Brandon Tyler Russell, his mother’s favorite Christmas gift, was born December 25, 1995 in Lake Forest, Illinois. Whereas nurses typically wrap newborns in a blanket prior to handing them back, Russell arrived in a red stocking. Six months later, he booked his first of many print auditions – Evenflo Dual Face Carriers.
At age three, Russell began repeating lines from films and TV. Red Lobster had a few red faces when the toddler entered the restaurant and shouted, “Show me the money, because I like black people!” Russell spent the next few months with a barrage of requests to his mother: “How do I get in the T.V.?” and “I wanna be in the T.V.” For his fourth birthday, mom gave Russell a special gift – a talent agent.
Russell booked his first of two-dozen commercials three months later. For “Donley’s Wild West Town,” he enjoyed shooting cap guns and assumed that this amusement park visit was just a fun, non-working venture. Russell also strutted catwalks including Jayne Seymour’s 2003 Carson Pirie Scott product line promotion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Due to Russell’s height, Seymour matched the small seven year-old with a five year-old girl.
Russell shot his favorite commercial at age nine. In the “Orange Communications” spot (U.K. version of AT&T), the excited young “Star Wars” fan worked with Anthony Daniels (C3PO) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca). Mayhew and Russell have since run into each other several times.
Later that same year, Brandon’s first audition for a short film led to a poignant starring role. The bully theme of the Northwestern University production "Sweet Vengeance" mirrored Russell’s life at school. Russell established himself as an anti-bullying advocate and began participating in online and live events targeting the problem. In 2009’s "The Exemption of Hunter Reilly," Russell’s widowed mother ignores her bullied son’s plight. The tragic finale has drawn numerous tears. Prepping for the film included three weeks of stage combat training in addition to learning how to stunt-fall safely. Brandon was nominated for a Young Artist Award in 2010 for the role. Brandon was again nominated for 2011 for his role in the short film "Wurm."
Russell and his mother commuted between Illinois and Los Angeles until July ’08. The combination of agent suggestions and their choice for manager refusing interviews with anyone not living in L.A. helped them decide to relocate to his current home in the San Fernando Valley.
Russell earned his first TV credit in mid 2009 with “Disney’s Three Minute Game Show” testing tweens and teens on their knowledge of Disney film/TV trivia. Russell victoriously competed against other actors including close friend Camila Forero ("Gary Unmarried").
In August 2009, Russell booked his first feature film, Tricoast Iowa Productions’ Smitty. Directed by David Mickey Evans (“The Sandlot”) and starring screen legend Peter Fonda, alongside Academy Award winners Mira Sorvino and Lou Gossett, Jr. After Brandon went on to play the role of 'Ronny' in the feature Wiener Dog Nationals (2013), The martial Arts Kid (2015), Beverly Hills Christmas (2015). Brandon will also appear in the feature Hidden Valley the Awakening (2016) and Fishes 'n Loaves: Heaven Sent .
Brandon also just wrapped production on a new pilot. It's called HOTEL P, he plays Malachi. The pilot also stars: Dennis Haskins (from Saved By The Bell) & Todd Bridges (from Different Strokes). He also appeared in the series "Instant Mom" as Vinnie in the episode Hourly Rage.