Rahart Adams has found himself living a dream that, for a long time, he didn’t know he had. After a breakdancing accident nearly left him with a broken back, teenage Adams was forced to either “get real” or find another creative outlet to pursue. He set his sights on acting in a way that can only be considered trial by fire, moving from his hometown of Melbourne all the way to the United States with a visa that only allowed him to work as an actor. At 17, the circumstances meant he had reached the kind of make-or-break crossroads that most aren’t met with until much later in life, if at all.
But a career in the arts chose Adams back, and now, he’s making his big-time debut on the CW’s Gotham Knights. This month, Adams introduced Brody March, a razor-sharp prep school boy with a dark side and a newcomer to the DC Universe. The Untitled Magazine sat down with Adams following the premiere of Gotham Knights to talk Brody March, the pressure of bringing someone new to DC’s legions of diehards, and everything that led up to booking the kind of role that launches careers. Read our interview with Rahart Adams below.
What was life like growing up in Melbourne? Do you come from a family of creatives?
I come from a pretty big extended family that, for the most part, I saw every single day of my life growing up. We all grew up in the kitchen together too because our families have been in hospitality for generations. It was fun, never dull and always a blast having my cousins around to get into trouble with. As for the creative side of my family, two of my siblings are artists too. My younger sister got her degree in fashion design. She’s incredible at it, and my younger brother is pursuing his degrees in the music world because he’s an incredibly talented musician.
You initially began training at the Australian Film and Television Institute to improve the stutter you had as a child. How did your time there grow into a passion for acting?
Yes, when I was a kid, I had a pretty bad stutter. My mind was always racing faster than I was able to speak, making it really difficult to be understood. My mum had the idea of putting me into acting classes as a child so that I could practice speaking with confidence and slowly work on my stuttering. It worked, and I’ll always be thankful to my mum for having that foresight at the time to introduce me to acting, even if it was for something completely unrelated to becoming an actor. Although, I didn’t revisit the idea of acting or fully pursue it until much later in my life.
Was acting ever on your radar before that experience?
No, not at all. Even after that experience, it wasn’t something I envisioned myself doing until after I had explored other disciplines of performing. My first dive into the creative world was music; I played piano for some years as a kid. I then fell in love with breakdancing and was set on following that dream until I unfortunately had an accident doing backflip stunts and almost broke my back. I had to stop dancing completely and was left yearning for another fulfilling creative outlet to jump into. That’s when I revisited the idea of acting in my mid-teenage years, and I haven’t looked back since.
What happened after that realization? Did you dive straight into pursuing an acting career?
It took a long time for me to say confidently that I was an actor, or even an artist. In a sense, I did take a leap of faith and dive straight into the deep end with pursuing an acting career. I moved to the US when I was 17 years old on my own after booking a TV series that jump started my career and kept me there for a decade. So, I was living this life of figuring out who I was in the public eye, learning about American culture and trying to get by booking jobs all at the same time. My visa at the time only allowed me to work in film and television as an actor, and nothing else. Even though I wanted to act, it was actually the only thing I had to support myself.
So, I just kept going. I never gave up. It was a slow buildup of experiences as a performer over the years that reassured me that I was good enough to keep pursuing this crazy career in show business.
What were some of the highlights from your early acting days? Do any of your previous roles still stand out to you?
Absolutely. I have very fond memories of filming Nowhere Boys. It was my first leading role and looking back on that experience always makes me smile. There were about three or four years of my life during my teen years where I’d see my cast mates every single day. We were all the same age, going through the same things. And years after that experience while living in the US, one of those cast mates moved in with me for a while. We’re all still close to this day.
Your latest project is a leading role in the CW’s Gotham Knights. What can you tell us about your character, Brody March?
Brody March is an original character that hasn’t been explored before in film or television. Brody is charismatic and confident; the one at Gotham Academy that everyone either fears or respects. He’s used to everything being handed to him by his billionaire father Lincoln March. He’s got the brains and reputation, and he knows it. Brody can be seen as arrogant, but he is indeed fearless and capable of brutality just like his father. Playing Brody March has been a great experience, and I’m really excited for the world to get to know him.
Were you a Batman fan prior to landing the role? Was a superhero project ever on your bucket list?
Definitely. I was always a fan of Batman growing up, so were all my friends. Watching all the different interpretations of Batman and all the characters in the Batman universe was inspiring. Having the chance to be a part of a project like that one day was always on my bucket list.
The Batman/DC Universe has a huge roster of iconic characters – what was it like to bring someone brand new into that world versus a character that’s been established by many different actors?
Having the opportunity to bring a new character to life was both a breath of fresh air and daunting at the same time. It was fun being able to bounce ideas between different creative departments of the production and writing team when putting this character together, but I also wanted to do the DC fans proud and give them something new. Without spoiling anything, Season 1 of the show is just the beginning for Brody March, and I hope he’s well-received.
How does playing Brody allow you to showcase your versatility as an actor?
Well, just like playing any other character, discovering Brody meant diving into his ideas, opinions, and experiences in the world in way that’s completely unique to the character. He lives in a completely different world from the one I grew up in; a different accent, voice, swagger, charm and volatility that allowed for some pretty interesting exercises in acting. He’s also a trained swordsman, which allowed for some intense stunting during the shoot. I’m thrilled to keep exploring this character!
You’ve spent time volunteering for REACH OUT, which works to break educational barriers and expand economic opportunity within communities. Do you share a personal connection with the work they do?
I do. My work with REACH OUT is really focused on mental health and de-stigmatizing the act of reaching out to seek help and talking to those around you, too. I’m a big advocate for living an empathetic life and showing love to those around you in meaningful ways. Personally, having a source of information like REACH OUT growing up would have been helpful to me and the people I grew up with, so getting involved with the organization in an effort to raise awareness on topics like mental health has always been a fulfilling experience.
You’re also open about your passion for shedding light on ethnic ignorance. What are some effective ways to do that?
I am half Pakistani and Maltese, and I’ve been fully immersed within both cultures since birth. Growing up as a mixed Muslim kid in a post 9/11 world was pretty rough. I was only a kid and didn’t fully understand what was going on, but I was bullied for my ethnic roots and culture all the time, and it was a big part of how I learned about racism and ignorance – just by experiencing it firsthand.
As I grew older, I made it a point to learn and indulge myself in the cultures of those around me; eat dinner at the family tables of those from different backgrounds and invite those of different cultures to mine too.
Personally, I believe a great way to avert from cultural ignorance and promote a real blending and understanding of other cultures is to actually show up and participate in whatever is going on around you that is different from your own experience. Go to the local Chinese New Year festival, watch that documentary about Middle Eastern food, participate in Ramadan, celebrate Greek Easter, become a regular at your local Ethiopian restaurant and see how quickly you are embraced. It’s a beautiful thing to experience other cultures, and more often than not after making the effort, you realize more and more that we are all in fact just human with the same hearts. Show love and appreciation because it’s infectious. That understanding will spread.
Growing up, it was and still is one of my favorite things to introduce others to my culture, so don’t be afraid to be genuinely curious. I don’t mean appropriate – go out there and learn.
What can fans expect from Gotham Knights as it airs over the next few months? Is that your main focus for now, or do you have other exciting projects on the horizon as well?
Fans can expect a dive into the deep cut world of Gotham from a new perspective. Gotham Knights is going to be exciting; filled with so many twists, turns, drama and action.
As for right now, Gotham Knights and my family are main focuses. I’ll be working on some exciting things in the near future, but it is too early to shed light on those right now.
For more from Rahart Adams, follow him on Instagram.