By Gail E. Moss
Peyton Wich is not a typical child actor. Not because he’s good, really good—because he’s smart, really smart.
He’s already made his mark in the Netflix drama Stranger Things as the bully Troy and in his next series, Mr. Mercedes, a David E. Kelly adaptation of Steven King’s thriller, he plays Danny.
Peyton just turned 14 and already has the training and skills to portray these totally different characters, saying “Troy was psycho, and Danny is a cool, normal kid.” He works hard at his craft, adding, “When I was about nine I came out of my room and told my parents I want to be an actor.” They took him at his word and enrolled him in acting classes.
“I hate school,” Peyton laughs, “I just want to act.” He is working toward graduating early. Leaving traditional classes for an accelerated program to get his degree, he’s taking steps toward relocating from New Orleans to Los Angeles when he is 16 and becoming eligible to work as an adult. “I can work longer hours and not have to attend school on set,” he says. (I told you he had a plan.)
“No plan B, that’s just an excuse to give up,” relates a confident Peyton. “I’m drawn to cerebral roles,” he says. “I know I could play an older character but I am also looking forward to additional opportunities when I am able to take 18-to-look-younger roles.”
Intense about his career path, he still knows how to have fun hanging out with friends: “When I’m not working I like to do, you know, just normal stuff,” he confides.
Watch Mr. Mercedes, premiering August 9 on Audience Network, and for the upcoming Lifetime movie River Runs Red.