10 To Watch: Jordan Gavaris
Agency: The Characters Agency (Toronto), One Talent Management (L.A.)
Buzz: Recently snagged the leading role in Unnatural History, auditioned for the new Spider-Man film, The Social Network, and the new Taylor Lautner film Abduction
When Jordan Gavaris flew to L.A. for a studio test of Warner Bros./Cartoon Network kids series Unnatural History, he packed enough clothes for a two-day trip – and ended up staying for a month. He made a quick stop at to the nearest Abercrombie & Fitch to pick up “the most random bits of clothing” so he wouldn’t have to wear the same three outfits in front of execs for the next few weeks. As it turned out, he landed one of three lead roles as Jasper Bartlett in the action-adventure series, though he’s yet to determine whether his self-proclaimed “terrible fashion sense” may have helped just a bit.
The demands of a special-effects-heavy action-adventure series saw him and his castmates working 14-hour days. “It was a terrifying, exciting grind and it was incredible,” he says of production. “It’s not a Wizards of Waverly Place, not a Vampire Diaries, but somewhere between. It doesn’t cater to the lazy child, but the smart kid who can get wrapped up in mystery with us each week.”
Timing is everything and this young actor is well-aware of that. After a few commercial stints, having only been acting for a few months, he was thrust into his first major project as the top-billed actor in 45 R.P.M. in 2008. The film, from writer/director Dave Schultz and executive producer Don Carmody, saw him acting alongside the likes of Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill) and Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction, My Life Without Me).
Though he’d dabbled in and out of theatre in his high school days, the Brampton-born Gavaris didn’t always want to be an actor – in fact, his initial industry interest began as a director. After experimenting with an acting class, an instructor convinced him to pursue an acting career instead.
It wasn’t long before making this decision that he landed his first TV gig last year, appearing in a duo of eps of Degrassi: The Next Generation.
As for Unnatural History, the show has already bowed on Cartoon Network in the U.S., which had recently added live-action programming to its line-up. He’s been asked about his thoughts on the net’s shift away from animation, to which the industry-savvy Gavaris states, “All networks at some point will evolve and TV will evolve, History and Discovery evolved to stay alive and I think right now, in the entertainment industry, that’s key. Everyone’s new and it makes it a lot less scary for me because we’re all on a level playing field and we can make mistakes together and laugh about them later.”