By Tom Peaks @MrPeaksNValleys
In the winter, 2016, PnV & Fashionably Male ran a very popular 2-part interview with actor/model Jordan Woods. At the time, the small town Indiana product had only been modeling and acting for a short time; still, he had already made numerous cameos in TV shows filmed around Chicago. I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with fan-favorite Jordan and see what has been happening in his life. So, we decided on a Part 3 to our interview…because we know sequels have a built-in audience…and they are always better than the original☺.
Below is a unique shoot because it’s not a modeling shoot, but rather an acting portfolio presentation. Shot by up and coming photographer Eddie Blagbrough, this collaboration was designed to achieve quality shots depicting Jordan’s versatility as an actor. Jordan explained, “We really focused on creating different characters so that casting directors can see that I’m a chameleon and can adjust to play any role. Jordan continued, “It’s important to make sure you have a different portfolio for acting than you do for modeling.”
One day, Jordan could certainly be walking down the red carpet as he breathes life into one of these characters. Enjoy our 2017 catch-up chat with Jordan.
So, Jordan, it’s been about 18 months since we last chatted on the record. I thought it would be good to catch up, and see how the career is going for you. You have been living abroad now since May, 2016. You’re now living in London. Why?
It offers me more versatility and opportunities acting wise. I also love the cosmopolitism of London and its history. I love the fact that it has a mixture of historical buildings and modern architecture. It gives you a chance to travel back in time, but then also step back into the present day. An actor strives on being in a creative environment, and London has so much diversity for an actor to flourish in.
Okay, I worry about you, a small town boy from Brookston, Indiana, being in London. It’s seems to have become ground zero for violent extremist activity. Do you feel safe?
Yes, I feel just as safe as I did when I lived at home. There is extremism to be found wherever you go, so you just have to live your life as you normally would.
I live just down the road from where the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower Block fire took place. It was wonderful to see how very quickly the community rallied in supporting the families and people affected by the tragedy. People donated clothes, food, money, and time. Everywhere I went people were dropping bags of clothing to their local churches and centers. Also, all the supermarkets were making collections. It was a humbling experience, and I certainly felt safe being surrounded by such humanity.
You’ve only been home once since moving away. Is Trump not letting you back in the country?
Is Trump letting anyone into the country? Haha. They’ll probably think I’m some British spy or something crazy. Although nothing really seems crazy anymore.
So you spent about three months in India prior to your UK move. What kind of work did you do there? (previously shown on Fashionably Male is Jordan’s shoot with Rick Day in Mumbai) How did you like India?
India was an amazing experience for me, especially coming from such a small town. It made me a lot more appreciative of my own life and really how fortunate I am to be able to do what I love doing.
I did a few campaigns for some of the major Indian brands like Design Classics and Titan Eyewear to name a couple. I also did a couple of commercials for some very established companies. One of the companies is called Myntra. They are basically the Amazon of clothing in India. All in all, it was a great work opportunity with so much experience that I could take with me.
In London, tell us about some of your favorite modeling work and how modeling fits into your career path now.
One of the most interesting experiences I had recently was doing a major fashion show at Lancaster House, which is part of the Royal Palace of St. James’. It was sponsored by the High Commissioner of Pakistan for their 70th year of independence celebrations. It had major fashion designers who flew over from Pakistan, and I was just one of the few Caucasian models.
Having done commercials, gone for film castings, and also going to see a lot of theater productions, I am moving more and more towards acting. Modeling is still part of my career, but acting gets the center of my attention.
When you were in the USA, as we discussed last year, you did some extra work in some TV programs, and you had a part in “Empire.” Tell us about how your acting goals & dreams have evolved since then.
Since coming to London, I have been fortunate enough to get in for castings for a couple of major feature films and TV. I am relatively new as far as that side of my career is concerned and have been taking classes in improvisation and acting in general. I have been lucky enough to have been seen by some producers and directors, and I am already earmarked for a support lead role in a developing film project.
The thing I strive for the most is being the best version of myself, so I’m always working on something every day in order to better my skills. It’s not an easy career choice, but my passion for it gives me the motivation to always push forward.
What are some highlights of acting jobs you have done while in Europe, Jordan?
As I stated earlier, I am relatively new but have done support roles in various commercials. The most fun and intense job I’ve done so far was for Gatorade. It was for the European market, so the sport we played was soccer (football). It was such a great time because we played various soccer game situations for different scenes.
It is a very competitive business, and I have tremendous respect for some of the actors I have seen in their final year productions at drama schools. It really opens my eyes to the talent that is out there in the industry. I am looking forward to the future projects that I am getting involved in.
How often are you going to castings? Do you enjoy that aspect? How do you prepare?
