INTERVIEW: Brandon McLaren’s role on Graceland

Graceland‘s Brandon McLaren offers insight into his sexy, surly character, Jakes.

USA's Graceland - Brandon McLaren Interview

There’s one in every overcrowded apartment, on every stuck elevator and in every tent popped up on a battlefield: That grown man. That very large 3-year-old who refuses to share. They make for the worst housemates or bunkmates. That’s the guy you don’t want to survive the apocalypse with… he’ll never share the last Snickers bar.

To a certain extent, that’s Graceland‘s customs agent Jakes, played by Brandon McLaren. And, yeah: He doesn’t share. Ever.

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In the pilot episode of Graceland, the new guy, Mike (Aaron Tveit, of Les Mis), is offered a carton of juice from one of his new housemates — the lovable “little brother” of the group Johnny, played by Manny Montana. It turns out that juice belongs to the surly alpha male of the house, Jakes. When Jakes stumbles upon Mike with his juice, he quickly puts the new guy in his place. As nice as he is to look at, he’s definitely a nightmare roommate. USA's Graceland - Brandon McLaren Interview

“Absolutely. Oh, that’s the worst,” McLaren said of his character. He went on to describe him as the kind of roomie “who like counts like the scoops out of the ice cream or… draws with a felt pen like where the ice cream was last.”

He may be a pretty awful roommate, but Jakes has his own redeeming qualities. He’s loyal to his friends and his job. Being a customs agent is tough work and requires a special kind of dedication. So, what would make a person want to take that on? What would lead a person to that kind of job? While preparing for Graceland, McLaren thinks he figured out the answer.

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“I think a real strong sense of morality, of black and white, good and evil. No gray area, you know? Bad guys, good guys,” he explained. “A really strong sense of justice. I know given my character’s back story, you know, just a sense of wanting to do good. A sense of owing society something, paying back society.”

And does he feel like he owes society something? Oh, yeah. But, if we told you that, we’d give away the show! To see Jakes’ food hoarding in action and to find out why he owes a debt to society, you’re just going to have to tune in to find out.

Graceland premieres June 6 at 9/8c on USA.

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Images courtesy of USA


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