Jesse Camacho has been an ACTRA member since he was 8 years old. By the age of 9, he landed a recurring role on the Hallmark series Tales From the Never Ending Story. After playing lead roles in several cartoon series, Jesse was cast in a leading role in the critically acclaimed feature film 12 And Holding shot completely on location in New York and New Jersey. He then followed that up with leading roles in features such as, Lost After Dark, Happy Slapping and Kids vs Monsters. Other credits include The Trotsky, Rapture Palooza, Kickass II, and a recurring role on the television series This Life. In 2012, Jesse completed filming on the fourth season of the Gemini winning, HBO Canada series, Less Than Kind for which he was nominated for a CSA (Canadian Screen Award) for outstanding performance by an actor in a leading role in a television comedy. Recently, Jesse starred in the independent drama We’re Still Together for which he won an Actra Award for Best Male Performance.
Jesse can currently be seen in the Netflix film Good Sam and in a major recurring role as Doug Brazelle in the hit series Locke and Key based on the graphic Novel by Joe Hill and written by Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill, currently in pre-production for its highly anticipated second season.
We had the opportunity to chat with Jesse about Locke & Key, his favorite scenes to shoot, and what role he’d love to play next.
Kat: You portray the character of Doug Brazelle on Netflix’s Locke & Key. How did you prepare for your role? Did you find any commonalities between yourself and Doug?
Jesse: The preparation for playing Doug was actually not that intricate. I feel he and I are very similar. We’re both big horror movie nerds, I even wore a Pennywise the clown T-shirt to my audition, we both have a passion for filmmaking and the tendency to greet uncomfortable moments with sarcasm and, sometimes, ill-advised attempts at humour. I adore him and what the writers have given me. Meredith, Carlton and the rest of that writer’s room are incredibly generous in their writing. I feel like every character gets lovely moments. The most stressful part of the preparation for me was more mentally. While the Savini Squad is featured in the first two episodes, Asha (who plays Zadie) and I only started shooting about 5 weeks in. At that point a set is a well-oiled machine. I just didn’t want to slow them down and, at the same time, make sure I put the bat on the ball with the great stuff I was given. Fortunately for Asha and I, it was the most welcoming environment. Every single member of the cast and crew was overwhelmingly kind and generous. Within minutes of being there I felt super comfortable and part of the family. It starts from the top down, so I really credit Emilia Jones for being so warm on my first day!
Kat: Was there anything about your role that was particularly challenging?
Jesse: I think with Locke and Key, things I expected to be challenging came super easy. Especially where playing Doug was concerned. I was shooting another project during rehearsals for Locke and Key so I only really got to meet the other members of the Savini Squad on my first day. Developing what needs to seem like a years-long dynamic with a group of people you’ve just met can be challenging. But again, the group over at Locke & Key just adores each other. Within minutes of sitting with Emilia Jones, Griffin Gluck, Petrice Jones and Asha Bromfield, there was this unspoken moment where we just clicked and it felt so natural. I adore all of them. Our wonderful director of episodes 1 & 2, Michael Morris was also really great with us too. He gently guided us to find our chemistry while never losing what was so wonderful on the page.
Kat: What were some of your favorite scenes to shoot and why?
Jesse: Man, it’s so hard to pick a favourite moment or episode I was a part of. I enjoyed every second of being on that set. Whether it was establishing the Savini Squad dynamics in episodes 1&2, the fun scene we have in episode 4 (directed by the great Tim Southam) or the adventure we had down in the caves in episode 6. But I think ultimately, the caves need to take the cake. It was such a cool set piece to be a part of. It was like stepping into your favourite movie as a kid. Plus, Mark Tonderai directed that episode and he was a joy. Super generous with the actors and he gave us all amazing advice about the industry and being on set. It was really wonderful week.
Kat: What do you hope fans take away from the show?
Jesse: I just hope the audience has fun. That’s what we all aim for when making it. I hope they have the same reaction that I have watching The Goonies, Stand by Me or Stranger Things. Part of the reason I love Locke and Key so much is that it touches on several demographics. I’ve had encounters with fans as young as 10 up to friends of my grandparents. Everyone seems to connect with something on the show. Again, that starts at the top with Meredith and Carlton.
Kat: Is there a type of character that you’d like to portray, that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
Jesse: The short answer is I wanna play anything and everything. I just love being on set. The collaborative aspect of filmmaking is the most rewarding thing to me. I love being part of an ensemble like Locke & Key, and I love the character I. I’d, of course, love to be the first overweight Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero, but I also really enjoy grounded character studies. I think the older I get, the wider the variety of things I want to do becomes!
For more on Jesse visit, https://www.imdb.com