Actor Jared Becker talks to About Insider
HI, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER! THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO IS JARED BECKER IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
Of course! Thank you for having me. Who is Jared Becker? Well, I’m an actor, writer, and producer who loves to create interesting characters in interesting worlds. My goal with anything I create it to tell a meaningful story that connects with the viewer. In doing so, I really work to tell stories that I wish that I had when I needed them the most, because if I needed them, then I can guarantee that someone else needs them too. That’s not to say that I won’t create a fantasy project here or there, but even those have a message.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW YOU GOT INTO WRITING, PRODUCING, AND ACTING IN FILMS?
Where do I start! I’ve been entertaining people since I was a child in the Midwest. From performing plays in my living room for my family to performing Napoleon Dynamite scene re-enactments on the school bus for my friends; I was always trying to make people laugh or feel some emotion. As I grew up, I shuffled through theater, to music, and then to film and television until I found my footing. I’m the youngest of four boys so I was just always trying to find a way to stand out and be different; which if you ask my family, I’m pretty sure I succeeded in many different ways!
When I finally made my way to film and television, I was having a hard time finding roles. So, with the tools and experience that I had available to me, I did what I know how to do best and I created my own opportunities. I have a number of mentors that helped me with my screenwriting and storytelling craft as well as all of my acting coaches, but none of what I do is possible without a creative imagination and a love for storytelling. I’m just extremely grateful to have a team that fully believes in and supports me in everything that I do.
WALK US THROUGH YOUR PROCESS FOR CREATING A CHARACTER AND BRINGING THEM TO LIFE ON SCREEN?
It all starts with a feeling. Once I’ve registered that feeling for the story, then I can place it with a specific character. From there I can figure out their role in the project and how they fit within the story, what their purpose is, and if it’s a lead, supporting, or co-star role, etc. The rule with screenwriting and creating a world that is intriguing is that everything and everyone has a purpose. Every word spoken has to move the story along, and if it doesn’t, then it gets scrapped. Characters are meant to be not only a reflection of the world but also act as guides. The fun part of creating is identifying the role in which each character has with each other.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING ON YOUR UPCOMING WWII FEATURE FILM, REVEILLE, AND THE RESEARCH THAT WENT INTO PREPARING FOR YOUR ROLE?
That was a challenge. Not so much physically because I’m grateful to have had my personal trainer, Brooks Skiles at Equinox, whip me into shape. The challenge was that it was mentally exhausting. I trained with my acting and dialect coach for roughly six months to prep for this role because I was portraying a real person and I needed to do them and their family justice. Then, a few weeks before we started shooting, the role changed so I had to quickly regroup and switch gears! So that was a lot to deal with but overall, it was such a great experience. The cast and crew worked their butts off to shoot this in twelve days. Which may I add, is extremely rough for anyone because we got one maybe two takes to get our lines right and emote it the way you need to before they move on. Which, as actors, were hired to do it in one take, so you should always be prepared. I’ve seen a few clips and I’m so proud of what we were able to accomplish. I can’t wait for everyone to see it this year.
CAN YOU DISCUSS YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING ON A LOWER BUDGET FILM AND THE CHALLENGES THAT PRESENTED?
Sometimes when you work on lower budget films, you don’t get the opportunity to take your time because filming days are limited. For example, Reveille was shot in twelve days, and we had to do a few days where we did ten pages a day. That’s a lot. On larger budgeted films, you allocate time so you can really focus on up to four to six pages a day. This ensures that the Director of Photography (DP) gets every angle for the shot and the Director can obtain every aspect of their vision for the film.
Another challenge is that you are limited to locations, props, and even the level of actors that you want to obtain. I was speaking with an actor’s agent and pitched a film that they ended up falling in love with, but when they learned that it was not a multi-million-dollar project, they jumped ship. Which can be understandable. However, we were then able to pivot and find an up-and-coming actor to give them a shot.
A bigger challenge is the equipment. I was scrolling through TikTok and came across a director talking about how important sound is for a movie. He said that he would rather watch a terribly shot film with incredible sound than a beautifully shot film with terrible sound. The viewer can picture the story, but if the sound is awful, you’ll lose them instantly. I’m pointing this out because sometimes on lower budget films people will focus their money on camera equipment rather than sound.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR ROLES AS A WRITER, PRODUCER, AND ACTOR ON SET?
