Jake Satow, is a 16-year-old actor who is making his mark in the entertainment industry. His new mini-series The Dropout is released soon. On top of The Dropout, Jake will also be playing opposite Julia Roberts and Sean Penn in the series, Gaslit, a series based on the Watergate story. Jake also loves to play music; he’s an accomplished violinist and plays piano.
Describe how you became interested in acting and how you got your start?
I feel like I’ve known you ever since I can remember! I always loved to perform. My mom took me to see Newsies on Broadway when I was like 3 or 4 and she said I loved it so much I actually tried to climb over the seats to be on the stage! I just knew when I was really little that I was in love with acting and performing. I joined my local community theatre when I was small and learned to love working with other young actors and giving my best to my performances. Then I booked my first commercial and I discovered film was my calling, and I decided to learn all I could about the film. I started taking a lot of serious acting classes and singing lessons in both New York and LA. I have been just really studying and working hard ever since, spending a lot of time in LA especially, and just so appreciative of my great team, my manager, my agent, and my publicist. They all really support me and I am so grateful for my team.
What do you love most about acting? And what do you enjoy most music or acting?
Oh, that’s tough, because I enjoy making music, singing, playing the piano, just everything about music. But if I had to pick, I’d say acting is my first love. What I enjoy most about acting is being on set and meeting new people who are all bringing great energy to create a great story. I just love that. And I love meeting other new actors and also seeing old friends who love the same thing. I really like working in front of the camera and always looking forward to the next great story to tell.
How was the experience of working in ‘The Dropout’?
It was the best experience ever. Honestly. It really was. There was so much good energy on set and this cast and crew were incredible to work with. This was truly a star-studded cast. I mean working with and learning from actors like Amanda Seyfried, William Macy, Michel Gill, and Elizabeth Marvel was just amazing. I feel so fortunate for the experience.
What was it like to audition for the first time?
Auditioning for this amazing project on Hulu, for The Dropout, was kind of crazy because my family was actually out of town and we were all in a hotel room and I didn’t have access to all of my usual auditioning equipment and lighting and so forth, so we had to do the best we could. But it was incredible when I learned I booked the job, and was just so, so excited about it. This is an amazing project and I knew a lot about it, about the podcasts and the book and just everything about the story in the media, and I was absolutely thrilled when I learned I booked the role!
Is it difficult to balance acting and school work?
It can be. But I feel really fortunate to have such supportive teachers onset and at my school and such a supportive family. I always try to do school work during any downtime and makeup what I can wherever I can!
What are your favorite activities to do when you are not working?
Oh, I love to keep in shape, and I especially love playing tennis and football. I work out a lot and just like staying fit. It keeps me strong both mentally and physically and I enjoy staying active and being outside as much as I can. I also love music, creating my own and listening to music, and playing the piano, the viola, and the guitar.
How do you prepare yourself for playing a new character?
I always try to bring at least a little bit of myself to each new character. I also really do my research. This one was great because there was so much out there in the book, the podcasts, and the media. It was fun bringing that sarcastic, playful side that I have at home with my sisters to the role. I was really lucky and happy to work with Amanda Seyfried because she also made me feel very comfortable and relaxed and she made it very easy to have a great rapport.
Your upcoming series ‘Gaslit’ is set to release soon. How was it like working opposite Julia Roberts and Sean Penn?
I’m excited for Gaslit. It comes out in April on Starz. It’s the story about the Watergate scandal told in a little bit different way than many people may have heard it. It’s a really interesting take from the point of view of one of the whistleblowers, who is played by Julia Roberts. It’s got another really great cast, which is so cool. I play the son of Howard Hunt, who is also one of the players in Watergate. It was a really great experience and I hope everyone can see it, too, in April!
Would you like to share with our readers any memorable experiences during the shoot?
Shooting Gaslit, I just really remember how much fun we all had in the pool scene in the 70s and ’70s in our 70s and ’70s swimsuits! The costuming and the cool ’70s cars and all the sets and props were incredible. The production really went to great lengths to recreate the Watergate Era and it is really fun to see.
Is there a hero you look up to that you admire?
It’s really hard to pick one, but my dad and my mom have supported me endlessly on my acting journey, and I admire how hard they work and all they do for our family. I also look up to several directors who have directed some of the projects I’ve been part of including Wendy Faraone, who directed us in a recent Christmas movie I just shot in the UK, called Saving Christmas Spirit. She’s amazing. I also really look up to Michael Showalter who directed us in The Dropout. The series is so good, and he was so amazing with detail with all of us, the whole cast and crew, with everything from the acting to lighting to the set to just all of it. I also really look up to Mike Mills who was one of the first directors I ever got to work under in a project called I Am Easy to Find with Alicia Vikander. He was so kind and so generous with his time with everyone on the set, and that just really stuck with me. There were a lot of us who were just young kids on set for that, and he really took his time with all of us and it really meant a lot.
What advice would you like to share with your fans?
Never give up. Keep working, and just be prepared, do your research when a great opportunity comes along and keep taking those acting classes, keep learning and growing and just follow your dreams!