Jake T. Austin talks 'New Year's Eve,' 'Adverse,' plans for 2021 Special

Posted Jan 17, 2021 by Markos Papadatos
Instagram sensation and actor Jake T. Austin chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about "New Year's Eve," "Adverse," his goals and plans for 2021.
Actor Jake T. Austin
Actor Jake T. Austin
Andrew M. Gleason @andrewmgleason, Grooming: Nicole Sanchez @nicole_san
On his experience in New Year's Eve, he said, "In New Year's Eve, I was the love interest of Abigail Breslin and her mom (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) doesn’t want her going out that night to meet up with me. It's a situation that every teenager can relate to: you want to go out with your friends and the adults say ‘no’. And maybe that’s why so many people connect to it."
"Working on-location in New York, which is the city I was born in, is always great and Abigail was terrific. It's great to have been part of a movie that people watch during the holidays," he added.
Regarding his plans for 2021, he shared, "Of course, COVID has changed many plans people had for 2020 and one of the best lessons from that year is how we can adapt to work through an unexpected, challenging situation. I’ve had lots of Zoom meetings about different acting projects, so I hope to continue those conversations in 2021 and that cameras will roll on those shows and movies this year."
"My movie Adverse is going to hit theaters on February 12 and will be available on Digital, On Demand, and DVD on March 9. It also stars Mickey Rourke and Sean Astin and is set in present-day Los Angeles and tells the story of a ride-share gone wrong and how addiction and desperation can drive people to do unimaginable things," he said.
He opened up about joining the cast of Adverse and shared his experience while shooting. "It was really interesting to see Los Angeles depicted in a way that’s more gritty than most people would initially think. Seeing LA, which people think of as ‘sunshine and beaches’, as a more gritty Gotham-like city was something that I thought was interesting. And of course, Mickey (Rourke) and Sean (Astin) have such amazing projects under their belt, that to create with them was a great experience. Seeing them get into character for their roles is something that will stick with me, as an actor," he said.
On being an actor and an artist in the digital age, he said, "One of the things that I love is the accessibility of content. With various ways to stream, there are so many apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime; movies and shows are accessible to people so quickly and instantly."
"There are people that tell me today, in 2021, that they just watched Go Diego Go! Of course, I think that’s awesome, and that was a character I played in 2004. It was a great experience and to be a part of a team that brought a person of color to life for youths is such an honor. And the fact that content is so accessible to viewers due to the current digital age is something that’s great as a creator and person that loves to connect," he elaborated.
For young and aspiring entertainers, he remarked, "We’ve all heard the phrase 'when one door closes, another one opens.' But in reality, it's more like '10 doors may close, you think one will open, it closes and then you keep trying.' So my advice would be exactly that: keep trying. Think about what you’re good at whether it's writing, producing, or performing, and develop what you have a passion for. And think about what isn’t in your current repertoire and work on that."
"I’ve acted in live-action TV shows like The Wizards of Waverly Place and movies such as The Perfect Game. But an important part of my career is also voice acting in animated content: we talked about Go Diego Go! and I’ve voiced characters in feature films such as Rio and The Emoji Movie. Having a diverse skill set has allowed me to act in different capacities. My advice is: cultivate your skills because you’ll be able to knock on even more doors," he said.
On the title of the current chapter of his life, he responded, "I'll match your chapter and raise you a book. If I were going to write a book about my life, I’d title it 'The Two Jakes.' Because in the digital age, we have the persona and that people see online…in the digital space. But when a person is at home and doing their own thing, it's a different facet of who they are. So that juxtapositions is like two Jakes."
When asked if there were any moments in his career that helped define him, he said, "I think you learn from every experience, so every project is something that’s lead me to be who and where I am today. I can say that one standout experience was Hotel For Dogs."
"I was 10 years old when we shot it," he said. "Emma Roberts and I play siblings that convert their family home into a dog rescue without their other family members realizing it's happening. I have such a love of animals and a few years ago, I was in downtown LA and a dog ran in front of my car. I stopped and it didn’t have a collar and I took it to a vet and there was no microchip. I posted signs in the area and no one responded, so I ended up keeping the dog and he’s a part of our family now. So I would say that with that experience, life imitated art."
On his definition of the word success, he said, "Well, I can tell you what I don’t think it is. In the digital age, people can get caught up in how many followers they have, their amount of subscribers on YouTube, or the numbers they see when they log into their bank account."
Austin continued, "I think about ‘success’ as being ‘centric’: what’s in the heart of the person using the word. Are they doing something they feel good about? Are they content with the outcome? Would they advise someone they care about (like a close friend or relative) to do the same thing they did? I think being a success is when you can answer those sort of questions and just say 'yes'."
Actor Jake T. Austin
Actor Jake T. Austin
Andrew M. Gleason @andrewmgleason, Grooming: Nicole Sanchez @nicole_san
To learn more about actor and Instagram sensation Jake T. Austin, follow him on Instagram.