Interview with actor Jesse Camacho
Today on What on What’s Good with Host Jovin Tardif, I am here with Canadian actor Jesse Camacho. Jesse has been an ACTRA member since he was 8 years old. In 2012, Jesse completed filming on the fourth season of the Gemini winning, HBO Canada series, Less Than Kind. Recently, Jesse starred in the hit series Locke and Key. Today in our interview, we discuss his experience as a writer and producer, a behind-the-scenes story at Less Than Kind, his role in Locke and Key, and much more.
1. Who are some of your favourite actors/actresses growing up?
I loved a lot of actors growing up, but I was drawn more to “character” actors, meaning actors who were not “leading man.” Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John Candy, John C. Reilly, etc. But of course, like most actors, I adore the Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Robert DeNiro, Denzel Washingtons of the world as well!
2. Both of his parents, Mark Camacho and Pauline Little are actors. What advice did your parents give you about the industry?
My parents are literally my idols both professionally and personally. I’m super lucky to have them in my life. They gave me a TON of great advice, but I’d say what’s really stuck with me is to keep your head down, keep doing good work, and eventually, something will happen. Don’t pin all your hopes and dreams on EVERY audition. Do the work, do the audition, and move on. Don’t get hung up on everything you read for. 99% of the time you won’t book it.
3. Describe a few genres you enjoy watching (tv, film, or streaming) and why?
I enjoy a bit of everything. But I always love stuff that has a grand mythology. I was a big “Lost” guy. “Stranger Things” is probably my favourite thing at the moment. Loved Harry Potter as a kid. But I also really enjoy grounded character studies like “Breaking Bad” or “Better Call Saul.” I’m also a big horror nut, the “Scream” franchise is very near and dear to me. My buddy Alex and I binge it every year on his birthday.
4. You played the leading role, Sheldon Belcher, in the TV series Less Than Kind. Do you have any fun behind-the-scenes stories from the show?
My years on Less Than Kind were the best of my life. Being a part of that show with those people is something I doubt I’ll ever be able to replicate (although Locke & Key is getting close). There were so many wonderful behind the scenes moments with those people who I consider family. One does stick out. We were well into overtime on this complicated set piece and the mood on the set was VERY tense.
The scene was an elevator door opening revealing the Blechers (the main family in the show) sitting in what they THOUGHT was a dining room but was actually a long “out of service” elevator. We’d been doing the scene for a couple of hours and, as I said, things were getting a little tense.
So, the cast and I decided to lighten up the mood by having ALL OF US “moon” the crew when the elevators doors open…. but at the LAST POSSIBLE second, we all bailed except the poor Benjamin Arthur, who played my older brother, and he got yelled at pretty good and no one on the crew believed him that it wasn’t his idea and that we were all supposed to do it. Sorry, Ben! Sidenote: Benjamin Arthur is one of the most underrated comedy actors alive today, guy NEEDS a sitcom!
5. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience as a writer and producer?
My experience as a writer/producer is pretty limited. Mostly shorts I’ve written and shot with friends. But it allowed me to see the other side of things. See how the sausage is made if you will. As an actor, you rarely are told why certain decisions are being made. So, it’s super eye-opening to be on the other side of those conversations. I really enjoy writing though and I’m currently developing a series with my good friend Chris Sheasgreen (co-creator of Less Than Kind), it’s called “Heavy” and it deals with issues like morbid obesity, anxiety from the perspective of someone trying to make it in the film industry (sound familiar? 😉 ).
6. Could you describe ‘Locke & Key’ and your role in the series?
Locke and Key is based on the incredible graphic novels by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez and adapted for Netflix by Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill. It’s the story of the Locke Family moving back to their father’s childhood home after his brutal murder. They slowly start to discover the house is full of secret magical keys… and an evil presence that is also trying to get their hands on them. I play Doug Brazelle, one of the members of “The Savini Squad” a group of horror movie enthusiasts who worship the great Tom Savini. We befriend Kinsey Locke when she and her family move to town and get into all sorts of adventures. It’s really an incredibly fun show!
7. Can we expect a second season?
Yes, it has been renewed for a second season. Because of the pandemic, it’s a little up in the air as to when it will begin production but I’m SUPER excited to get back to it!