I work as all three up until it’s time to shoot because you can’t commit 100% of your effort to multiple things at once. Sure, you can multitask, but you’re not actually giving everything you have to one dedicated task. Therefore, when I’m about a week or two from principal photography starting, I am no longer thinking like a producer or writer. I am in the mindset of an actor as I’m there to bring someone to life, so I really need to focus on living that person’s life.
I cannot stress this enough: if you’re working as an actor/writer/producer, then you have to surround yourself with people you trust that will get the job done. I can’t focus on emoting and bringing a person to life if I’m worried about production or if the other actor is telling their person’s story correctly. That’s what producers, directors, and crew are for. Trust your team. Once the day is done and I’m not filming, I’ll switch back to producer and writer mode. I’ll check dailies, look at the call sheet, see what scenes are coming up but for the most part, once we’re in the thick of it, I really take a backseat and let the more experienced people take the lead.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT A PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT SCENE YOU’VE HAD TO FILM AND HOW YOU APPROACHED IT?
There’s a scene in Reveille where a co-star of mine talks about the fear of going home and how life would change if he made it back from war. There are some other things in there that I can’t talk about just yet but, it was really eye-opening to think about how every experience you create in this world will ultimately affect you for the rest of your life. So much changes as you grow as a person, such as your decision-making skills and your tolerance for others. Every time I step into a new character, I learn something from them. Each character I’ve portrayed, or will portray in my upcoming projects, has a different lens that they see the world through and that’s the most fascinating part about acting. You get to expand your critical thinking skills.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE CRITICISM AND FEEDBACK ON YOUR PERFORMANCES AND WRITING?
Listen, as long as it’s constructive criticism, I’m all for it. I have enough self-awareness to know that I’m not the best actor or writer in the world. That’s why I’m in ongoing acting classes and reading books on how to level up my craft. Hell, even Meryl Streep still uses an acting coach. One should always strive to be better. Just the other day I had to send in an audition for a fantasy film project. I sent it over to a buddy of mine who was a lead on a popular tv show. I told him, “I need all the notes and feedback you can give me.” If you’re not searching for the critique, then how are you supposed to fix things? I absolutely love it when someone tells me, constructively, how I can improve.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH A SMALL, INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION TEAM VERSUS A LARGER STUDIO?
Catering…. Joking! In reality, that is a huge perk, but so much is different. Not only in front of the camera but behind. I was in Steven Spielberg’s film The Fabelman’s and the amount of crew that they have is crazy, and I mean that in the best way. With larger studio films you have more eyes on the projects to ensure that it’s very clear and tells a cohesive story. With smaller films you may not have enough people to work all the jobs, so most of the time people are pulling double-duty. Which, yes, saves on budget, but you risk something falling through the cracks. With larger films you are able to have more of a budget for special effects or CGI that you really won’t get with a smaller independent production.
ANY FUTURE PROJECTS YOU HAVE IN THE WORKS AND HOW THEY DIFFER FROM YOUR PREVIOUS WORK?
I’m so excited about all the projects coming up! I can’t officially announce the titles and plots of them yet, but they’re good ones. I have a limited series, a comedy, a dark drama, a psychological thriller, and my absolute favorite is a fantasy film. Each one is genuinely unique and are roles that I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m excited that I’ve been given the opportunity to create such fun and unique worlds.
WHAT IS ONE MESSAGE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO YOUR FANS?
You know… Just work hard. No matter what field you’re in, you need to grind. I watch so many people come to Los Angeles in hopes of becoming famous so they can attend parties and walk a million red carpets when in reality, they need to come here with the intentions of working hard to make a name for themselves. When I’m writing or creating something, my social life goes down the drain because my career is what I’m focused on. You’ll have time to socialize, attend red carpets, and Hollywood parties once you have credits and projects under your feet to stand on. Good things don’t come to those who sit and wait. You really have to buckle down and go after it.
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?
If any of your readers want to look me up on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok – my handles are @jaredbecker93. You can also visit my website at jaredbeckeroffical.com.