I chatted with actor Cory Jeacoma about his Broadway career and his new role in The CW’s “4400”
Do you ever stop to reflect on what you’ve accomplished thus far over your career?
All the time. People ask me what kind of actor I want to be. I love doing what I do so, so much, I want to work. I want to be in the sandbox. The fact that I’ve had that opportunity to do that. I’ve gotten to do some really really cool stuff. “Jersey Boys”, “Beautiful”, and now “4400.” In “Ghost”, I got to play a caricature of this bad boy frat boy. I’ve had a BALL doing it. I’m proud as hell. I’m proud that I’ve gotten to make a career out of this.
When did this all begin for you? When did you know you wanted to be an entertainer?
I did my fifth grade talent show. Like every fifth grader, I selected “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch.”
That’s SO fitting for you
::laughs:: Right?! They had a sign up sheet that asked what grade you were in, why you signed up, and what do you want to be when you grow up? There’s a video somewhere of the moderator of the talent show saying “Fifth grade Cory Jeacoma, asked Why he signed up for the talent show, responded with “I really like singing and I want to know if other people like to hear me sing.” I was a little heartthrob back in fifth grade, man.
What advice do you have for folks getting into the entertainment business?
There are SO many talented people in this world. Everyone who wants to do this is talented. So what will set you a part? I’ve always believed in kindness. If you’re a kind person, people will want to work with you more. You also have to have a work ethic. You have to WANT IT.
You’ve played several real people on stage in “Beautiful” and “Jersey Boys. How big of an undertaking was that for you?
With “Jersey Boys”, it was TERRIFYING knowing that Bob Gaudio could come to any show. I wanted to make sure I was telling his story justly. In “Beautiful”, Jerry was heavily drenched in mental illness and that’s such a touchy subject. I wanted to make sure I was honoring that. The last thing I wanted to do was make a caricature of bipolar disorder and manic depression.
I remember meeting you at the after part of “Jersey Boys” at the Hippodrome..maybe 2016? It was a while ago. I remember watching the musical and I was like “Who IS this kid? He’s just outshining everyone else.” You were sensational in that. What was it like being a part of the touring company and then movie to the slightly off-Broadway ticket?
I love this question because it’s the same show. On tour, we were playing MASSIVE theaters. Seven thousand seats at times. When we moved it to off Broadway, it was four hundred and ninety nine seats. We went from this big big show, to this tiny intimate story. It almost translated better in the smaller house because it’s a story about people and you were able to digest the performances better.
If you could have any magical power, what would it be and why?
Ohhh man! That’s funny because in “4400”, I’m the peasant of the group. Everyone else is enhanced in some way. I’m constantly nudging the writers “You sure you don’t want to give Logan a power?” ::laughs::
I would love to be a human lie detector. You would be able to figure out when someone was trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
I would want the power to freeze time. Like Piper on “Charmed.”
Do you prefer streaming films or going to the movies?
I’m really bad at movie watching. I’m more of a TV guy because I don’t have much of an attention span over an hour. I recently saw “Shang Chi” and it just won’t be the same if you experience it on TV. There are certain movies you want to be overwhelmed by in a dark setting.
I took off work October 15th to see “Halloween Kills” JUST for that reason. It just won’t be the same on TV or streaming. I will have to go in a hazmat suit but oh well!
::laughs:: So you’re a big horror guy?
I wanted to see “Scream 2” when it came out, but I obviously had to see the first one. So mom rented it and that first scene with Drew Barrymore cemented my love not just for horror movies, but for movies in general. It lit my cinephile fire. And then I got into the “Halloween” movies. The original “Halloween” is my favorite movie of all time.
Get outta here! I LOVE hearing stories of what got people’s gears moving. Whether it be a horror movie or romantic comedies or whatever. I love it!
How did you get through lockdown?
I moved out of New York and I went to Florida. While it was the butt of the joke, for me it was a GREAT place because I was with my family. I had beautiful weather the ENTIRE time and was able to hang out with my dog a lot. Whenever I needed them, my family was there to nurse me back to health so to speak. I questioned if I should even continue in this business and they reminded me why I got into it in the first place. It taught me how much I hold sacred my family.
I’m the WORST at returning calls. My mother was the queen of calling “You don’t call me anymore?” My dad would love me messages like “Daddy Who?” Now, I call them so much, they screen my calls and don’t answer.
What is “4400” about and how do you play?
Over the course of 100 years, what would happen is 4400 people disappeared? In 2021, they return in the blink of an eye. They haven’t changed one bit. Same clothes, same age. The government takes them in because they don’t know what the hell is happening with them. They come back with an “enhancement.” They don’t know why they have these enhancements. Why 2021? Was 2021 the breaking point?
I play Logan, your typical hard working, family guy. He’s the kind of guy that I aspire to be. He knows goodness and that’s all he knows. You meet in 2005 with his wife Shanice, and newborn Mariah. Shanice is one of the 4400 who returns. It’s sixteen years later and he’s raised their daughter without her. He grapples with her return because he spent sixteen years recovering from her “death.”
I loved the original series. Did you watch the original?
I watched a little bit of the original prior to the audition and maaaannn..if you liked the original, you’re in for a treat with this one.
I’ve spent a few days on set here in Baltimore on “House Of Cards” and they can be LONG. What did you do to past the time when you weren’t in front of the camera?
Whenever they would ask “Where’s Cory” I was either at craft services or…craft services! ::laughs:: I’m ALWAYS eating. Half the reason I work out so hard so I can eat the way I do. Between takes the PA’s will ask us if we need anything and I’ll name off a list. But then I’ll end up going myself because I feel bad asking them to get all the food I order. Everyone on set across the board is such a delight, we’re hanging out, shooting the..ugh..
Shooting the crap, since it’s The CW..
::laughs:: Exactly! We have a rigorous Covid 19 testing schedule Monday, Wednesday and Friday to make sure everyone is safe. I was off one day to get tested and I ended up just hanging out with the cast and playing Active Arcade in between takes.
Are you excited about the premiere of “4400?”
Am I excited? What kind of question is that, Nick?! I’m out of my skin excited! Part of me just doesn’t believe it’s happening. And then the trailer comes out, and it gets a little more real. We start doing press, and it gets a little more real. Come October 25th, once my mug hits your TV screen, there’s NO turning back.
Catch Cory in “4400” Mondays 9pm on The CW! Stream the show the next day on The CW app or ON DEMAND