How did you get your start as an actor?
It’s actually a really funny story! When my brother and I were really little, a random stranger approached my parents on the street and told them that they should put us into acting. My parents laughed it off at the time, but it kept happening again and again, so they thought “why not?” We started auditioning, and by the time I was five, I had decided it was something I really wanted to pursue. The rest is history!
What was it like to play such a prominent role in The LEGO Movie 1 & 2 as Finn, the child who controls the events of the movie?
I think there’s only one word that could possibly describe the experience: AWESOME! As a nine-year-old kid (and as a fifteen-year-old now that I think about it) coming to work and playing with LEGO every day was an absolute dream! I still remember when I booked the first one, the filmmakers sent me all of the rough animation to watch and get a feel for the story, and I instantly fell in love. It’s incredible getting to be a part of such a surprising and exciting film series and I’ve loved every single minute of it! Fingers crossed for a third one!
Are you a big LEGO fan?
You have no idea! I have a closet set aside for all of the LEGO I build. I was actually a fan even before I did the movie! My favorite set ever is Hogwarts Castle from Harry Potter (I’m a huge HP fan), it’s just so cool and fun and HUGE. I like to build MOCs too! I actually managed to sneak one onto the set of The LEGO Movie 2 with the help of some of the LEGO designers from Denmark (and much to the chagrin of the others). If you look really carefully during the movie, it’s on top of President Business’s old work station for a split second in the basement during the main timeline. It’s a giant Angry Unikitty mech suit, which is super sweet! It’s in pieces in the movie because it fell apart during my flight, but that actually makes it an even better fit for the basement, so it’s all awesome!
Tell us a little bit about your character Trevor Solloway in “The Affair”. What can audiences expect from the fifth and final season of “The Affair”?
So far in the show, the focus of Trevor’s story has been on how the affair impacted his childhood and shaped the way he grew up. This season takes a bit of a different approach now that he’s a teen. Now we get to see who he’s become. There’s a major change this season in that it’s revealed that Trevor is gay (something we hinted at in season 4) and it’s been really nice getting to bring new life to a character that I’ve been playing for five years. As for the rest of the season, expect everything you know and love from the show, but dialed up to eleven! There’s more mystery, more twists, more drama, and wait until you see the final episode! I think you’re all going to be blown away by how we end the show. It’s just awesome.
Having appeared on every episode of the series, is it going to be hard to leave the show behind?
It’s been seriously bittersweet. We shot the pilot when I was ten, and now I’m sixteen, so it’s been a huge part of my life for a really long time. It’s kind of crazy we’re at the end. I’m going to miss our amazing cast and crew, especially the other “Sollomanders” (best tv family ever!). Everyone has so much love for the show and these characters, so it’s really hard to say goodbye.
What advice would you have for aspiring actors/actresses?
Some advice I really like is this: “perform for yourself.” What I mean by that is, the audition process can be really tough. I mean, the whole point is for the people watching to judge you which, trust me, is terrifying. The way I like to get through it is by not worrying about what they’re thinking and simply perform in the way that feels right to me! If I know I have a read I like, then I can give my best performance, no matter what casting may or may not be thinking. Long story short, confidence is key!
Talk to us about your website, “Beneath The Covers”.
Of all my projects over the years (including acting projects), “Beneath the Covers” has been one of my favorites! When I was younger, if I were in a book shop, I would randomly end up helping a bunch of the other customers find books for themselves or their kids. At some point, someone suggested to me that I start a website helping people in the same way that I was in the store and took that idea and ran with it. I started working on a website with one goal in mind: to help children and teens find the perfect book. I launched it while I was filming the second season of “The Affair” (I actually got some advice from my cast members about it) and I just kept going from there! There’s an area where I post book reviews, sometimes I’ll run a holiday event or two with games and prizes, and the really special part that I’m not sure many people know about is a section I call “Ask the Master Reader,” where you can write to me for book advice! I respond to each email personally, which I’ve discovered is a really fantastic way to share what I love with my fans! You can find it all at www.beneaththecovers.org if you want to check it out!
What’s your life like outside of acting?
Pretty normal actually! I do school (Chemistry is killing me right now), I practice piano and Tae Kwon Do (I just got my Black Belt!), play with LEGO (I’m working on a Splash Mountain MOC right now), play videogames (I can’t wait for Marvel’s Avengers), and I’m really into screenwriting. I’m working on a few screenplays right now and I’m actually just polishing a short film script that I’m really excited about. Maybe you guys will get to see it someday! I think Brooklynn Prince (who played Bianca in LEGO 2) would be perfect for the lead role, so that would be really cool.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
I’m on Instagram and Twitter. My handle for both is @jadonsand. And, of course, you can always find me at www.beneaththecovers.org!