Our interview with “The Quad” talented actor Jake Allyn. “The Quad” (BET) follows students and administrators at Georgia A&M, a fictitious Historically Black College or University, and is already receiving rave reviews from The New York Times and Buzzfeed to name a few. Allyn portrays BoJohn Folsom, the school’s first white starting quarterback.
Allyn has also made his mark on the small screen with roles in notable television series such as The Middle, Blood Relatives, and Killer Kids. He also wrote two thriller films: Ex-Patriot and Forsaken.
Hi Jake, tell us about yourself.
I’m a born and bred Texan man. Though I bleed blue and silver for the Dallas Cowboys and will always remember the Alamo, I currently live in Venice Beach, California or out of my suitcase if I’m on the road for a project or press. I’m a passionate guy about anything I care about, which varies from family and home to the Cowboys and my favorite actors. For instance, I’ll defend Shia LaBeouf to my grave! While I stay passionate about my life, I also try and enjoy every moment of it as well!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Hardworking, passionate, goofy.
How’s a typical day in your life?
It usually starts with a morning workout, then sadly some emails and phones calls. Then hopefully I’m going to set to work and if not, I’m either hitting and audition or doing some kind of actual acting work. I try to work on my craft at least 2 hours a day in some capacity. Then I usually eat dinner early and just chill at night. Maybe hit a movie theater or binge a show with my roommates.
What was your first acting role?
It was actually a radio commercial. My dad worked in advertising so whenever they needed a kid’s voice in one of his radio spots, I got to do it!
Do you have or have you had acting classes?
Absolutely. I started studying at Cornell University and if I’m in LA, I’m always signed up for some type of class. Right now I’ve been training a lot with Scott Sedita in Hollywood and I also take Improv classes at Groundlings.
Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
Definitely my parents. The principles they instilled in me definitely help me get the results I want in my life. They were totally supportive of my acting as long as I treated it like a full-time job and worked my butt off!
How do you prepare for a role?
I do anything and everything I can to relate to my character first. I find that’s the best way in. Once I can relate and understand what that character’s motivations, weaknesses, strengths, and wants are, I’m already half way there. If you know your character inside and out, you don’t have to focus so much on the actual words or trying to make sense of them as you prepare a scene. The words will come out truthful if you understand your character first and foremost.
Please tell us about “The Quad” and about your role?
To put it simply, The Quad is about college…from the professors and coaches to the students and athletes. We see the kids living away from home for the first time and their attempts to try and become adults. We also see the faculty deal with trying to balance their own personal lives while also trying to mold young men and women. I play BoJohn Folsom, a freshman on the football team, who is only there because this school gave him a final chance at a football career. BoJohn got blacklisted from all the top football colleges while he was in high school due to anger problems. Those problems stay with him at this new school but he’s doing his best to keep them underneath the surface in attempts to save his career!
What is next for Jake Allyn?
Well I actually just wrapped on an independent thriller called Overexposed so I’d say I’m due for a needed break. We shot for a month in a small town in Oklahoma and it was physically and emotionally exhausting. The film revolved around a teen sexting scandal that led to a local murder that kind of shocks this town into a frenzy. My character experiences a major trauma and is struggling to recover. I can’t wait for people to see it, it also stars Marguerite Moreau from Wet Hot American Summer.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
My favorite film actor is Jake Gyllenhaal. I think he makes such great brave choices and always goes all in on his roles. He’s definitely a “movie star” but he still chooses to do independent films and character roles. I really strive to have a career that is anything close to his. TV-wise, I could watch Jonathan Tucker paint a fence. The guy is a lightning rod every time he comes on screen. If you haven’t seen is work on the MMA show Kingdom, it’s an absolute must see.
Any advice to new young actors?
Treat acting as detailed of a craft as being a doctor. You have to go to school until you’re like 30 to be a certified doctors, us actors are lucky, we can’t just move to LA and start auditioning…but I promise if you treat like a true craft and study like you’re trying to become a doctor or lawyer, then you will find success.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Hopefully with a house in Dallas, where I was raised, and a continued acting career. With projects shooting all over now, I’d love to one day move away from the chaos of LA and still be an actor. If I could live in Dallas and fly to wherever my current project was shooting, I’d say I’d be living the dream!
What was the last book you read?
Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn. It’s a murder mystery in a small Missouri town. I read it trying to get in the zone for Overexposed, and it really helped. It reminded me that while people in small towns know each other, everyone still seems to have their own dirty little secrets.
How do you stay fit?
I work out…a lot! I keep my workouts pretty simple but I rely on hard work and consistency . I hit the weights or cardio about 6 times a week.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Definitely just a grilled chicken salad with an avocado. Can’t go wrong with that.
And your favorite cheat food?
Definitely BBQ. Growing up in Dallas, ribs, brisket, and pulled pork is always on the diet so once a month or so I’ll chow down on some good barbecue.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
I’ve never been to Ireland. My ancestry is Irish so I’d love to go back to the motherland with my whole family one day.
What do you do in your free time?
Well I still love watching movies and going to the theater. If I ever have a bad day on set or maybe lose out on a great part, I’ll sit down and watch one of my favorite movies. I also love sports so I hit pick up games of basketball or some flag football when I can.
What do you like to watch on TV?
Kingdom! It’s the most underrated show on tv, and like I said, Jonathan Tucker is doing amazing things. The show is action packed with all the MMA fights, but still has time for some extremely unique character development.
Do you support any charities?
I’m starting to get involved with some domestic violence groups because my character BoJohn deals with it on the show but I’d really like to do more with that. You’re given a great responsibility if you’re on a show that deals with real topical issues like we have on The Quad so we all do our best try to carry that responsibility into our real lives.
What do you think of Social Media in the Entertainment business?
I have a love hate relationship. I like the interaction you can have with fans and the personal side of it all. But, I do that some acting roles now rely on your following. A role should always go to the best actor for the part PERIOD!
Best advice ever given?
It was actually a quote I read by Jeff Daniels. When asked what advice he’d give young actors, he said “Go get really good at acting”. I know it’s so simple but it really stuck with me. I find that when I just stay concentrated on the craft, the rest of the business kind of takes care of itself.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Definitely a Sunday afternoon going to Dallas Cowboys stadium. Probably to watch an NFC East rivalry game with the Redskins.
Do you have a role model?
As I said above, I really respect Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s an actor I definitely aspire to be and would consider a role model. Beyond just his acting ability and career choices, I find he carries himself so respectfully, professionally, and passionately. In interviews I can really tell he still carries a massive love for acting and his fellow actors. That’s something I hope stays the same for me in years to come.
What’s your favorite music?
Oh man, I listen to it all. Surprisingly my favorite band is actually The Counting Crows but just because I have some amazing high school memories that involve their CD being played at a high school party. I’ll leave the rest of the details out…
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Mornings are for coffee and contemplation” – Stranger Things
Sports Team: Dallas Cowboys
Food: Barbecue ribs
Movie: Legends of the Fall
Song: “Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows
TV Show: Kingdom and Stranger Things
Holiday Destination: Ireland
Photographer: Marin Hamataj
Grooming: Lauren Uptegrove Represented by Michelle Q Beauty