You may know actor, singer, and model Days of Our Lives" or as a contestant on Season 6 of "Nashville Star." Now the 27-year-old Louisiana native (and former Taylor Swift music video love interest) is taking on a whole new kind of role -- he'll be portraying John Stamos in Lifetime's "The Unauthorized Full House Story," which airs August 22.
What's it like to step into the iconic Uncle Jesse's leather boots? Gaston chatted with us about the pressures of playing such a beloved character, how he prepared for the role, Full House."
Moviefone: What was this audition process like? John Stamos is such an iconic TV figure to play.
Justin Gaston: I know! I remember being in a car or something with my wife and she read in The Hollywood Reporter or something that Lifetime was putting out this movie and she was like "You would be perfect for John Stamos!" And then I got an audition for it and then I kind of forgot about it. Then I went in -- I think pretty late in the process -- just for casting, and within a few days I was flying to Vancouver. It was pretty quick!
You're sort of right in the age group of someone who would watch "Full House" at a younger age. Were you a fan of the show growing up?
Yeah, I was a big fan. I still enjoy watching it since it comes up all the time.
How did you prepare to play John? Did you watch a ton of old episodes? The first clip shows that you have those mannerisms down a bit.
Even when I got to the audition I started trying to watch as many episodes as I could. Throughout the entire process of filming before I would go to bed I would try to watch a couple episodes. I tried to watch as many interviews of John Stamos from when he was younger. I watched some of him as Blackie Parrish [his "General Hospital" character], I tried to YouTube that to see him in that role.
Without giving too much away, what are some of the most interesting tidbits you learned about him or "Full House" throughout this project? Anything that really surprised you?
I think everybody knows a lot about him in general. But I didn't realize some of the women he had dated. There were a lot. I also didn't realize he was on "General Hospital" until I did some research and I didn't realize he had two other shows before he landed "Full House."
Was there any other personal character backstory that surprised you, considering the cast was relatively different than the characters they portrayed on "Full House"?
I wasn't really that shocked. I feel like most people have seen Bob Saget's standup so you know what he's about, he's kind of that character. From what I understand from a lot of the interviews I've watched, Dave Coulier seems to be a really good guy and I think he really enjoys the show and still loves it. Most of them are doing "Fuller House" now and it seems like they're still all friends. From what I understand it seems like a pretty good environment.
What about achieving Jesse's look? Tell us about getting that famous hair.
That was a lot of fun. I went to the fitting and it's just that late '80s and early '90s really bright colors. There's that vest, and the tank tops that Uncle Jesse wore. My hair was really short at the time so we used a wig, but it was a lot of fun.
What was the most challenging thing about playing John Stamos?
I think he's just so beloved by so many people, myself as well. I grew up with him as Uncle Jesse. You wanna do him and the character justice and you want people to enjoy it.
Did you find that you had any similarities with him or do you think you're pretty different performers?
We're both musicians and my first instrument was the drums. I think there's a lot of similarities. He sings, I play guitar. We have a lot in common.
Jesse and the Rippers is a big part of his "Full House" identity. Did you get to sing at all?
Yeah, I didn't actually do the singing. But you'll get a little Jesse and The Rippers action. Wouldn't be "Full House" without it.
Did you have a chance to sing "Forever"?
No... We didn't get to do that one. And that's like the best one!
Have you ever gotten a chance to meet John Stamos?
I did meet him. It was a long time ago and it was pretty brief. I talked to him for about 10 minutes or so at the Gibson Showroom here in LA.
If you had a message for the original cast, what would you say to them about this movie and why they should tune in?
I'd like to say that it's sort of a love letter to the show and to them and to the characters. I hope that they enjoy it and see it as that.
Do you have a favorite "Full House" episode?
I don't know... I think my favorite part of the show is Uncle Jesse -- well, John Stamos and Dave Coulier's back and forth. That's my favorite dynamic on the show. Let me think... I like the chicken pox episode a lot.
Are you going to watch "Fuller House" now that you're a part of this whole thing?
Yeah, but I would have watched it anyway. I will probably watch it in a different light having done this role. And I'm excited to see "Grandfathered" as well.
How do you think diehard "Full House" fans will respond to this movie?
I was a big fan of "Saved By the Bell" so I was excited when they did that one ["The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story"] and I wasn't involved in it at all. I hope people have a similar outlook. All it is is kind of reliving that great story and those really great characters.