(Photo courtesy of Robert Kozak)
Chicago native/Hollywood transplant Jacob Zachar in an actor, which makes his residential locations understandable. His first onscreen project was starring alongside John Malkovich, Dana Delaney, and John Goodman; an obvious indicator that things would go well for him. A successful actor vacillating between on camera and voice over roles, Zachar seems to navigate the vocation easier than most. Long stints on ABC Family’s Greek complement King of the Hill, CSI, and other productions attesting to his versatility. Jacob will soon be appearing on television in Eddie’s, a comedy/family friendly program about a neighborhood bar in Venice, California. Writer Alex Scrymgeour wrote the role with Zachar in mind as he was a fan of Greek and the actor’s work on the show. Eddie’s has some very recognizable names and an aim to display stories of people coming together rather than sowing division in present day. Zachar joins the ensemble which includes multiple Primetime Emmy Award nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actor George Wendt, Eddie McGee (of film, TV, and first ever winner of CBS’s Big Brother reality series), and others.
Fans of Jacob’s character (Rusty Cartwright aka "Spitter") on ABC Family’s Greek will find a lot to enjoy in his presentation of Billy Jenkins on Eddie’s. If Jacob was a young “nerd” looking to find himself, Jenkins is a determined professional who is risking it all to manifest his dream. Billy is an enthusiastic aspiring young writer/director from Toronto who goes all-in by moving to California alone in pursuit of a career in showbiz. As with many before him, he finds himself living in his car and slowly running out of money. Nervous that he will be forced to return home and abandon his passion, he comes across a Help Wanted sign for Eddie's Bar while strolling the boardwalk. Billy walks in, explains his situation to Eddie, and is thrown an apron on the spot. In a compassionate but strict paternal manner, Eddie tells Jenkins, "Get a move on, Maple Leaf. Beer don't serve itself.” This particular scene more than most sets the tone for the show. Eddie (the establishment’s proprietor) is always willing to help others out but they must help themselves just as much…or more.
Zachar describes his character stating, “Most times when you go into a bar or restaurant, there’s someone who is just learning the ropes…that’s Billy. He's the rescue pup but he’s also a workhorse, ready to prove himself beneficial to the team. Dude's a straight up grinder. He can take a few punches to the chin. It takes a lot passion and confidence to pursue a career in the entertainment business, especially when your circumstances find you moving to a different country by yourself. You gotta give him respect for taking the risk, ill-advised or not. He still has a lot to learn though. He can become overconfident. It's evident in the way he soaks a table of customers with beers, and how he speaks a little too casually with Eddie, backtracking on a terrible New York impression of his potential boss.”
One of the strengths of Eddie’s is that the cast is so diverse and offers up characters from different walks of life. Eddie’s (the bar) provides a staging ground for these people to “bump” into each other, challenge each other, and learn from each other. It’s no lucky accident as series writer/creator Alex Scrymgeour wanted to design a show presenting the idea that different types of people should be able to find some common ground. An aspiring Canadian writer, an owner manager whose NYC roots typify a tough exterior with a heart of gold, and a crass Sea Captain, these are just a few examples of the different circumstances and history of characters in the show. With a lot of regular characters in the cast, most viewers will quickly find someone who shares a great deal with them, as well as someone they may not like that much.
A large cast can sometimes be cumbersome to handle behind the scenes. Jacob confirms that working with his old boss from Greek, director and executive producer Michael Lange, made Eddie’s a comfortable vibe for all involved. He comments, “Michael and I have many years of history working together on Greek. I was stoked to hear he wanted to be a part of this story along with Greek alums Nellie, Jules, and so much of the crew. He's funny as hell and knows how to capture his vision but he's also humble enough to let the characters fly when they need to. I felt very lucky to have him around. Not too many directors can keep their sanity when putting together thirty plus pages in two days of filming…although he might have gone crazy, you'll have to ask him yourself.”
(Photo courtesy of Robert Kozak)