At GiantMouse, we are always interested in the different relationships people have with their blades. For this installment of our Knifestyles series, we talk to veteran actor Shawn Ashmore, film and television mainstay, about his go-to knives and favorite EDC gear.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t recognize Shawn Ashmore. His face has graced screens big and small for over two decades, with a mile-long IMDb to prove it. From teen Disney Channel classics to some of the most iconic sci-fi franchises in history, Shawn continues to reinvent himself project after project, bringing his unique flair to every role he touches.
For many, Shawn is and forever will be Bobby Drake (aka Iceman) from the massive X-Men films. But it’s safe to say everyone probably has their favorite slice of his filmography. Be it Jake from the Animorphs TV series, Agent Mike Weston in The Following, Wesley Evers in The Rookie, or Lamplighter from Prime Video blockbuster The Boys. Not to mention featured parts in cult hits like The Outer Limits, Smallville, and Fringe—the list goes on (and on, and on).
Having tackled the full spectrum of genres and mediums (we didn’t even touch on his video game work), Shawn’s embarking on an entirely new adventure—launching a badass titanium pry bar, The Archon, through his brand Peace Neighbor. We were lucky enough to grab a quick chat with the actor to learn about the role knives and EDC gear play in his life.
The Knifestyles of Shawn Ashmore
What originally got you into knives?
I’ve had a pocket knife since I was very young. My parents allowed my brother and I to have a Swiss Army knife when we were around 10.
I found a new love of knives and gear many years later while I was shooting a television show (The Following). I played an FBI agent, so every episode I would have new gear and knives. Ever since then, I’ve been collecting! I have around 30 knives in my collection and they vary greatly, but I find a use for all of them.
How do knives fit into your life?
I carry a knife everyday. For me, it's about utility and ease of use. Whether it be opening packages, cutting a tag off my son's clothes, or sitting on the couch fidgeting—I have one in my pocket at all times!
What's your go-to everyday carry gear? Favorite GiantMouse?
I carry a folding knife (often a GM), a rustic heirloom wallet, Peace Neighbor pry bar (The Archon), a Tactile Turn Bolt Action pen, and a Tudor Submariner on the wrist.
I’ve been aware of GiantMouse for quite some time. My first knife was the GMX, which I absolutely love!
I've handled and carried five or six GM knives, and my absolute favorite, to my surprise honestly, is the brass Clyde. Jim (GiantMouse CEO) and I were chatting on Instagram and I asked what he carried. He said the brass Clyde and offered to send me one to try. I honestly thought it would just be a more budget friendly GMX and on paper it is, but something happened when I handled it. I just fell in love with the weight and size, and frankly the action on the washers. It's become a go to for me! I just love it.
How did you start your career in acting?
I’ve been acting professionally since I was nine. I just fell into it honestly. That being said, I've known it was what I wanted to pursue as a career since I was 14.
I was coming home from a day of shooting and thinking about going back to high school the next day and feeling like the “acting thing” was way more interesting, fulfilling, challenging, and up my alley than anything I was doing in school… and they paid me to do it. I knew I needed to do whatever it took to make this my career.
It was a gift to be that sure of my direction at such a young age. I got a head start on my profession and I never looked back. Best thing that could have happened. As far as my favorite project, that’s too hard. I’ve loved something about every acting job I’ve ever done!
What are the biggest challenges you face in your acting career? What are your favorite parts of acting?
The biggest challenge is just getting the job. It's a very competitive industry and you have to constantly be scrapping for roles. Exciting when you are in your twenties, but gets old in your 40’s! My favorite part is just being on set with other actors and bringing a scene to life. It never gets old.
What's your life motto?
My motto and something I’m constantly needing to remind myself is “enjoy this moment.” My brain is always scheming on the next thing. Part of that is the nature of being a creative person and relying on that to support your family. However, beautiful moments will pass you by if you don’t stop and enjoy your life today…in whatever state it's in.
Peace and thank you for this opportunity, and of course all the amazing knives and gear you put into the world!