Pop-Culturalist Chats with Jedidiah Goodacre
Versatility: It’s what separates a good actor from a great one, and Canadian heartthrob, Jedidiah Goodacre, well, he’s a great one. Best known for his comedic characters in Disney’s Descendants and Tomorrowland, this next-gen leading man is quickly adding a wide range of roles to his résumé. In his latest project, The Recall (out in theaters now), Jedidiah plays Charlie, the boy next door who’s overcoming the tragic loss of his girlfriend, all while fighting for survival in the mist of an alien invasion. Pop-Culturalist snagged some time with Jedidiah to chat about the film, his evolution as an actor, and where fans can see him next.
P-C: Tell us about The Recall and your character.
Jedidiah: My character, Charlie, has a great arc. He starts off as a troubled young teen, who is frustrated with life and just went through a tragedy. He lost his girlfriend about ten months before the movie takes place. Charlie’s story is about redemption, finding himself, and building up the courage to move on…and obviously, aliens get thrown into the mix. It’s in ways, a coming-of-age story.
P-C: We heard you had an interesting audition story. Could you tell us a bit about that?
Jedidiah: Yeah [laughs]. I went down to Los Angeles for the chemistry read and audition. During the first round of auditions down there, I was in the room by myself, with just a chair in front of me, the camera person, and the director and producer, Mauro and Kevin. So, I went through the first few scenes and they went okay.
The last scene I read was a big scuffle between Charlie and Rob. During this scuffle, I got a little too excited and over-energetic, and I accidentally bumped the chair in front of me…and when I say ‘bumped’ it, I sent it flying into the tripod and the camera man [laughs].
I was like ‘Oh, my goodness! They’re never going to see me again for an audition, let alone get the part!’ I guess they saw something they liked, because they called me back for the chemistry reads and then I got the part.
It was pretty nerve-racking.
P-C: You talked a bit about Charlie’s character arc. What were you the most excited to explore with his character development?
Jedidiah: Charlie has to find the courage to face people, and also himself, after a tragedy. That was the aspect of the character that I really appreciated and found very fun to delve into. He has a lot of strength inside, although he’s afraid to let it out.
P-C: You’re best known for your roles in Disney’s Descendants and Tomorrowland. This project is a big departure from those films, in terms of genre and its intended audience. What was the preparation like, and were there any nerves, going into it?
Jedidiah: I don’t know if I ever really get nervous. It’s more excitement. I was obviously excited just to work, because as an actor, it’s almost rare to get work. I was super-excited to film up in the Okanagan, as well. The setting was beautiful and the people were awesome to work with. It was also kind of a nice break from playing those kind of comedic Disney characters and dipping into something that’s a little different. It was a lot of fun.
P-C: What was it like working with Wesley Snipes?
Jedidiah: Very, very, very fun and awesome. I’m a better person and actor since meeting and working with him. I think we all can say that, the people who were fortunate enough to work with him on the film. He’s a very intense guy between action and cut. That’s where he makes his money because he’s so good.
He really elevated everybody’s game when he got to set, but after you call “cut,” and you’re hanging out in between scenes, he’s a very, very nice man to talk to…very down-to-earth. He was just an easy-going guy and awesome to be around.
P-C: The Recall has created this immersive experience for audiences. It’s one of the first films shot in Canada, in the Barco Escape panoramic format. How different was that filming experience, compared to other projects you’ve worked on?
Jedidiah: I don’t think the approach to your character is any different. It’s more involves the camera and the technical side of things. Instead of dealing with one camera on the tripod, they have three cameras filming, and so the frame that you cover is almost 270 degrees or more, in some cases.
That means all of your cables, your chairs, and everything that is outside of your frame, has to be cleared out. It just adds a little bit more time, but it’s definitely worth it, because I saw the Escape premiere in Toronto, and you could really tell the difference.
The film started off on the front screen, and then it opened up to this panoramic shot—this beautiful shot of an overhead drone shot of a car driving up a mountain—and you could just feel the entire theater, almost like it took their breath away. It was a very exciting thing, and I’m happy to be part of it.
