Love, Simon is making a star out of its charming lead actor.
The heartwarming movie about a closeted gay teen struggling in high school stars Nick Robinson, a 22-year-old actor with a surprising amount of titles already under his belt.
“When I started acting I never viewed it as a career, it was more like something fun that I did in my spare time, and if you had told me then when I was 14 or 15 that I would be here now, I think I would have had a hard time believing it,” Robinson told PEOPLE recently. “I never really thought that it would be something that I necessarily would do. I would never have thought that it would end up taking me where it has.”
From gallivanting with dinosaurs with Chris Pratt to fighting off aliens with Chloe Grace Moretz, Robinson is no stranger to the big screen. Read on for more about the rising star.
The movie helped him connect with his gay brother after he came out
Robinson revealed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that one of his brothers came out around the same time he started filming the movie. While he said the timing was a coincidence, he admitted that the role helped him connect to his brother in that moment.
“He came out around the same time that we started filming,” Robinson said. “But one of the best things that came out of this movie is being able to talk to him and I think that’s the strength of a film like this is it starts a conversation. I hope that it can do that for more people and start a conversation that otherwise may not have been there.
He already has a few big movies under his belt
The young actor has starred in the blockbuster hit Jurassic World as Bryce Dallas Howard’s nephew and opposite Chloe Grace Moretz in The 5th Wave. He also played Amandla Stenberg’s love interest in the drama Everything, Everything.
“I grew up with the movies—they were always around the house,” he told Teen Vogue in 2015. “They’re considered a standard by now. I have a very specific memory of going on a family reunion to Lake Roosevelt in Washington, and it was on in the living room. For some reason me watching Jurassic at that cabin is still very vivid.”
Next up for Robinson is Krystal, a comedic drama directed by William H. Macy in which he falls for ex-stripper and junkie Rosario Dawson. His character uses AA meetings to get close to his crush even though he’s never drank before.
He’s an avid outdoorsman
Robinson’s Instagram feed is filled with pictures and videos of the young actor enjoying time in nature. From hiking to boating and dirt biking, it’s clear Robinson has an affinity for being outside. He told Teen Vogue back in 2015 that he has ran into wild animals a few times on his excursions.
“I went up to the Redwoods to go camping recently—we just hiked around. It was beautiful,” he said. “The last day, the ranger told us there was a big black bear up the road that they were moving into another location. Luckily I’ve had a lot of practice—give me a black bear over a Velociraptor any day.”
He took time off acting to go to college
Robinson was admitted NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies after graduating high school in 2013 but ended up deferring his first year to finish up his stint as Melissa Joan Hart’s nephew on Melissa & Joey. But he was ready to hit the ground running in 2015.
“I’m still not sure what I want to do, but I just got my class schedule and everything—it’s all locked in,” he told Teen Vogue. “It takes a semester at least to get adjusted, but then I should be able to balance acting and school. It was always an expectation, and I’ve always wanted to go to college, so I’m taking some time to go have fun at NYU in New York.”