The Dallas, Texas native and his family made the move to California soon after the young star became infatuated with the art, an area where he can regularly go on auditions. Within his first 6 months of the move, he scored the role on This Is Us. Bates isn’t a big fan of watching himself act, but when he does, “it makes my heart pump, it’s like, ‘Whoa, I’m on TV!’ It’s kind of cool.” Bates plays one-third of the Big Three and has Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia as his parents. “Mandy is always fun to hang out with. She’s always really encouraging and is so great,” he shares. “Milo is like everyone’s dad. He makes sure everyone is okay and has what they need. He’s also fun to be around, and when we’re on set, he makes us feel really comfortable.”
However, at first, Bates didn’t have much experience and had difficulty getting in touch with his character’s emotions. “I was pretty new at [acting]. I didn’t really know how to let [my emotions] out,” he recalls. “Now that I’ve gotten to know everyone on set, it has become a lot more encouraging. It’s easier because they make it feel like a family.” Another thing Bates has learned in the acting industry is “to just go with it.” Even at a young age, he explores the power of optimism and wants aspiring actors to know that “you never really know what’s going to happen. If you get knocked down, you just have to pick yourself up and keep trying – even if you don’t get the role you want. There will still always be more roles that are awesome and great.”
Furthermore, in 2017 and 2018, the This Is Us cast won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. “I didn’t even know that I’d make it this far. This show has been doing so great. It was really awesome to get to go to the SAG Awards. It’s a really big thing that you never really think you’d be able to do,” he adds. The actor doesn't plan on going anywhere but up. In fact, Bates will be seen in the upcoming film Magic Max, where he has his very first lead in a movie, and even does his own stunts.