Jared Becker: More to the Story
Taylor Harrington 8/13/2021 5:15pm EST
There’s a very good chance that Jared Becker will soon be a name heard in every household with a television. Illinois native Becker served in the United States Air Force from 2013 until 2019 as an Air Force Intelligence Sergeant, and will soon be taking on the lead role as the most decorated war veteran of World War II, Audie Murphy, in the short film Reveille. Becker’s past credits include Shattered Pieces, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and Argentum Episodes: Lost Years. With so many current projects in the works, it was an honor to sit down and get to know Jared a little bit better.
Thank you so much for being here today, Jared.
Yeah, thank you so much for having me.
Of course. Jared, how did you get your start in the acting world?
Oh, gosh, I’m going to date myself here. I started 12 years ago in Nashville, Tennessee. My first agent signed me and I did small background roles, commercials, and tried to build up a catalog there. Then, my agent opted to retire, and I was like, ‘well, I could go to the East or West Coast and try to make it as one does’, but I opted to do something that gave me more life experience. So I joined the military.
First of all, thank you for your service. I believe you went into the Air Force?
Yeah, my grandfather was Air Force and I kind of wanted to carry on that legacy within our family. So I joined and I was an Air Force intelligence Sergeant from 2013 to 2019. It was a wonderful ride.
How would you say that your time in the military has affected your time now as an actor?
The military acts as such a melting pot. I’m from a very small town in Southern Illinois, and you only know that lifestyle if you stay there, which is fine for some people. It was never for me. I always wanted to be able to experience different cultures and get to know more of what’s out there. With the military and the Air Force allowing me to have that opportunity, I got to make friends and learn about places that I never would have been able to. Taking that diversity that I’ve been able to experience and be exposed to, I can take that into different situations and being like, ‘Okay, well, this is how I handled that.’ I got to watch my friends who are of different cultures work through this. So now I get to not take from it, but I also get to relive their experience by being as empathetic as I can be.
One of my favorite words is empathy. The best actors have empathy and then they’re able to portray their role in a believable way for the audience. So on that note, what can you tell us about Reveille?
Reveille is a short film based on chapter four of Audie Murphy’s book that’s called To Hell and Back. We focus on a battle that happens and it’s very, you know, there’s a lot of explosions and war and all that fun cinematic stuff you have with a war movie in Hollywood, but it’s very drawn back and you peel back the layers of the onion of what happens psychologically to people when they’re in a war. You look at both sides of the aisle, the US soldiers and the German soldiers. At the end of the day, you’re just people, and everyone’s just trying to do what they think is best. You really dig deep into it and are like, ‘Okay, it’s the 1940s. Why are they thinking this way? What’s going on?’ It’s fun to get to rehearse and try to practice because it’s a very good character-driven movie.
How big is the cast of Reveille?
There’s a large, large amount of us on both sides from the German side and the US side. It’s a large cast, but it’s not big enough where you get mixed in too many storylines. There’s a good intricate amount of people and you get to see different real-life people. So it’s wonderful.
It’s great that these stories are still being told because if people don’t learn from their past mistakes, they are doomed to repeat them, right? At the end of the day, we need to get down to the heart of the matter and realize that we’re all human.
If I can piggyback, if I may, it’s when you look at someone, and I love that you bring that up in today’s political world where there are so many thoughts and opinions, but that is someone’s brother, father, son, daughter, sister, that is someone’s someone. I look at it that way. I just had this conversation with a family member about a very political topic. I won’t go into that, but you have to look at it this way, you have to put a face to the name and realize that they’re doing something because they want a better life, not because they just want to disrupt yours.
How did you get involved with this film?
Michael Ackerman, our wonderful writer and director, initially was doing the casting calls and I caught wind of it. We spoke and I was like, ‘Hey, I love your story you have going on here, I’d love to be a part of it.’ We worked at it, but then I was also booked for three other TV series. We were about to start filming and scheduling conflicts were already set when we wanted to film in production for Reveille, so I had to withdraw initially. Then time went on and I got this email from him asking if there was any way that we could make it work. He was still interested in me to do it and as an actor, and as a person in general, it felt right. ‘You’re interested in me, yes, let’s do it.’ Then COVID happened and delayed every production possible, so I was like ‘I’ve got some free time. When are you shooting? What’s going on?’ It just happened.
That’s amazing. Have the other series you were shooting been circled back around to yet?
Yeah, I’m doing a pilot presentation in the spring of 2022. We’re filming in Atlanta and then I have some other very big projects coming up.
I’m so excited for you. So when you’re auditioning, how do you get into the proper headspace?
I’m an emotional baby and I’m a drama actor, so I always go for roles where I’m either crying or I’m trying to make someone else cry. I was a resiliency training instructor in the Air Force so I would always talk about being empathetic and never knowing what someone else is going through. I love roles like that so whenever I have the opportunity, the headspace I go into is, ‘okay, what trauma can I get out of my head?’ I think it was Emily Blunt, who said that a good actress needs to be extremely empathetic, to build on what someone else is going through, and I have just been very lucky and blessed to have gone through so much life experience over the last 28 years of things that I never thought I would do like being in the Air Force and being here in Hollywood. That headspace is really like ‘okay, this character has to deal with the loss of someone, let’s go through the Rolodex and find out what core memory I have, that we can pull out.’ I always try to make it as authentic and natural as possible because someone else is going through that. Even with projects that I write currently, it’s all about representation and how we can make someone feel seen. That’s always in my mind when I’m doing a role.
