Earnest; that’s the adjective that immediately comes to mind when trying to describe Hawk Lane, the teenage son of husband and wife, Eddie and Sarah Lane on The Path. Funny enough, that same adjective well suits the actor behind the character, Kyle Allen.
Allen is overflowing with boy-next-door charm. Modest with model good looks, the 21-year-old California native also happens to be packing the kind of talent that can land him a spread in The Window—Barneys New York’s bi-annual magazine—with essentially only one film under his belt and a drama series on its way. That was back in the fall of last year, when the actor had just wrapped production on his first film, One Night, a romantic drama starring Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), Justin Chatwin (Orphan Black) and Kelli Berglund (Lab Rats), and well before Hulu released this spring’s must-watch new series, The Path. (Aired Thursdays on Showcase in Canada.)
For this former dancer (Allen dedicated over a decade to ballet and contemporary dance previous to focusing on acting), playing the son of Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan on a hit show is near surreal because it is so surprising. “I had no idea I would become an actor when I first came to LA,” he shares. “But, I ended up getting a few really random and really cool parts on some amazing projects. After that, I just kind of knew this is what I wanted to do.”
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With The Path’s 10-episode first season coming to an end May 25th (season two has already been greenlit), drama is on the rise. For those who aren’t already watching: start catching up now. Aside from the mesmerizing glimpse into the construction of ideology and spiritual indoctrination via the show’s fictional religion, The Movement—led by Hugh Dancy’s Cal Roberts—there’s plenty of relationship dramas to feast on. We’re particularly enthralled by how Hawk—a second generation New Movement disciple—and his crush on a girl outside the movement has triggered life-changing doubt in Cal’s lessons, which would have him believe that he and his fellow believers are on the side of the good, while all outside of their compound are anything but.
Below, we talk to Allen and get The Path star’s take on his character, spirituality and personal style.
So, pretty much everyone is addicted to The Path, right now. Were you as excited as us to hear that the show’s been renewed for a second season by Hulu?
I can’t even partake in conversations about how excited I am because they simply will not end, and I will probably miss my flight to New York.
Don’t want that to happen! You’ve found a pretty cool pair of parents in Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan. What’s it been like acting opposite them.
If I was a Ninja Turtle …. they would be Master Splinter.
Guessing then that the fictional parental love extends beyond the set, no? Do the two provide some guidance on set?
Yes… I can’t even joke about that, I think they are the greatest people on the planet. We had so much fun messing around on set, but they were also just there for me when I needed it. I was absolutely floored by their kindness and friendship. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay that… I just walk around being obnoxiously grateful all the time.
What’s been the response from the dance community; what do they think of the show and your role on it?
The dance community is very small, so all my friends knew I got the part right away. So far everyone has been super supportive and really like the show. Except my Vaganova ballet teachers… “congratulations” it not part of their vocabulary.
They sound serious! Do you plan on continuing both acting and dancing, or are you focusing on just acting for now?
My main focus is acting, but I still train a ton. I don’t think the need to exhaust yourself on a daily basis, ever really goes away. I would love to do projects in the future that allow me to combine all the skills I’ve learned.
We would too! Love to see that. The finale is set to air on May 25th, can you give us a hint as to what we can expect… a little teaser?
Ahhhh… if I say anything, it will totally ruin it. Let’s just say, when I read that episode, I was pretty heart broken.
How do you think Hawk has grown over the first season, and what elements of his story do you hope to explore more of in Season 2.
Everything that Hawk goes through in the first season causes him to question all the things he thought he knew. In that way, I think he is forced to grow up and completely redefine himself. All of my predictions about where Hawk is going, I’ve recently discovered were true, so I’m gonna have to pass on that. (Laughing)
Has being exposed to the world of spiritualty, as it’s imagined in The Path, made you kind of pay closer attention to the way spirituality is practiced in modern day society, and what it does and can mean to different people?
I have always been very interested in religion and spirituality, but being a part of The Path has certainly helped me see even more ways in which it affects us. People actually tell me a lot more about their spirituality and what they think of religion since I’ve been a part of the show, so that’s been really interesting.
Let’s move on to fashion. You seem like a fashion forward kind of guy; as the stylist on our shoot noted, you wear clothes well. Would you say you’re pretty familiar with that whole world and have an interest in what’s going on in it?
Well that was nice of her. I would have to say if I seem fashion forward, I have fooled you.
What? No. What do you mean?
My wardrobe consists of things people give me from set and photo shoots, as well as the occasional, “Hey Kyle, this doesn’t fit me… you want it?” [item]. On the other side of that, however, most of the people I know from sets are fashionable, so it allows me to feign fashion awareness.
You have us convinced! Overall, do you feel like guys today are more interested in fashion and personal appearance than the men you grew up around?
I think it seems to be more so now than when I grew up, but I mostly think that’s because I’m in L.A. and New York, and I’m involved in the entertainment industry. King Louis XIV [of France] set fashion trends, so I don’t think men in fashion is all that new. I know this because I’m a nerd, and Louis XIV also majorly shaped ballet.
Nerds start fashion trends, too.
Yes, they definitely do. What about your own personal take on fashion; often people have an unofficial “uniform” in their closet—a staple look—do you have something like this?
Jeans, high top Converse and a Green Lantern t-shirt.
It says: “I’m here to unite the cosmos and protect earth like a 1950s NBA player wearing jeans.” I also wear underwear… because I’m not a heathen.
Good to know. (Laughing) What item in your closet would you never want to part with?
Definitely my flux capacitor.
Smart choice, Doc. Are you one to chase the latest trends, or do you much register them?
My register is full of Chipotle, embarrassingly expensive pencils and theater tickets. There just isn’t room.
That said, any favourite designers?
Don’t know much about designers, but when I did the Barney’s shoot… I liked a lot of their stuff. I think it’s interesting how they take everyday street styles and put their own spin on them.
What style trait do you find most attractive in people? What catches your eye?
Some people can just wear anything and make it look like it descended from the clouds in a shopping bag just for them. I don’t know what it is or why I find it so attractive, but some people can just make anything work.
In terms of fictional characters, who is your style icon?
Captain Jack Sparrow. That character is my spirit animal.
Styling – Gena Tuso at Jed Root | Hair & Makeup – Angie Johnson at Exclusive Artists Management | Stylist Assistant – Sarah Cazessus