P-C: Wesley Snipes mentioned at CinemaCon this year that the format demands more from its actors. It requires them to really work together, as an ensemble. Could you feel that on the set, and what was the biggest adjustment, if any, that you made when filming?
Jedidiah: Yeah, just because it takes a little more time to set up the shot. We usually go through more of the scenes before we call “cut.” So, it’s a little more like theatre, in that sense.
You don’t get your energy taken away when they call “cut.” You get to continue the whole scene, all the way through. Sometimes, it just keeps the ball rolling, and gets more moments out of the actor, or gives you more opportunities to play. It’s very fun.
P-C: In addition to the Barco Escape panoramic format, the film is also offering a 10-minute virtual reality short. Do you think this is where the future of the cinematic experience is heading, and what are your thoughts on it?
Jedidiah: It’s very, very new—virtual reality—and it’s a lot of information for our brains to take in. We’re not really ready for this much information, right? We can only really handle about a 12-minute VR.
I think, over time, people will get used to taking in this much information, and eventually, you’ll see a full movie in VR. When we get to that point, that’s when things will get extremely, extremely exciting and totally different than what we’re used to, but I think, right now, it’s in the very early stages, and we’re just now getting ready for it. The start is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s endless, where it can go.
P-C: Have you had any feedback from audiences, about the Escape format, or the VR short?
Jedidiah: Yes. After the Toronto premiere, we had a lot of people just say how, exactly what I said earlier, it took their breath away when it went to the panoramic view of us driving up the mountain. Not only that—it’s not always panoramic shots—it could be that you’re watching two characters speak to each other on the front screen and there are subliminal images on the side, like a spider crawling down a tree.
It added ambience to the film. That was one of the main comments. The Barco Escape adds more of an immersive experience for the audience. You get those extra two screens that the director and the editors get to play with.
P-C: If you had to pick one scene that you’re most excited for fans to see, what would it be, and why?
Jedidiah: I love all of the scenes with Wesley. There’s one in particular where he’s explaining why the aliens are here and their whole story. It’s a pinnacle moment, and one of the coolest, because it involves Wesley, and it’s where Charlie and Annie discover everything that’s happening. It’s an excellent scene.
P-C: Your character is at the center of the entire story. Which relationship was your favorite to explore and why?
Jedidiah: I loved two relationships. Obviously, Charlie and Annie are two characters that are strong people but they’re also a bit afraid. Annie clearly helps Charlie move on from the tragedy and she’s a huge part of his character. I really loved working with Laura Bilgeri. She’s an amazing young actor, and was phenomenal to work with.
I also loved the relationship between Charlie and the hunter, played by Wesley. It’s a really cool dynamic between them, because at the end of the film, they end up with something in common. I think this is a cool thing for Charlie. At the start, they think the hunter is crazy and out of his mind, but it turns out he’s a really good role model.
P-C: Talking about the ending, the film concludes with a pretty big cliffhanger. Has there been any chatter about a possible sequel?
Jedidiah: That’s a question that comes up after all of the premieres that I’ve been to, or when anybody has seen the film, that’s a question they have. I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s a big chase at the end of the film, and it kind of leaves you wanting more. So, that’s a question we get a lot, and I’m not the one that gets to decide that, so you would have to talk to Kevin and Guy and Mauro about it [laughs].
P-C: Are there any other upcoming projects that you’re working on that you can chat about?
Jedidiah: I’m working on a TV show right now called Somewhere Between. It stars Paula Patton, Devon Sawa, and JR Bourne. It’s a really cool show. I don’t know how much I can give away about that one, so I won’t say much about it, but I get to play a very fun character. It’s also a big break from the other things on my résumé.
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
P-C: Guilty pleasure TV show?
Jedidiah: Married With Children
P-C: Guilty pleasure movie?
P-C: Favorite book?
Jedidiah: The Catcher in the Rye
P-C: Favorite social media platform?
P-C: Hidden talent?
P-C: Go-to karaoke song?
Jedidiah: “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin.
Photo Credit: Kyla Hemmelgarn