This June 13th... Cartoon Network starts its new live-action one hour show, UnNatural History. After years of traveling the globe and learning the ways of the world, Henry Griffin is returning to America to face his biggest challenge yet: the mysteries of high school. Together with his cousin Jasper and friend Maggie, Henry will use his ancient skills to solve modern mysteries. His cousin Jasper played by Jordan Gavaris is from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, and you might remember him as Nathan on Degrassi. Well, that's history now. He's moved on.
Recently, I got to ask Jordan a few questions.
Ivy: Tell me about your new project going on at Cartoon Network.
Jordan: As we speak, I'm on set shooting the sixth episode of the first season of UnNatural History. It's been a blast since the get-go and I've been fortunate enough to work with some really talented and experienced directors. We shoot each episode in seven days, and because it's an hour long drama the scheduling can sometimes make me a little nutty, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm so grateful to be a part of the project, not only because it's a solid show I can actually stand behind and believe in, but because it's the start of something really special for the Cartoon Network. This is their first venture into scripted live-action programming, so I think they're just as nervous and anxious to hear the audience's response as we are. It's a great feeling to enter into a project as a team when even the executives are on a level playing field- it makes the process less scary for the actors.
Ivy: What's your take on Canadian films?
Jordan: As much as being involved in an American project is exciting because its glossy and the studio involved (Warner Bros.) has endless resources, being a part of Canadian films is very important to me. I've been following Canadian cinema and television closely, and like any industry it has its gems and its duds, but the problem isn't our content- it's our press. Our content doesn't receive enough media exposure in the United States or our own country for that matter, to showcase our talent, which is why a sizable chunk of our actors and filmmakers wind up having to forge a career in Los Angeles. That said, we are seeing a shift, in that, Canadian talent who find careers in the States are coming back to Canada to work on indigenous projects, which explains why certain Canadian films receive more exposure but generally need a bankable actor to do so.
I'll always try to return to native projects when I can, but at this stage, for me, it's all about the role. I know it's a cliche but I can't help it- the role really is that important. The more a-typical the role, the better, because it means I'm able to take more risks with the character.
Ivy: Do you speak French?
Jordan: I do speak French! In fact, my character on UnNatural History speaks French fluently. His mother moved back to France after she divorced his father and he was raised speaking Parisian french. When I was cast, the producers had no idea I spoke the language, but the bilingualism was already in the script. Thank god I spoke the language or I would've needed a dialogue coach! I don't think I'm proficient enough to do a French film, but I'd love to do my own dubbing if its needed!
Ivy: I hear you like to do voices. Can you tell me about them?
Jordan: I can do most of the cast from Family Guy, but I try to limit how much I do it in public. I have this fear one day I'll bump into the creator and be slapped with a lawsuit...
That said, I LOVE comedy. It's a lot of fun to do, and less of a challenge for me than drama. Most actors find it to be the other way around, but being human, letting down my defenses, be vulnerable on screen (etc...) is a lot more difficult for me than delivering a punch line. Comedy's all about timing, and I watched a lot of sitcoms growing up, so I learned to mimic the greats.
Ivy: Any chance you'll ever do Degrassi again?
Jordan: As for Degrassi, the ballots out on that one! After my role in last season's episode, I wasn't contacted again by the producers. I booked the UnNatural History before an offer could be made to bring me back- whether or not that would have happened I'm not sure, but unfortunately, because of my schedule, I don't see any appearances on Degrassi in the future, but then again, who knows! I guess it'll remain a mystery!
I'm really excited for Jordan. The show looks really intriguing. We all love a mystery. I wish him the best.
Here he is talking about his role on the show.
UnNatural History starts June 13th, 8 p.m. (e/p)!