My management has been very active in suggesting me and getting me out for castings. I have had my fair share of opportunities and conversions. I do enjoy the casting aspect especially for my confidence in preparing for the castings. I feel like that’s one of the most difficult parts of the job, but I love it because I can see myself improving each time. When I prepare for them, I always read through the scenes over and over. If there are lines I have to memorize, then I’ll learn them and be off the page for the casting. I never thought I could have learned lines the way that I have done. It’s very easy for me to pick up a scene and be off the page by the next day. I have also learned to work on monologues in front of camera and be comfortable because that’s basically what you do in a casting.
You were just seen in a new music video. Tell us about that.
Yes, I just shot the music video for a brand new song, “Real Life” by Duke Dumont. The concept of the video was basically about how social media has completely taken over our lives. We have a tendency to live through our phones, and we’re constantly updating/posting pics online so everyone knows what we’re doing. I think the video speaks volumes of what the real world in the eyes of the youth has come to. It’s not about hanging out with real friends like people used to do. It’s about posting stuff online and how many followers you have. The video production entailed long hours, but it was a lot of fun. For me, what was surprising was the amount of people who knew Duke Dumont and were asking me about my experience in shooting the video. I was shocked when the video hit 1 million viewers in just a week. He isn’t very well known in The States, but EVERYONE in Europe loves him. I met some great people on set, and the whole production team was so supportive and such fabulous people all around.
And I know from all your social media that you have been soaking in the sites of Europe. Tell us about some of the most amazing things you’ve seen and done.
Going to Versailles was a mind-blowing experience, and I was absolutely amazed by the beauty, not only of the palace itself, but the gardens and lake which just seemed to go on forever. Louis XIV was a real visionary and his impact not only on France, but on Europe generally was stunning. Paris as a city was more than I expected, and I actually shot a presenter’s video at the Louvre. I have a love for art and architecture, so I was just mind blown by all of the historical architecture. It’s fascinating to think that a human was able to create such beautiful buildings, palaces, cathedrals, and sculptures. The attention to detail on every inch of the building is immaculate. It’s one of those things you have to see to believe.
In Rome, I got to see the Pope as he was visiting a church that was near where I was staying. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Seeing all that ancient history really put some of the movies I have been watching into perspective. The most extraordinary things I saw while in Rome were the Vatican and the Colosseum. Words cannot describe their beauty, so it’s definitely something one must experience. I loved Naples and again was stunned by its history and the different nationalities that had an impact on it. I never realized it had been a kingdom and had its own King. I also loved Florence. It was such a clean city in contrast to Rome, which was graffiti ridden. I only wish I could have sampled more local dishes rather than the locals trying to cater to what the tourist would eat in their own country.
In your travels abroad, tell us how the world sees America. And in your mind, how are Americans different from Europeans?
As America has changed, the World has changed towards it. I can tell a difference in people’s perception of the States and Americans from the end of Obama’s presidency to the beginning of Trump’s. America used to be a country that everyone wanted to visit, but now people are weary of going there and how they will be greeted.
I feel like Europeans are more open-minded, and they feel more free to be whom they truly want to be without being ostracized. I love America, and it will always be my home, but I feel like we tend to put labels on people rather than just seeing them for who they are. Every country has its pros and cons, and that’s just life. I feel like when you get the opportunity to travel, your perspective on life and the world completely changes, and you’re able to think about things in a more open and free manner.
What lies ahead for Jordan?
A life full of new and exciting projects, discoveries and experiences. The last year has really been an eye opener to the world outside of America, and I consider myself lucky that I have had the opportunities to experience the places I have been to and all the great people I have met. My confidence has certainly grown as well as my dress sense. I love the work ethos that I find with acting and it has opened my mind to research more things than I have done before. I’ve learned so much about all the history of every city I’ve had the privilege of going to and it just makes me want to learn more. I’m very excited for future projects that I’m involved in because they will be shot all around the world. That will give me the opportunity to explore more countries and learn about all of the various cultures and history.
Okay, Jordan, it’s an all new Flash Bulb round…fast, quick responses:
2 things you miss most about USA?
My family & The variety of products
Favorite European city? Country?
City – London. Country – Italy.
Most accurate stereotype about British? Least accurate?
(Most accurate) They love their tea and fish & chips!
(Least accurate) They are not as stiff upper lip as people think
How much grief do you get about Trump while living in Europe?
Anytime I meet someone who knows I am American.
Your two favorite exercises at the gym?
Dumbbell bench press & Barbell squats
What percentage of time, when you’re not at home, do you go commando?
Only with shorts. It feels a bit strange with jeans/trousers.
Best foreign cuisine?
Chicken Tandoori (of course it’s chicken)
You’re stranded on a lagoon. Is the loincloth style that you create going to look more like boxers, briefs, or a thong?
A thong. I can’t risk bad tan lines!!
Favorite Disney character? Favorite Super hero?
Disney – Aladdin. Super hero – Superman!!!
Who inspires you?
Several people, but I am impressed by Leonardo DiCaprio for his versatility and professionalism as an actor.