Be prepared to see Gabriel Conte like you've never seen him before

Be prepared to see Gabriel Conte like you've never seen him before. The young social media star may be best known for his viral Vine videos which have garnered over 1 billion loops, but Conte's latest project is showing off a different side of him. Conte will be staring in FOX's live production of "The Passion," the Tyler Perry musical that will follow the final hours of Christ's life. This is no easy feat -- not only will the entire production be broadcast in real-time to millions of TV-goers, but Conte will also be acting alongside some of Hollywood's biggest names including Chris Daughtry, Seal, and Trisha Yearwod. But if anyone is up for the challenge, it's Gabriel.

Not only does his theatrical background prepare him for the role, but so does his personal life. It is not everyday an actor can resonate with their script on a spiritual level. Growing up, faith played a crucial role in his life. So when the opportunity to join "The Passion" cast landed in his lap, Conte knew that it was the perfect role to kickstart his professional acting career. As he notes, "I think the biggest preparation was growing up in a Christian family that taught me the value of the Bible. So when I came to this, I already had this mindset of what it was all about and what the purpose was."

In anticipation of "The Passion," which premieres this Sunday on FOX at 8 p.m. ET, we caught up with Gabriel Conte about his newest project, how he decided to go from social media to on-screen acting, and more!

Talk to us a little bit about your background before you became a social star. You first started out in theater, correct?
Yes, I started with theater in like middle school, around 7th or 8th grade. I always wanted to act, but I always thought theater was kind of lame until my brother ended up doing it. After I saw him I thought I would give it a shot. And I just fell in love with it. I was doing plays and musicals all throughout high school, but then I graduated high school and thought acting and performing was a fun high school thing and nothing more. The summer after I graduated was when I hopped on Vine and that was just for fun at the time. I went to Florida Atlantic University for a year and during my fall semester, all I was basically doing was making Vines and the only class I enjoyed was my theater appreciation class. My mom was like, "You're dumb, you clearly want to act and be a part of the entertainment industry," and I realized she was right.

So I decided to audition to a bunch of different schools in Florida -- which is where I'm from -- and I got into all of them, but I decided to go to Florida State University because they had the best acting program. I committed there for the year of 2014-2015. With Vine at the time, I started seeing what people were doing there with sponsored posts and thought it would be a cool way to make money while I'm still in school. That was the case for a little bit when I left to go to Florida Sate, but during that whole year, things just started to pick up and it snowballed. And that whole year, I was in all these acting classes so it was a good year of preparation for me before I came out to L.A. Once I finished that next year at Florida State University, I came out to L.A. during the summer of 2015. I was planning to go back, but things just ended up going so well that I stayed. And I've been here now for about eight months.

View this post on Instagram

the hood πŸ€“ (photo:@markdohner)

A post shared by gabriel conte (@gabrielconte) on

How has social media influenced or effected your acting career?
Oh gosh, it's been tremendous. Even just making funny, small videos definitely helps, because it's always keeping my mind in a creative mindset. I'm always constantly thinking about how to tell a story or how to create a video. Even something as small as Vine helps with that creative mindset. And as far as the numbers go and having a large following, the larger following you have more opportunities there are that are readily available. I guess those are the two ways it's influenced me the most. It brings together opportunities while also simulating that creative energy, even if you're not on a traditional acting set.

How did your role on "The Passion" come about?
I initially heard about the project and was interested in learning more about it because of the specific topic and the role faith plays in my life. So, my manager (Kyle Santillo at Scale Management) reached out to the production team to see if there was anyway I could get involved. After a couple of weeks of going back and forth with their team, I was able to get a role on the show. It turns out the production team actually knew about, and liked my videos prior to even meeting me. And then I went to New Orleans for about a week just doing rehearsals and going through a few of the different locations. It was so good for me because I came from a more traditional acting background before I became active in this whole social media world. It was an incredible feeling to go back to my roots and learn so much from other talented performers and singers.

Faith plays an import role in your life. How have you resonated with the creative material you were given on "The Passion?"
It's honestly so great. I got a question several times when I was doing interviews in New Orleans, which was "How did you prepare for getting into this role?" And I think the biggest preparation was growing up in a Christian family that taught me the value of the Bible. So when I came to this, I already had this mindset of what it was all about and what the purpose was. It really meant so much to me honestly. And I would sit in on some of the scenes, and just think, "Wow, this is unbelievable."

There's so many projects out there you have to do where you don't know know anything about it and have to research everything from the ground-up. I came to this with just so much preparation before-hand. One it's a blessing to get into character, but it also means so much more to me personally. There are really no words, I could ramble about it forever. I just can't wait for people to see it.