How do you go into these heavy roles and pull out these really hard memories while remaining in a positive place in your life?
It’s hard, honestly. I have to be someone else, and then get rid of it because essentially people look at it like you’re playing pretend, and they’re right, we are, but you’re convincing your body and mind to become someone else. I remember I was doing a project that I wrote that was based on a true story and my family, and I had to do this crying scene because we were mourning the loss of someone. For three hours I was on the precipice of tears and your body knows that. Your body knows that you are playing someone else and your mind is not connecting very well or communicating. I went home and I was just depressed. I couldn’t figure out why I was so sad and I called one of my friends, my brand manager, and I was like, ‘I’m just so upset. I want to cry. I don’t know what’s going on’, and she was like, ‘What did you film today?’ I told her and she’s like ‘You have to mourn that loss officially. You sat in that mindset for so long.’She was right. For three hours afterward I just cried to get it all out because, again, your mind and body aren’t communicating. One or the other knows that something is fake and not real, but the other doesn’t, so it’s taking that time to be like, ‘Okay, this isn’t real, you are playing a character, and you need to let it go.’ It’s different for everybody. Some people have to sit in it, some people don’t. For me, I have to go through and process those emotions and then do it all over the next day.
That’s good that you’re at least acknowledging that you have to go through these steps to go into and out of character. Serve and then release at the end of it. What can you tell me about your own writings?
We start principal photography at the end of this month on a film called Sorry For My Loss. That is a true story and it looks at both sides of the same relationship and how someone can be happy and at the height of their career and relationship and think that everything’s perfect, but the other person is internally fighting for their life and their mental health and their well-being. It’s just polar opposites that it walks through that. That was very cathartic to write because I’ve been sitting with that emotion for so long and now I’m ready for that one to come out. We wrote the original song to it, which I was very lucky to get to sing with my co-writer, Steven. I’ve been sitting on it for a few months. I just want to release it, but you can’t, right? So this movie will start hitting the festivals next January for Cannes, Toronto, and all the good ones. Then I’m currently writing a feature film that is based on mostly true events, called anti-Bachelorette. I love this movie because it’s just erasing the stigma that women have to be sad and heartbroken because the relationship ended. You can celebrate the loss and stand on your own two feet.
Yes! This resonates already!
I wish I could show you my wall because there were sticky notes all over it to map out the storyline. I just walked my friend, who it’s about, through it and she was just in tears of joy. I’m thinking that the best validation as a writer that I can get is someone loving something I wrote about their life.
You have so many different projects going on. How do you manage it all?
I’m a project manager by trade and have a Master’s Degree in Project Management, so there are all these different flowcharts of projects and timelines that I have going on. It aids in me being a producer for projects as well. I love having a good camp around me which helps, too.
How can our readers find you on social media or check out your acting reels?
I’m on Instagram @Jared Becker93 and all of my updates or projects go there. Then I’m also on IMDB where people can see demo reels and all the projects that are coming. I feel bad because next year it’s just gonna be so much of my face in media with all of these projects coming out at the same time. So I’m so sorry for anybody that has to look at it.
Don’t apologize! Never apologize for putting yourself out there. I always like to ask this question, and want to check back in with you, but what’s your five-year plan both personally and professionally?
Let’s do an interview every year so we can track it! Professionally in five years I just want to keep telling stories that matter and resonate with people. With everything I write there’s always an underlying reason of mental health in my projects. So if I can, as my career has been growing at the rate it has been, I just want the projects to grow as well, and to get on those levels that they have been at. I’ve been able to work with one of the biggest directors in the world and get to talk to him and just kind of pick his brain about how he got to this level. I’m following that same career trajectory, and just want to do something that matters and make my family proud. That kind of ties into personal as well because in five years I want my family to be able to look back and be like ‘Oh my gosh, he didn’t stop. He kept going. He believed in himself, even if nobody else did and he’s making it happen.’
What advice would you give to new actors trying to make it in the industry?
Believe in yourself because how are other people going to believe in you if you don’t? I don’t know if you’ve seen the show Hacks with Jean Smart, but she had a wonderful quote in the scene where the car breaks down in the desert. She’s waiting on her helicopter and she says something like, ‘Being good in this industry is the bare minimum. You have to work hard and even if you work hard, and you’re the best, and you’re lucky, it’s still extremely hard. You have to work every single day.’ I remember listening to Lizzie Olsen talk about this in an interview when she was in drama school. If I could work with anybody, it’s Lizzie Olsen. Quick side note, but I was going to name my film Sorry For Your Loss, but she already took that for her Facebook show. But yeah, Lizzie was like “I rehearse eight hours a day for a two-minute scene.” Yesterday I just did an audition for a new network show and I spent eight hours rehearsing for a two-minute scene. You have to work really hard and believe in yourself when no one else does.
Incredible advice. With so many of your projects heading our way the question has been answered–What’s Santa bringing us for Christmas this year? It’s Jared Becker on our screens! We wish you all the best of success in all of your endeavors!
Yes, thank you so much. I look forward to talking to you again soon!
Originally from Edison, New Jersey, Taylor won the 2005 “Middlesex County Caring Award”, and hasn’t stopped caring since. When she is not writing or hosting More to the Story, Taylor can be found chasing her two mutts around Athens, Ohio where she currently resides with her husband. Moving to Appalachia has made a huge impact on her life, and she can’t wait to share some of her stories, laughs, and (mis)adventures with you!
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