up your character and win the audience over. But as far as digital--I enjoy the creative control more. So I guess the ideal would be creating content on the traditional format in the same way I did in the shorter format.
I want to switch gears and talk relationships. Are you down?
Of course, let's do it.
You're a funny guy. Is it important that your girl can keep up with you in terms of humor? Is that necessary for you?
You know what? I think having a great sense of humor where you get my jokes is important--but I feel like I'm witty more than anything. So if a girl can get that, I appreciate that. If she's not, then it's really not going to work out because the conversation's going to be dull. She doesn't have to be a comedian or crack jokes all the time but there's nothing worse than when you tell a joke and the person doesn't get it. It's like "that awkward moment when." It's one of the biggest buzzkills.
Speaking of relationships, are you taken or are you single?
No, I'm not single, I have a girl.
What was it about her that made you realize you were ready to commit and make things official?
I'm really good with intuition, so when I first saw her, I felt like I knew who she was. And over time, she just proved that she really was who I thought she was. And it just worked out that way, it was nothing specific--I just knew. She had the qualities I was looking for.
"When I first saw her, I felt like I knew who she was. And over time, she just proved that she really was who I thought she was. And it just worked out that way, it was nothing specific--I just knew."
What do you do to make her feel special?
Of course she gets the majority of my time and attention. I do things that I know she likes. I'm really into the small thoughtful things. Painting her pictures, writing her letters, going out and buying her plants, you know the little things. I'm not into the extravagant gifts. I'm into being thoughtful.
What do you appreciate most about your girlfriend and your relationship?
That she's my best friend. It's about more than just the physical. If something were to happen to where we're not together anymore, she could still be my best friend. I'd still want her in my life, to the point where it would probably get in the way of every other relationship I would have. I don't understand how somebody could be all about this one person and they mean so much to you and then something happens and they never talk again. That's weird, especially if you connect with that person on so many different levels.
I get that. So, what's something you didn’t do in your last relationship that you definitely want to implement in this current relationship?
Be more affectionate. Where I'm from, people don't really show affection; I never saw it in the household. They show affection by talking sh-t to each other; so it was hard for me to put my guard down and be vulnerable. I'm still working on it, I'm a work in progress for sure.
I think we all are if we’re honest. So for you personally, what would you say are the biggest love lessons you’ve learned thus far?
Put your pride aside for one, you have to do that when you're with someone you care for. You don't want to lose somebody you love over your pride. And also just communication. Whatever's on your mind, you need to address it. Bring it to the frontline, because the other person could be thinking the same thing. Or maybe, you might think something is going on and you want to address it in a certain way, when in reality--there's nothing going on. But through conversation, you can figure that out rather than blindly playing games.
"Put your pride aside for one, you have to do that when you're with someone you care for. You don't want to lose somebody you love over your pride."
What's the biggest misconception women or people in general have about you?
I think that I'm always joking. Most people always say I'm different from what they expect when they meet me. For women, I think a lot of them think or thought that I'm some womanizer. It's a misconception because of the videos and things that I put online so it's partially my fault (laughs). For other people, everything on social media is transparency when it comes to their real-life but not for me. It was just a platform for me to distribute the content I created, none of that was real. But a lot of people mistook it for being real. But again, that's partially my fault.
What do you know now about love that you didn’t know before?
I always felt like I had a good understanding about what love was, but I cared more about what I wanted. So you can't be selfish and I was selfish in the sense that, there were other things I wanted to do first before I committed to love. But it's really all about timing, that's the most important. And not just yours, but the other person's as well.You can't rush love [and] you can't put it on the backburner then try to come back to it.
For more of Melvin, you can follow him on Instagram.
Featured image by Melvin Gregg/Instagram