Vampire Diaries star Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert) is the grandson of one of the most famous film actors of all time: the eminently-cool Steve McQueen, star of such cinematic classics as The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, and The Thomas Crown Affair. Spike TV has created a TV documentary in tribute to Steve McQueen and The Wrap talked to Steven about his thoughts and feelings on the film about the grandfather he never met.
“I saw the documentary for the first time last night. It was incredible,” McQueen said of new TV film I Am Steve McQueen. “I never got to meet my grandfather and I'm sure the younger audiences don't know much about him. So, it was cool for myself to learn about him, and hopefully some people that watch.”
When Steven was small, he didn’t really understand just how much of a legend his grandfather was — for example, at one point, Steve McQueen was the highest paid actor in Hollywood — but eventually started to understand just how cool he was by watching his films. In fact, watching his grandfather on film was a chief inspiration for Steven in becoming an actor himself: “There were always posters and stuff around the house, but I never really payed much attention to it and I started watching his movies and I was like: Wow. This guy’s pretty cool. Maybe I want to give this a shot. Give this a try. And, yeah, I’ve been lucky ever since.”
Steven’s dad was one of the forces behind the production of the doc, and appears in the movie itself, which was one of Steven’s favorite parts of watching the film: “It was cool to see younger pictures of my dad with his dad and to kind of hear some of the stories that I had absolutely never heard before. And hear some stories from my grandmother and just other people whose life he had effected or touched. It was really cool.”
Many famous actors of today took part in the documentary by speaking about what kind of impact Steve McQueen has had on them. It was particularly cool for Steven to see one of his own acting idols Gary Oldman take part: “I've always looked up to Gary Oldman,” Steve said. “He's always been one of my favorite actors since I can't even remember when. I went the day that they interviewed him and I was in awe, just kind of listening to him speak and getting to shake his hand. It was an incredible experience. I was overwhelmed.”
Did you know Steven was the grandson of the famous Steve McQueen? Will you be checking out the documentary? Sound off in the comments below!