Photographer Joshua Shultz
BELLUS MAGAZINE (BM): How long have you been acting?
JAKE MCDORMAN (JD): Super long time. 11 years in LA.
BM: When did you make the transition to LA and why?
JM: We drove out in January of 2003 when I was 16. It was a very big decision, and it definitely wasn’t something that happened overnight. I had been acting in Dallas for about three or four years in classes and some in school. I had an agent there. I started going to local auditions; I met more like-minded people. Moving to LA was a goal everyone talked about and one that I had been building towards for a long time. It also wasn’t something I expected would happen anytime soon. It took a lot of encouragement and support. My family has been so supportive. From the very beginning, they helped me take this intangible thing that I wanted to do and turn it into something I could sign up for and get better at.
BM: What was it like acting on the show The Newsroom?
JM: It was awesome. A cast of that caliber with Sorkin’s words. There’s a rhythm to everything he writes. It’s almost lyrical. And the set is incredible. They built an entire newsroom modeled after CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta on a sound stage in Hollywood. I think in certain scenes they have something like seven cameras rolling simultaneously. It’s amazing. That’s a great environment to work in because you’re never quite sure when you’re on or off camera. Nobody announces that it’s your close up which is very freeing. In that way, it feels more like theater and less like a TV show. Then again, it’s not TV. It’s HBO.
BM: What is it like working with the cast of Shameless?
JM: I really can’t sing their praises enough. They were all so welcoming. Plus…I think like 80% of the cast including myself has had to go completely naked for a scene at least once or twice, so you do get very comfortable with everyone very fast. It’s like a rite of passage. But the cast and everyone involved with the show is so good at what they do. Especially this season. Shameless can have such an interesting one big happy vibe to it, but this season really changes tonally. Especially for Emmy’s character.
JM: Mike Pratt is a very sweet man who has the very unfortunate luck of falling for Fiona at a pivotal turning point in her life. To quote Miley Cyrus…she comes in like a wrecking ball.
BM: What is next for you in the future? What projects can we expect to see next?
JM: Over the hiatus last year I filmed a couple of movies. One of them is also starring Steve Howey from Shameless called “See You in Valhalla” although we don’t have any scenes together. I’ve never been on set with Howey. We just keep seeing each other at table reads for things we’re both in. I also finished work on the movie “Me Him Her” last summer which should premiere later this year. It’s written and directed by Max Landis. I’d love to tell you about it, but Max has said not to say a word until he gives the signal. And he told me I’ll know what that is when I see it…*gazes out window*
BM: What advice would you give to other aspiring artist out there looking to break into acting?
JM: There are so many creative platforms today for people who are aspiring artists. I think that’s one of the most exciting things about this generation. Everyone can share instantly. Things can go viral. Those who otherwise wouldn’t have the means can find a voice and be heard. If I could give any advice, it would just be to act. Find an outlet any way you can. Whether it’s in a class, school, an audition, a Vine video—there are no rules. Be creative.
BM: Where is the best place for your fans to go to get up to date news on you, if they want to follow your journey?
You can follow me on Twitter: @jakemcdorman and Instagram: @jake_mcdorman and Vine: @jakemcdorman