How has it been like getting back into the ringer with live performances?
It's been awesome honestly. I haven't done it in a while, but I've wanted to. It makes me feel like when I used to perform live shows, because that's where I started. I had no idea how to do TV or film acting -- that was so foreign to me until I could get into it. But what I'm doing now is going back to my roots and that's making me feel really nostalgic. It's a great feeling.

Where do you see yourself and your career in the next five years? Do you think it would be more acting based?
I see myself acting on television and movies and even working on my own projects, whether they be writing a series or a movie. That would be something that I'm working towards. I want to have my own project that I can direct and star in.

View this post on Instagram

DAD HAT πŸ˜‚ photo:@jonmelson

A post shared by gabriel conte (@gabrielconte) on

How have fans reacted to news of "The Passion" since it's not your typical acting gig?
They love it! Especially with "The Passion" because I'm not shy about telling people what I believe online, so all of may fans know what I do believe. To be on something like "The Passion" as my first big project makes them so excited. The announcement came out so long ago, and still there's so many supportive tweets. I feel like I'm doing something right. Especially in entertainment where people can get so lost, I think everything that's happened feels so right. And just seeing how my fans have reacted has just confirmed that for me.

For more social stars, scroll through the gallery below:
YSK Social Stars
See Gallery
Be prepared to see Gabriel Conte like you've never seen him before
What are you looking at πŸ‘€πŸ˜‚
How I look every day because life is too short to not have fun with yourself πŸ™†πŸ»
Move the way you want to move πŸ’ƒπŸΌ
This is my face when someone mentions food!πŸ€“ Releasing a new video tonight! Can't wait!❀️
Shooting a new vid for you guys!! Uploading Wednesday!!!😍❀️🎬 #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
It's the most wonderful time of the yearβ€οΈπŸŽ„πŸŽ
"Mom she won't let me have a sip of her Capri Sun" -6 year old nerf gun loving Brent to 6 year old polly pocket obsessed Mere NEW VIDEO IS UP W/ @brentrivera πŸ‘« Link to watch is in my bio! ❀️
Adventuring with friends at the beach 🌊 Pretty sure this house was haunted... not to mention the door was open. Something you guys don't know about me is I am the most savage ghost hunter around nothing scares me and I mean nothing πŸ‘€ Do you believe in ghosts? πŸ‘»
Bonjour, je m'appelle Meredith. Comment t'appelle tu? Out of my 3 years of studying French this is one of the only things I remember πŸ˜‚πŸ‘‹
AHH!!! We hit 3MILLION subbies today!! πŸ’žπŸŽ‰πŸ˜­πŸŽ‚ I love my #macbabies so so much!!! You all mean the WORLD to me!!! Our family is growing so much! Thank you for allowing me to just be my awkward self. I love you and I can never thank you enough for all the opportunities you've given me!! πŸ’žπŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚βœ¨πŸ˜±
i like pink doors β™‘ video going up soon! ahh who's excited?!? link in my bio! also, what's your fav color?! hehe πŸ’žβœŒπŸΌοΈπŸŽ‰
until next time thailand β™‘ ps...guess who just uploaded a vlog!! you get a sneak peek of my final room decor!! ahh! also, how did you find my youtube channel? i'm so curious! πŸ’žπŸŒŽβœŒπŸΌοΈ
i just wanna travel the world ✈️ where should I go next ?πŸ˜‰
so ready for halloween πŸ‘» SOOOO, I just uploaded a brand new HALLOWEEN VIDEO!! Click the link in my bio to watch!πŸŽƒ
eye see you πŸ‘€ Ps: thank you all for your amazing and continued support. I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you so much. xoxo
Have you seen my new video yet!? It's all about music festivals so make sure to check it out on my YouTube channel! + there's some friends in it☺️
My new video is dropping today!!! Can you guess what it'll be..?πŸ˜—
u like em crazy babe don't u
the #londonhasfallen premiere last night πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§
when the waiter passes your table with food
Love him πŸ’•
Fun fact : purple and orange teacups are the fastest! :)
Pink paradise 🌴
Once you see it, you can't unsee it
PROUDEST PUPPY MOMS EVER 🐢🐢☺️ @karminmusic @garykarmin @djminimatt
✌🏼️boom✌🏼️ (photo:@markdohner)
WE OUT HERE AT THE #KCA's and the inner child in me is screaming.
trying my hardest to be "fierce"....
Welcome to slime history @rebelwilson !! πŸ˜πŸ˜‚ #KCA2016
2 0 1 6 - #HAPPYNEWYEAR on the water 2-5~6
We love taking walks, no phones, just talking about life. If you can, make time every week to take a 30-minute walk with a friend or a loved one. It's a cool way to get to know each other on a deeper level!
Leap year gives us all 24 extra hours to #DayItForward! We’ve teamed up w/ @Chevrolet to send love to #UsTheFamily - check out our Twitter feed tomorrow!!
