Keir Gilchrist: How He Made His Best Role So Convincing

Keir Gilchrist has been acting since a young age with some acclaimed and amazing performances over the years.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

Keir Gilchrist, Brie Larson

Keir Gilchrist has been acting for nearly 20 years, which is saying something since he is only 29 years old. His rise to fame has not been on the fast track, but instead a steady climb that is finally paying off. With a couple of hit series under his belt, Gilchrist is ready for more. The question, though, is if Hollywood is ready for more Keir Gilchrist?


Before Keir Gilchrist began to make an acting name for himself, the London-born, Canadian-raised lad did a bit of moving around. Gilchrist was born in London, England, spending his very early years abroad before he and his family relocated to Boston, Massachusetts. When that didn’t take, the family uprooted to New York City. When that didn’t even take, the family headed north to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where they finally settled in. It was a good thing to get the stability and it’s how he was able to kickstart an acting career.


Keir Gilchrist was 11 years old in 2003 when he got his first professional acting gig. It was on the TV series Queer as Folk that told the story of a group of gay friends living in Pittsburgh, PA. Gilchrist’s appearance was for one episode, and he played Jim Stockwell Jr., the son of the police chief.

Over the next four years, Keir Gilchrist took on whatever role he could nail. His first feature film came in 2004 with The Right Way which he followed up with another feature titled, Saint Ralph. 2004 also saw Gilchrist return to television on the illy Ray Cyrus-led series Doc and also find time in the TV movie, An American Girl Holiday.

Up to 2007, Keir Gilchrist starred in films like Horsie’s Retreat, A Lobster Tale, and one of James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s early horror entries, Dead Silence.  He also appeared in TV series such as 1-800-Missing, ReGenesis, and Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends. All of this led Gilchrist to his very first shot in a sitcom.


keir gilchrist

Keir Gilchrist joined the sitcom, The Winner, in 2007. The series starred Rob Corddry, Erinn Hayes, Lenny Clarke, and Linda Hart. The series told the story of Glen Abbott (Corddry) who was looking back at the time he was living with his parents in 1994 Buffalo, New York. The series actually got its start five years earlier when a pilot was shot that starred Johnny Galecki as Glen. The pilot also had big names like Samantha Mathis, Gerald McRaney, and Sally Struthers involved. This pilot was not picked up.

Five years later, though, the new pilot was. Unfortunately, it hit a sour note right from the jump, and what little audience it had, dwindled to just about nothing after three episodes. Six episodes were produced in total, but because most reviews called the series “dreadful,” Fox dropped it after three episodes aired. The sad life of a sitcom.

Keir Gilchrist was undeterred, though. Not only did he find time on TV series such as The Altar Boy Gang, Life with Derek, and The Listener, but he was also getting his fair share of feature films. These included The Egg Factory, The Rocker, Just Peck, and Hungry Hills.


Keir Gilchrist, Brie Larson

If Keir Gilchrist wasn’t opening eyes before, playing Marshall Gregson, the queer cinephile son of Toni Collette’s Tara Gregson in United States of Tara, did the trick. The Showtime series was created by Diablo Cody (Juno, Jennifer’s Body) and also starred John Corbett and Brie Larson. Gilchrist was lauded for his role and because of it, he was set for his next feature.

The film was called It’s Kind of a Funny Story in which Gilchrist played the lead role of Craig, a teenager with depression. After contemplating suicide, Craig decides to check himself into a hospital. Once there, though, he finds out that the “kid’s ward” is unavailable to him, so instead he must register for a five-day stay in the hospital’s psychiatric adult ward.

Life for Craig is just becoming too much. He feels pressure from his high school, and stress over having to turn in his summer school application. Fear not, Bobby is coming to the rescue. Bobby, played wonderfully by Zack Galifianakis, is also an adult psychiatric patient that slowly becomes Craig’s mentor. Also helping Craig out along the way is Noelle, played by Emma Roberts.

United States of Tara ran for three seasons. From there, Keir Gilchrist focused mainly on feature films. He was in the horror film It Follows, Dark Summer, The Stanford Prison Experiment, The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards, Len and Company, The Good Neighbor, Katie Says Goodbye, and Heartthrob. All of these projects led Gilchrist to his next big series.


When Keir Gilchrist got the lead in the series Atypical, he was so convincing as Sam Gardner, a kid on the autistic spectrum, that he had many believing he actually was autistic. To pull off the role, Gilchrist did a ton of research to get Sam right. It helped that he was able to sit down with series creator Robia Rashid and talk to her for a couple of hours. “It was a very lengthy audition process, and we talked a lot about the various ways in which I could play Sam,” he said via Newsweek. As far as the research went, “The most helpful piece of research was the book The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband. The book ended up being a really big contributing factor in creating Sam’s character.”

Atypical ran for four seasons and also starred Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Michael Rapaport, Nik Dodani, and Jenna Boyd. While Keir Gilchrist received high praise for Atypical, it wasn’t the only thing he got out of the series. He also found love.


Love, sometimes, can come from unexpected places. We are pretty sure the set of Atypical was the last place Keir Gilchrist thought he would find his partner in crime. Michelle Farrah Huang joined the series in 2017 and played Tanya. In its four seasons, Huang reprised that role six more times. The relationship between Gilchrist and Huang grew from there and they often go to Instagram to inform fans about just what the couple is up to.

But it isn’t only Atypical that the two have in common. They also enjoy the same type of music. Plug your ears if you dare listen to it.


Acting is not the only thing that Keir Gilchrist is good at. He is also a musician and front not one, but two bands. When Gilchrist isn’t screaming and growling for the grindcore band, Whelm, he is instead fronting the death metal band Phalanx. Well, he used to do both. While he was working on Atypical, the actor/lead screamer had to back away from performing because began to show up on set with a hoarse voice, making it difficult for him to recite his lines. There was also a time he took it tough in a mosh pit and came to the Atypical set sporting a black eye. “I slipped on beer on the floor and cracked my face on a cinder block that was holding the kick drum, bruising it,” Gilchrist said via Band Camp. “That was not received well.”No bueno, Keir.

Now that Atypical has ended, don’t be surprised if Keir Gilchrist is back at the mic. He does have a few projects lined up that include Love and Death, Pep, and his most recent project, Mort in Sherman Oaks, an offbeat rom-com that also Lucy Hale, Monica Potter, and Jim Gaffigan.