For ten-year-old David Kohlsmith, an internationally sought-after actor hailing from Toronto, his craft is all about bringing someone’s imagination to life. He takes the words written down on a page and turns them into a living and breathing being, giving them a voice and personality for audiences to connect with.
“My job as an actor is to tell the story in a way that reflects what the writer, directors and producers intended the characters to be but also adding my own creative touch to make them unique and help them tell the story so that these make-believe worlds can be enjoyed by millions of people,” he says.
Millions around the world have enjoyed Kohlsmith’s work. Whether in the DC blockbuster Shazam!, the terrifying horror film The Prodigy and television series Chucky and SurrealEstate, and many more, this Canadian knows how to capture the attention of an audience at an impressively young age, taking home a Joey Award for his work in The Prodigy and receiving another nomination for the web series According to Kids.
“I take a physical approach to acting. I need to use my senses, to touch, feel and smell the same things that my character does. I find that it helps me step into their life more easily. I also do a lot of research whenever I can, to learn about the time period that the production is set in, and I use this information to visualize the world my character lives in. If I play a character that I cannot relate to, such as a terrified child or a murderer, I ask my parents to help me answer questions and find information that will bring me some clarity about the experiences of such characters,” says Kohlsmith.
Another genre that holds a spot in Kohlsmith’s heart is holiday films. Having worked on Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles starring Kurt Russell, he realized the passion he had for Christmas movies. Three years later when he was offered the role of Sebastian in The Great Christmas Switch, he knew it was a part he would enjoy.
“This movie was shot in July and it was a lot of fun to get into the Christmas spirit in the middle of the summer,” recalls Kohlsmith. “Living with my set family for a month provided the opportunity to bond with these actors in a way that is different than I have experienced in my previous projects where my scene partners change often.”
The Great Christmas Switch tells the story of twin sisters. One is a single girl in the city with a demanding boss, and the other a single mother of two in the Midwest. They decide to switch places for Christmas in an effort to get away from their problems for a little while, with hilariously disastrous and miraculous results.
Kohlsmith plays Sebastian, the son of one of the twins. Sebastian is sweet, happy and funny. He likes video games, eating cookies and teasing his sister, who is dealing with the typical issues that girls that age deal with, withdrawn in her teenage world. Sebastian tries to keep the balance in the family by adding his natural sweetness and comedic relief to try and bring his family together and shift everyone’s focus on the spirit of the holidays.
He is essential to the storyline and keeping up the Christmas spirit, and Kohlsmith was more than up for the task. This lighthearted role provided a nice change of pace for Kohlsmith, who was coming off a run of dramatic and serious projects, and allowed him to showcase his incredible versatility.
“I like how the story begins by describing everyone’s hectic lives and struggles but in the end, everything falls into place and the family comes together and gets their happy ending,” says Kohlsmith.
The Great Christmas Switch was an original TV movie for Great American Family, and has since been distributed across streaming platforms. It was a hit when it premiered on the network in 2021 and remained a go-to for Christmas movie fans last year. Kohlsmith’s performance was a fan-favorite, and he is proud to bring people joy over the holiday season.