Thursday / February 03 / 2022

Jake McDorman for PhotoBook

This year is off to a great start with a new photoshoot! Jake recently spoke with PhotoBook Magazine and discussed his career and his upcoming projects. You can read the interview below, and visit our gallery for outtakes!

What inspired you to break into the acting industry?
It was something I knew I wanted to do for a very long time, from a very young age. I didn’t have a name for it, I didn’t know where to go, or what to do, or exactly what shape it would take, but I eventually found acting to be the outlet I was looking for. A way to extend an immersive imagination with other actors on stage. Once I found that tribe, I knew I’d never want to leave.

What can you tell us about your roles in your two upcoming projects, FX’s new series Class of ’09 and the upcoming Paramount+ film Jerry and Marge Go Large?
Jerry and Marge Go Large is a movie I did last year with Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening directed by David Frankel. It’s a true story about a Michigander who, after retirement, discovered a flaw in the Winfall lottery, and exploited using the winnings to help rebuild his small, rural town. I play their son and we shot it over the course of five or six weeks in Atlanta. It was a great group of people. Class of ’09 is another great group of people, also in Atlanta. It follows a graduating class of FBI trainees from the time they spent together at Quantico, across their careers as agents over the course of three decades. It stars Brian Tyree Henry and Kate Mara, and we’re about halfway through filming.

If you could play any role what would it be?
I honestly don’t know what I’m right for until I read it. And even then, sometimes I’ll need convincing. So, it’s hard to pluck a dream role out of thin air. I’d have to read it in the context of a script. It has to crystalize in that part of the process or it never does.

Although you have been acting for many years, if you weren’t, what do you think you would pursue?
I started working on my house last year. Building and renovating. It’s a shift; working with my hands. I’ve enjoyed how tactile and practical it is. It’s relaxing, cathartic. I never thought I’d enjoy it as much as I have. So, if film is off the table, maybe I’d build one.

Describe your favorite moment of your career so far, or one of them?
My forever answer to this question is Taika (Waititi) and Jermaine (Clement) directing my O-Face via walkie talkie for What We Do in the Shadows. It can’t be beat. I think any time I’ve gotten to work with someone whose work I admire—it’s been a highlight. I’ve found there’s a real kinship among people who love the process. It’s never not educational. Always unmastered, ever changing. So, to get in the ring with someone who elevates you, whether that be a director, writer, actor, it’s always a highlight.

Who is someone you’d love to work with whom you haven’t yet?
I can’t tell you, what if they read this.

What is your favorite project you’ve worked on?
I can’t pick a favorite, what if they read this.

How has life during the pandemic affected your career?
You know, more than anything, it’s put my career in perspective. I’m grateful to be able to work, I’m even more grateful for the people I love. This was a hard year for everyone. It’s still hard. A lot of change, equal parts good and bad. We need each other. I’m very grateful for the people in my life.

What are you must haves to bring to set?
Portable fan, New York Time’s crossword, and a book I never end up reading past the first chapter.

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