Have you heard?! We're joining our friends @ptxofficial on the first leg of their World Tour this Spring! Click the link in our bio for tix, or visit :) PUMPED to meet some new and current #UsTheFamily members!
NEW VIDEO: Creepy Things Girls Do πŸ˜‚ Comment a, "🐬" if you've watched it/will watch it
Guess who's birthday is in 5 days?? (No it's not Dylan O'Brien) 😎
I came here to live life like nobody is watching β₯ β™‘
Happy Valentine's Day loves❀️
Did you catch the latest blog post on the blog (link in profile)?? Who else loves afternoon tea?? // πŸ“·: @torrancecoombs #TheAListIreland
Dorky smiles + a photobomb by some serious woman with a serious collar 😜😜 #HereCoombsTheBride
Soft curls and red lips πŸ’‹ // πŸ“·: @torrancecoombs
Every girl ought to have a pair of nude suede pumps! Nothing like New shoes Monday with @mgemi. Get more details on #liketkit #lovemgemi
On the streets of Paris in red and how I style my street style looks for fashion week revealed on #thechrisellefactor today! Direct link in bio πŸ‘‰πŸ» πŸ“·:@karenrosalie_
Rendezvous in Paris in Pink on #TheChriselleFactor today. Direct link in bio πŸ‘‰πŸ»
Your not ready for this #chromat #nyfw #teamthis
We run THIS show #HBDWang #rkobh #teamthis
When it's "chilly" out 😜 #ootd
ATL tonight 😏
had the King of LA @yg come through last night πŸ™πŸ½
If you guys saw how I looked before you would think it was magic 😩😭 My beautiful makeup for #kca by @beautybydianalomelin πŸ’«
Winding down with @SkinnyMintCom 😌 #TheOriginalTeatox #ad
Eating all that sushi finally turned me into a mermaid! 😭 for @projectmermaids #saveourbeach Photography by @angelinaventurellaphoto Hair and Makeup by @ljbeauty Bra by @edwordgarcia Sponsored by @sexyhair Project Manager @crissycrissybobissy
If you know me well or have read interviews I’ve done then you know that @marthastewart has always been my biggest inspiration when it comes to food. One of my goals is to be a combination of my two idols- Martha and Andy Warhol. As a child I would dream about spending the time and care like her to prepare a table, creating something very special for people to join around and share a meal. Watching her cook inspired me to teach myself how to hand weigh ingredients, to always have my mise en place organized, how to pronounce words like vichyssoise, and her wide usage of produce variety is honestly a large part of where my curiosity for our food sparked from. With this said, I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I was told that I was one of the 25 creatives @marthastewart is inspired by in celebration of their 25th anniversary. Thank you for helping me think and dream so big Martha, I am honored to share this and to make you all of the colors. #25yearsofmartha #foodgradients
I wanted to take a moment to reintroduce myself. I’m Brittany and I recognize that I seem to do a decent job of not sharing much about my actual self here or in interviews. I prefer to keep my art about the food and not myself. This community and my photography have become the biggest part of my life, I love it more than I have words to explain but there's more that makes me who I am. So for a quick moment here’s a bit- I’m 24, a taurus, live in Seattle but grew up in San Diego, my favorite food is a cheeseburger (super thin patty, toasted bun), my favorite bands are @stygoc and @metric, my first tattoo was the one on chest- it’s still my favorite and says β€˜love your life’, something many people sadly forget. I was raised by my grandparents, I love to make small collections of items like rocks and stickers, I grew up playing a lot of sports competitively, I love Star Wars and have Boba Fett tattooed on my arm but Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is my favorite movie. Many times I have been told that being an artist β€œcan’t be a real job” and that I was wasting my time trying to do so. I smile everyday not because I proved them wrong but because I achieved a goal. Dream big, everyone.
Thought I might start this week off with a past candy photo. Here's to hoping you all have the best days ahead! #foodgradients
KΓΆln!!!! Didn't pronounce your name right on stage but... You were AMAZING. Only a couple shows left in EU-- next up, London... (πŸ“·: @annamaria_langer )
Practicing our Spanish with @tvtelehit Mexico πŸ‡²πŸ‡½
Sam wants to play Jack & Rose in Titanic but Casey's all "nah i'm good, have fun tho mang"
We drove 28 hours to get to Canada. The jeep is still runningπŸ’€πŸ˜
The Dallas episode for @heyusax is the funniest yet! Go watch it now on @go90 now!πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Keep lookin up.
That's a wrap #E! #Oscarafterpartyshow πŸŽ‰

More YouShouldKnow:
Why alternative band X Ambassadors will soon be a household name
Brittany Wright reveals her most touching fan moments yet
Chantel Jeffries gives us her best celebrity impression

Read Full Story

From Our Partners