Even now, it seems like he can hardly believe it. When New York actor Sean Kleier ’05 was cast in a commercial for the travel company Expedia, he knew there would be some travel involved; Expedia told him part of the commercial would be shot in Canada. Once the cameras started rolling in New York, however, Sean was in for a big surprise.
“I’m in front of the camera, and they say, ‘We’re going to China,’ but all I can think is, ‘But how can they make Canada look like China?’ Once I realized that I was really going to China, I started to sweat profusely. I was so excited.”
You may have seen the commercial this fall: Expedia offers a young man a surprise trip to China. He’s caught off guard for a moment, but grabs his ticket and runs. A few scenes later, we see him on top of the Great Wall. That young man is Sean Kleier, who suddenly found himself taking the trip of a lifetime.
“We filmed for two days in New York,” Sean recalled, “and the next thing I knew, we were in Beijing. We shot for five days—did a whole sightseeing tour of the city. We spent a day walking through the Forbidden City and another in the hutongs [marketplaces] on some of the oldest streets in Beijing. We shot on an expanse of the Wall that we had all to ourselves. We shot at dawn, and it was just gorgeous. I was very lucky, and it was an amazing experience.”
The Expedia job was a highlight, but Sean has several other projects in the works. He’s just finished filming for two features, She Lights Up Well and Julia. In January, he started filming as the lead in the romantic comedy Sam, which is being produced by Mel Brooks. “Comedy is my sweet spot,” he says. “That’s where I have the most fun, but I’m starting to spread out a bit. I feel so lucky, no matter what kind of role it is.”
“It all started at KCD,” Sean said. “I started on speech team in fourth grade, did the middle and upper school plays. Ms. Scinta and Ms. Shoulta were amazing guiding lights for me. Some of my fondest memories are of high school plays.”