Actor Jake Jensen: Stepping into the Spotlight with Two Upcoming Films, Including a Zendaya Co-Starring Project
In a transition from the world of modelling to the big screen, Jake Jensen has successfully secured notable roles in films like Alone Yet Not Alone, King Richard, and the highly anticipated Challengers, alongside renowned talents Zendaya and director Luca Guadagnino.
We sat down with the versatile Jake Jensen, who not only graces the camera as an actor but also wears the hats of a model and producer. Here is a glimpse into his journey and what lies ahead:
1. Who is Jake Jensen in Three Words only? Active, Passionate, Complex
2. What top 5 tracks would we find on your Spotify or iTunes playlist? Anything from the Beatles.
Imagine Dragons, Follow You
Dean Lewis, How Do I Say Goodbye
Rihanna, Lift Me Up
Alan Walker, Faded
3. What film to date would you have loved to be cast in and why? I would have loved to have played one of the Ken’s in Barbie. I think Ryan Gossling did a brilliant job in the role, but I think that would have been a really fun role to play or any of the Ken’s.
4. You have been cast in the upcoming film Challengers alongside Zendaya due out in September how was that experience? It was an amazing experience to be cast in Challengers. They flew me first class from LA to Boston and I got to stay in a hotel with all the other actors, crew, director, etc. I had never been to Boston before, so in my downtime I was able to just walk around and explore the city. They had Brad Gilbert (a famous tennis player/coach/commentator) as an advisor on the film, so I got to watch the French Open with him on his ipad as we were waiting to go to set. I love everything about tennis, so to be part of a tennis film was really a dream come true.
5. What was it like working with Zendaya? Did she have any words of wisdom for you?
My scene in the movie was not with Zendaya, so the two days that I was on set she was actually in a producer role on the film (as well as acting in it) and was very busy. She was very friendly and thanked us all for all our hard work and dedication to the film.
It was also amazing working with director, Luca Guadagnino, who is a director that I have always admired and looked up to. He is very passionate, intense, and it was really fun to get to work with him. He really took time to go over our scene, to explain his vision for the scene, and made us all feel like we were part of the collaboration process with him. He also told me that I was really funny after we finished shooting, which I took as a huge compliment coming from him.
6. We heard you play Tennis 3-4 times a week, did that help you in preparing for the role?Tennis has been a huge part of my life since I was 12 years old. I played Division-I college tennis for Utah State on a scholarship, and competed briefly on the ITF Pro Futures tour. So having a tennis background definitely was very useful for this film, as I play a trash talking opponent. Being around tennis for so much of my life, I definitely had some real life examples that I could use for inspiration for the role.
7. Who are your Actor inspirations? Ryan Gosling has always been an inspiration for me. I love the diversity of roles that he takes on and I also really respect how he balances being a famous actor with being a dad and husband.
I also recently have been watching many of Robert Redford’s films from the 1970s and 1980s. One of my acting coaches suggested that I could learn a lot from Robert Redford and aspire to his leading man roles and persona. I’ve had a great time watching some of these films and really enjoyed watching his career and iconic roles. I just watched The Way We Were (1973), with Redford and Barbara Streisand which I thought was great.
8. You also produce, and have worked as a producer, are you working on anything at the moment? I am an executive producer on the Indie film, Believe. We just went back into production and are going to be shooting about four more days with some new scenes. I had a meeting with the writer/director, and we felt that there needed to be some added intrigue and mystery in the film. I think these new scenes are going to add a lot to the film. I play the male lead in the film, so it will also be fun to get back into character for the role. With the added scenes we are hoping for a release date sometime at the first of next year.
Producing has definitely taught me a lot about the industry and seeing it from a different perspective. I feel like I use a lot of my skills that I developed as a sport and performance psychology consultant. A lot of producing is managing different personalities, staying calm under pressure, thinking outside of the box. These are all things that I think I do well at with my training in psychology and my experience with teaching and consulting. In addition to acting I am also the sport psychology consultant for the Athletics department at California State University, Northridge, and I also teach sport psych in the Kinesiology department.
9. You have been featured in a number of global publications, do you prefer modelling or acting. Are the two comparable?
I personally think that modeling was a great training ground for me to transition into acting. It got me comfortable in front of the camera, it taught me to be more confident in myself, how I present myself, and comfortable with working with other talent. It also allowed me to be on set of both print and commercial shoots, to work with directors, photographers, and a wide range of people. So I feel like the modeling skills definitely helped with some of the acting roles that I have. I still enjoy doing photoshoots, but I definitely identify more as an actor now and that is really where I am putting my efforts these days.
10. Have you seen the Barbie movie or Oppenheimer? What are your thoughts? Did you have a favourite? I have to admit that I haven’t seen Oppenheimer yet, although it is on my list and I definitely want to see it.
I took my mom to Barbie because she really wanted to see it, and I ended up enjoying it as much as she did. I thought it did a great job of commentating on society, as well as getting the audience to think about privilege, patriarchy, stereotyping, and how we treat fellow human beings. It was obviously a lot of fun to watch, but I feel there was a depth there as well. I’m a huge fan of Greta Gerwig so I had a feeling even before seeing the film that it was going to be very good.
11. What hidden talent(s) do you have? Well I’m not sure if it’s a hidden talent, but I love to play the piano. I asked for a piano for Christmas when I was 8 years old and I have played ever since. I also speak French fluently, and am pretty good at gardening. I have my small garden at my home in LA and love to plant new plants, flowers, and see them grow.
12. Describe your style to us? Vintage, vintage, vintage. I love anything from the 60s, 70s, and even 80s. I have a Pierre Cardin suit that my Dad bought in Paris in 1969. It’s wool, heavy, and itchy, but I just love it. It’s always amazing to me that my Dad in 1969 was exactly the same fit that I am now. I didn’t have to have the suit tailored at all. I also love tennis fashion from the 70s and own quite a bit of vintage clothing.
13. Finally, what have you got lined up for 2024? I have been doing a radio show on Power985.com with Steven Cuoco. We discuss a variety of topics, from the entertainment industry, to my sport and performance psychology work. I really love being on the radio and reaching a larger and more diverse audience than I do with my teaching. Steven and I are excited to continue the show into 2024 with the possibility of getting a live studio in LA, expanding our guests on the show, and reaching an even larger audience. Radio is definitely a medium that I really enjoy and feel very comfortable with.
I’m also excited for the release of Believe early next year and will hopefully be able to plan a red carpet event for that in LA. And then the release of Challengers with Zendaya has been moved to next April, so lots of great things to look forward to in 2024.