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Thursday / October 08 / 2020

Interview with Assignment X

One day to go until the series premiere of The Right Stuff! Check out this interview of Assignment X wherein Jake discussed the television adaptation of the Tom Wolfe novel and portraying a real-life American legend.

ASSIGNMENT X: How much of the Mercury 7 story did you already know when you became involved with THE RIGHT STUFF?

JAKE McDORMAN: Honestly, not very much at all. I think I recognized John Glenn’s name. I mean, I knew about THE RIGHT STUFF probably more than I did about what THE RIGHT STUFF was about. So, I recognized that IP. My dad talked about the movie all the time, specifically Scott Glenn [who played Shepard in the feature film version], but no pressure there from Dad. But more than that, not too much, which was interesting, because that meant when I read the script, that was really the first framework I had for what our show was going to be, without having the movie’s adaptation rattling around up there, or even the book. So, it was really the script that was my first introduction to the Mercury Program, and certainly who Alan Shepard was, and the other astronauts in the script – Wally Schirra [played by Aaron Staton], Scott Carpenter [played by James Lafferty], and Deke Slayton [played by Micah Stock]. So, I had a lot of research to do.

AX: The movie cast was a little confusing, because you had the actor Sam Shepard playing Chuck Yeager, and then there was Alan Shepard as a character, who was played by Scott Glenn, and Ed Harris was playing John Glenn, and when you were thinking about it later, it was like, “Wait, Shepard is …?”

McDORMAN: [laughs] I know, I know. We made a joke at the table read like that. It was like, “I’m Jake McDorman, and I’m playing Sam Shepard.”

AX: As a character, is Alan Shepard a departure for you? Because he and John Glenn, particularly, seemed to have egos the size of buildings. You generally play less swaggering people, apart from the Dark Ages warlord in WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS …

McDORMAN: Yeah. Alan Shepard is a departure for me in a lot of ways. The first thing is that he comes from a military family. His dad was in the [U.S.] Army, his granddad was in the Army, and Shepard himself was in the Navy. So that already comes from a family background that’s really different than anything that I’m used to. I don’t have any immediate family that served. So even just understanding what a family like that is like, what an upbringing like that is like, as far as the discipline, how the chain of command trickles down not just professionally, but also at home, the relationship that Shepard has with his father, is a big departure from anything that I’ve played before, or anything that I really know in my personal life.

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Tuesday / October 06 / 2020

The Right Stuff World Premiere

Jake attended the world premiere of The Right Stuff at the Disney+ Drive-In Festival yesterday. Check out some photos in our gallery! Don’t forget the double-episode season premiere this Friday.


Tuesday / September 22 / 2020

Jake McDorman Joins Hulu’s Dopesick

Jake has joined the cast of Hulu’s upcoming drama, Dopesick, in a recurring guest star role! The miniseries stars Kaitlyn Dever, Michael Keaton, Will Poulter, and Peter Sarsgaard.

The series looks into the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction, taking viewers from a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA, and to the opulence of “one percenter” Big Pharma Manhattan. The eight-episode limited series is based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name by Beth Macy.

Soo will play Amber, a sales rep with Purdue Pharma who is part of the first team to sell OxyContin. McDorman will play John Brownlee, a US Attorney overseeing the case against Purdue Pharma that focused on the marketing practices surrounding OxyContin.

VARIETY

Dopesick  -  News

Tuesday / September 22 / 2020

Jake McDorman for Esquire Latinoamerica

Jake recently spoke with Esquire Latinoamerica via Zoom to discuss his latest project, The Right Stuff, and more! This article is originally in Spanish, so apologies if the automatic translation is inaccurate.

ESQUIRE: Tell us about The Right Stuff.

JAKE MCDORMAN: The series is based on Tom Wolfe’s book of the same name, which tells the story of a group of astronauts in the American Space Program , where they tested experimental aircraft and rockets. 

It tells who they were, what they did, enters their personal lives and shows us what their relationships with their wives were like.

It was very interesting because they became famous in the world, the American media projected them as celebrities and they were not necessarily prepared for that level of fame.

ESQ: What made you decide to participate in this production?

JM: Honestly, it was a bit of everything. The pilot script was fantastic, one of the best I’ve read in years for a single camera drama.

He had a lot of different characters to introduce and juggle ; all that, in one hour of broadcast, is impressive. I think Mark Lafferty (the producer) did incredibly well. 

Plus, Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company was involved, which has a certain pedigree and makes you feel like you’re in good hands, and the fact that it was for NatGeo (Disney + wasn’t involved at the time) gave it even more exposure.

ESQ: Do you have anything in common with your character, Alan Shepard?

JM: Yes, I think you always find coincidences with the characters you play. I would say insecurities can be pretty universal, and even though these guys did very brave things, they are still human. 

Alan’s reluctance to be famous, as well as his ongoing struggle with being a celebrity and the fame that came with the Space Program, are things any actor can relate to. 

Alan and the other six astronauts were among the most famous people in the 1960s; I, obviously, have not lived something like that or at that level, but in my microcosm I can understand the anxiety of being in the public eye.

ESQ: Of all the characters you have played so far, which has been your favorite?

JM: Brian Finch from Limitless. I didn’t play it for that long, but it was a show focused on this character’s experience and the show’s writers were terrific, they wrote according to my strengths and allowed me to have fun with it. 

I also really enjoyed my experience on HBO’s Watchmen, the character was kind of nefarious, but it was a fun world and I’m a huge fan of comics. 

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Friday / August 21 / 2020

The Right Stuff Official Trailer

Disney+ has released the official trailer of The Right Stuff, along with the announcement of its double-episode series premiere on October 9th!


Sunday / July 26 / 2020

The Right Stuff Comic-Con@Home Panel + New Clip

As previously announced, The Right Stuff held a panel as part of the Comic-Con@Home. The cast and crew all gathered to discuss about making the show. A new clip was also released, which features Jake’s character, Lieutenant Commander Alan Shepard, rushing to making a meeting at NASA. You can watch both below!


Thursday / July 02 / 2020

Disney+ Joins Comic-Con@Home

Three of Disney+ shows will be having virtual panels next month as part of the Comic-Con@Home event, including The Right Stuff. From the press release, Jake will be part of the panel.

UPDATE: Their panel is scheduled on July 25th, 1PM PST.

Disney will tout three projects coming to its Disney+ streaming service with virtual panels during next month’s Comic-Con@Home event.

Anthology docuseries Marvel’s 616, scripted original series The Right Stuff and animated movie Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe will all get screen time.

Comic-Con@Home will be held on the same dates as the physical Comic-Con, which was canceled due to COVID-19: July 22 to 26.

The Right Stuff, like the feature film and book it is based on, explores the early days of the U.S. space program. The first National Geographic scripted original series headed for Disney+, it comes from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television.

The panel for the show will feature cast members Patrick J. Adams, Jake McDorman, Colin O’Donoghue, Michael Trotter, Aaron Staton, Micah Stock, James Lafferty, Nora Zehetner, Shannon Lucio, Eloise Mumford, Eric Ladin and Patrick Fischler. Showrunner and exec producer Mark Lafferty and executive producer Jennifer Davisson will also appear. The moderator will be former NASA Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison.

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