Last year, TV series Deep Water was released on ITV which saw Jake Hayes in the role of James Kallisto, working alongside Anna Friel and Steven Cree, his on-screen parents. During his career so far, Jake has had the opportunity to perform with G4 for their Christmas by Candlelight Tour and has worked on short films including as lead character, Billy, in Trashbag as well as filming for CBeebies. We spoke with Jake about playing Billy in Trashbag, filming for Deep Water and what drew him to acting.
What was it like being part of the cast of Deep Water and playing the role of James Kallisto?
Deep Water was very fun, it was amazing to work with some incredible actors, tiring at times, but such a great experience. James was the son of Lisa Kallisto (Anna Friel) and my dad was Steven Cree from Outlander. James was a typical young boy, sibling squabbles with his older brother but looked up to him. Great that I got to stay in a very posh hotel with a swimming pool in the Lakes!
What was a typical day for you on set of the production?
A typical day on Deep Water was: get up, have breakfast, chauffeured to base, costume and make up, chauffered to set, on and off set as needed, tuition in between, fun with the actors and the doggy actors (Lisa had a kennels). Me and the other kids had lots of fun on and off set, it was funny being squashed in a car with the other kids and wet, smelly doggys. The food on set was amazing! I loved my chaperones, we got on great.
How did it feel booking your first ITV drama?
When I found out I had got the part, I could not stop smiling as this was a fantastic opportunity. It did mean me missing quite a lot of school and I was just starting high school, but the school were amazing, thankfully. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to everyone who gave me this.
Did you watch the series on TV and what’s it like watching yourself in a show?
Mum said I was allowed to watch some of the episodes I was in. It felt strange to see myself on screen and my name on the credits next to the main actors.
You appeared as Billy in the short film Trashbag, can you tell us about this?
This was my first short film as a lead. Billy was a sad little boy who no one wanted, I’m normally quite a loud and energetic kid, so had to play the character as sad and quiet which was good as it was out of my comfort zone.
Having worked on a CBeebies show in 2016, what do you remember about being involved with the production?
I was picked from my performing arts school for this role to be a zookeeper for the day. It was great as I had to look after the giraffes which was great but also smelly as we had to shovel up their poo! I still remember the smell!
What first drew you to acting?
When I was around six, a touring theatre company came into school and I was asked to act with them in front of the whole school, I knew from that moment I loved to perform. I then joined a performing arts school on a Saturday and loved it and my passion grew.
We understand you performed at the G4 Christmas by Candlelight Tour, how was the experience?
G4 was great, I got to sing in a choir with G4 wearing a santa hat, it felt really Christmassy, another great opportunity.
What are workshops like to attend?
I have done lots of acting workshops. I attend screen acting classes on Saturdays and Sundays and accent training, I’m definitely committed to learning. I always book on casting director workshops as I love to meet new people and learn new things.
How do you spend your time away from acting?
My other hobbies are going to the local skate parks with my scooter and reading and seeing friends.
What are your upcoming plans and do you have any projects due for release?
I just completed filming a Christmas Special of a well-known TV show, it’s a long time till it airs so it feels like forever away. It was a fun one to do, and the cast and crew, again, were amazing to work with. I got really nice feedback. Other than that, I continue to do lots of castings and auditions and keep working hard to be the best I can be.
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