There are a few things that separate Andrew Bachelor from the rest of Vine’s young, wildly popular celebrities.
For starters, he’s Vine royalty, both in name and stature. His stage name is literally “King Bach,” and any smartphone-wielding teenager will likely recognize the pseudonym. He’s also Vine’s most popular user with more than 11.3 million followers, a crown he claimed this week when he passed fellow Vine celeb Nash Grier.
The second distinction for Bach, as he’s called by his friends, is one he’s keen to point out.
“I’m theatrically trained,” said Bach, 26, who has taken classes at the New York Film Academy and LA-based theatre school The Groundlings. “Before Vine, before any of the social media, I was an actor. I was going to auditions, I was taking the classes. A lot of other Viners just discovered Vine and became [actors] through Vine.”
And it turns out that amid his 11 million-plus followers, Bach has one very powerful one: Hollywood.
In the past year, Bach had recurring roles on three separate TV series, including Mindy Kaling’s “The Mindy Project” and Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N’ Out.”
He has five movie projects in different stages of pre- and post-production, including a part in Zac Efron’s upcoming movie “We Are Your Friends” in which he gets to play himself.
Bach credits Vine for his recent Hollywood success — he says he gets eight million views per video. Vine and his YouTube channel, with over 600,000 subscribers, serve as highlight reels of his work.
In a world of six-second sketches that often center around teenagers and their high school jokes, Bach is much more than a goofball. He tries to make people laugh with every Vine, sure, but not with practical jokes or by scaring unknown passersby on the street (two popular Vine techniques).
Instead, he’s writing scripts, and then directing, editing and producing the final product. That isn’t to say he hasn’t had help. It’s common for popular Viners to star in each other’s videos as a way to help boost audience and follower counts, and Bach uses this method regularly.
He isn’t the only Vine star getting Hollywood attention. But he does seem to be busier, and in higher demand, than just about anyone else from the platform.
Bach was chasing a Hollywood dream long before he joined Vine in 2013, but he wasn’t having much luck. He still auditions for roles, he said, but now at least people have heard of him when he walks in the door.
“I wasn’t getting any jobs at all,” he told Re/code. “I would go into these auditions and they were giving the roles to people with the bigger names. I was like, ‘how do I get a bigger name if you’re not giving me a chance?'”
“So I made my own name.”
YouTube and then Vine helped put Bach on the map. Now he’s hoping his massive following can help keep him there. One of the reasons he’s landing roles is that he has a built-in audience to help promote whatever film or show he’s working on. Not only is he acting, he’s advertising, too.
It helps that Bach has a following outside of Vine. He’s a staple on photo app Shots, where his pictures routinely garner more than 100,000 Likes, and he uses Instagram and Snapchat successfully as well.
It doesn’t bother Bach that producers are interested in his social media following. It’s one of the reasons he cares so much about being the platform’s most-followed user.
Bach says he won’t give up on Vine as he moves toward Hollywood — he wouldn’t shut down the massive audience he’s accumulated. He wants to model his career after Will Smith, who built his name on television’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” before starring in Hollywood blockbusters.
“The thing about [Will Smith] is he’s likable,” said Bach, who’s using social media to increase his own likability with fans. “[With social media] people can see what a day is like with King Bach. They see the struggle, they see the success.”
And one day soon, they’ll likely see him on a much bigger screen.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.