- Born: October 1, 2004
- Birthplace: New York City
- Best Series: Good Girls
Fans of up-and-coming actors might look to streaming series on Netflix or Disney+ in order to get a glimpse of the new generation of talented humans. Except, in recent years, it seems that network television might actually be the source that showcases incredible performances from newly minted professionals in the entertainment industry. Isaiah Stannard is one such example.
NBC, one of the leaders in network television content, demonstrated the unbelievable strength of actor Isaiah Stannard on its hit television show Good Girls. For four seasons, Stannard lit up the small screen as Annie and Gregg’s child on the heist series, defining what it means to be a young working actor in today’s climate.
Good Girls aired its last episode in 2021, but Isaiah Stannard seems just to be getting started with his acting career. Here is some information you might not know about Isaiah Stannard, how his personal life shaped his characters on screen and what lies ahead for one of Hollywood’s hardest-working young actors.
ISAIAH STANNARD WAS BORN IN MANHATTAN AND STARTED ACTING AT A YOUNG AGE
At only 18 years old, actor Isaiah Stannard has amassed quite a career performing in films and television. Born in Manhattan, Stannard lent his voice when he was 11 years old to a Croatian film entitled Star Stuff: A Story of Carl Sagan. As the English voiceover of Carl Sagan in the movie, Stannard got the chance to play the younger version of the late American astronomer.
Isaiah Stannard followed up his voiceover work by strutting his stuff in front of the camera, beginning by being an extra for White Lotus director Mike White’s dramedy Brad’s Status in 2017. Costarring as a tween in the film, Stannard made his on-screen debut opposite Ben Stiller and Austin Abrams. Rotten Tomatoes ranks the film as Certified Fresh with a Tomatometer score of 79 percent and an Audience Score of 55 percent.
ISAIAH STANNARD LANDS A ROLE IN GOOD GIRLS
Once Isaiah Stannard caught the acting bug, the young performer seemed never to look back. Just after Brad’s Status premiered, Stannard was cast as a series regular in the NBC show Good Girls. Playing the child of Mae Whitman and Zach Gilford’s characters, Stannard broke new ground in the representation of the LGBTQ community.
The character that Isaiah Stannard portrays in Good Girls was initially referred to as Sadie in the show’s first season, but the character comes out as a trans boy named Ben in Season 2.
According to Variety, Stannard and creator Jenna Bans discussed the possibility of making sure the character’s storylines reflect some of what the actor was going through in his personal life. That meant making Ben a trans boy as well.
Bans is quoted in Variety as saying, “We realized we had a really great opportunity to tell a story about a character who was gender-nonconforming, but at the same time not necessarily have that be what leads the story.”
The conversation surrounding gender identity was open in the writers’ room, and the writers collaborated with GLAAD to make sure they were doing the character a service.
ISAIAH STANNARD’S CHARACTER WAS GENDER NON-CONFORMING IN THE SERIES
It was decided that Ben’s coming out sequence would be subtle in Good Girls, which occurred in the Season 2 episode, “Thelma and Louise.” After his brother is born, Annie (Mae Whitman) rejoices by declaring, “It’s a boy!” to which Ben responds with, “So am I.” It’s nuanced and understated, which fits the characters and their family dynamic.
Isaiah Stannard celebrated his character’s coming out moment with a social media post the following day after the episode aired. Stannard received a great deal of support from his fellow cast members and crew of Good Girls. He uses the pronouns he/him, as does his character.
ISAIAH STANNARD IS OPEN ABOUT BEING TRANSGENDER
After starring on Good Girls for four seasons, Isaiah Stannard quickly learned what it means to be a transgender man in the entertainment industry. Wearing his heart on his sleeve and deciding to express himself through his layered character in the series, Stannard believes it is his responsibility to speak up for those that often go unheard.
While Isaiah Stannard was beginning his transition as a trans boy in real life, his character of Ben Marks on Good Girls went through the same thing. His family is very supportive of his work and dedication to living his truth, including his mother, Kristin, who helped shape Stannard into the man he is today.
Kristin Johansen and Isaiah Stannard spoke to People about the choices they made as a family to make sure that Isaiah embodied Ben in the best way possible in the series. Stannard notes that viewers of the television show got the chance to see him for the person he truly is, sharing that “part of representing a trans character on television is that it’s good representation too.”
Like Kristin Johansen, the fictional mother of Isaiah Stannard’s character on Good Girls was accepting of her trans child’s transition. The series follows three suburban moms (Christina Hendricks, Retta, Mae Whitman) as they plan heists and risk their lives for a chance at starting over. Some of the storylines in Good Girls revolve around Annie’s desire to give her kid a good life, resulting in her ability to break the law to fund her child’s transition.
ISAIAH STANNARD IS ON INSTAGRAM
Ever since coming out, both in his personal life and through his character’s journey on Good Girls, Isaiah Stannard has somewhat maintained an active social media presence. He has accumulated quite an excellent following on Instagram, with a current total of 173,000 followers.
He has posted pictures with drag queens, his mom, and Harry Styles concerts he has attended, all to the delight of his fans.
However, the actor hasn’t posted anything to his account since November 2022, so time will tell if he will become active again. His most recent post talks about gratefulness and looking up to mentors like trans actor Dylan Mulvaney, a popular figure on TikTok.
Over 23,000 Instagram followers have liked the post, and former costar Matthew Lillard and Broadway actor Jessica Phillips commented to demonstrate their support.
ONLY TRANS CHARACTERS GOING FORWARD
While starring on Good Girls, Isaiah Stannard took his talents back to the big screen by playing the part of Sam in the short film 5 Teenagers Walk Into a Bar. The movie costarred his mom, Kristin Johansen, who also portrayed the role of Cherisse on Good Girls. Kristin has costarred in a number of short films in addition to the television miniseries, Parallel.
Good Girls aired its last episode in 2021, leaving behind four seasons of acclaimed television content. After the series ended, Isaiah Stannard made a decision to play trans characters in the future to increase LGBTQ+ representation. He portrayed the trans character Evan on the HBO Max series Genera+ion, although the show was canceled after one season.
Isaiah Stannard does not currently have any projects lined up. With a fantastic resume full of noteworthy performances, audiences have not seen the last of what this young actor can do. At only 18 years old, the sky is the limit!