Whiz Kid: Interview with Eureka's Trevor Jackson

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Courtesy of/copyright Platform PR

Actor, singer, dancer and all-around good kid Trevor Jackson

When you live in a small town full of geniuses it is often tough to stand out from everyone else, but Kevin Blake has managed to do that. The son of Dr. Allison Blake, currently the head of medicine at Eureka’s local think tank Global Dynamics, he was diagnosed with autism at a young age. A highly intelligent child with an IQ of 182, Kevin was infused with energy from GD’s mysterious Artifact in the show’s first season and his mind has since continued to develop in extraordinary ways.

At the start of Eureka’s fourth season, Kevin tinkers with a device that transports his mother along with Sheriff Jack Carter, Deputy Jo Lupo, Dr. Douglas Fargo and Dr. Henry Deacon back in time to 1947 and the government’s establishing of Eureka as a military research facility. Allison and the others manage to return to the present day but to an altered timeline where certain people as well as their circumstances have changed, including Kevin, who is no longer autistic. The teenager is just as bright but far more outgoing with lots of friends and a healthy interest in adventure and, of course, girls. It is the perfect mix for actor Trevor Jackson to play as Kevin.

“Although my character is extremely smart, I think at the moment he just wants to be like any other kid and hang out with his friends, except his friends happen to be these Uber-smart kids,” says Jackson. “Kevin also loves his mom and Sheriff Carter, who has been kind of like a father figure in his life because he doesn’t have a real dad. In some ways he and Jack are actually closer than Kevin and his mom because she doesn’t get what he’s going through as a teenage boy, do you know what I mean? I think he and Carter really bonded in the episode ‘Momstrosity.’ Since then Kevin has been going through that normal change of going from a boy to a young man, and he has Jack to sort of help him along the way.”

While some people might not necessarily believe in destiny, Jackson definitely feels he received a bit of a hint that he would end up being cast on Eureka. “When I got the script I went over it like a madman,” recalls the actor with a chuckle. “I had one audition and, honestly, when I walked out of the room I didn’t think I’d get it. However, a couple of weeks later I was at home with my parents in our living room and my Grandma walked in and told us, ‘I just bought a new vacuum cleaner and it says ‘Eureka’ on it.’ I said, ‘Oh, my God, that’s a sign.’ Not even an hour later I got a call telling me I got the job. That’s pretty scary, huh?”

The actor made his Eureka debut as Kevin Blake in the show’s season four opener “Founder’s Day.”

“That was an amazing experience, especially because I was learning so many new things when it comes to shooting a TV show,” enthuses Jackson. “Colin Ferguson [Sheriff Jack Carter], Joe Morton [Henry Deacon] and Miss Salli [Richardson-Whitfield, who plays Jackson’s onscreen mom, Allison Blake] helped me out a great deal. That’s actually what I remember most about that episode - everything they did for me as opposed to filming the actual episode itself.”

Jackson appeared in eight season four Eureka episodes including “O Little Town,” last year’s Christmas tale. In “The Story of O2” Kevin’s desire to win a rocket race to the moon gets the better of him, while the arrival in town of a new scientist, Dr. Holly Marten (Felicia Day), triggers an unusual response by townsfolk to their favorite songs.

“I loved filming that episode,” says the actor. “Sadly, I didn’t get to drive the car, but, you know, that’s okay, I was cool with it. Seriously, it was a great episode, including all the music, and the scene where Kevin has to stop Jo [Erica Cerra] from shooting Jack. I also loved when I got to Indiana Jones it for a little bit and swing on the chain, which they really let me do, and unplug the machine. I had such a good time on that one.

“Probably the hardest episode I shot in season four is ‘Momstrosity’ and the scenes where there was actually nothing there in front of me. At one point she [a rogue Titan rover unit] is holding Kevin down. There was just a giant robot arm and nothing else, so I had to create in my mind this thing that my character was extremely scared of.”

A couple of months ago, the cast and crew of Eureka wrapped production on the show’s fifth season. It also ended up being the show’s final year, as it was cancelled a couple of weeks before shooting began on the season finale. “I was really disappointed when I heard that Eureka had been cancelled,” notes Jackson. “It was especially sad because the cast had become like my second family; Salli is like my second mom, Colin is like a brother, so is Joe, etc. We were all having a really good time, but I think it will be okay. Everyone is going to be able to do other things and move forward with their careers. This isn’t the end for any of us.”

Hot on the heels of Eureka’s cancellation, the show’s producers and writers received news that they would be given an additional story to tie up as many loose ends as possible. “That was a really sad episode to film, because at the end of it, that’s when I had to say goodbye to the cast as well as the crew,” says the actor. “I was close to the crew, the make-up people, everyone. It wasn’t easy, but we gave it our all and went out with a bang.”

What can viewers except to see Kevin getting up to next year on the fifth and final season of Eureka? “He’ll be up to a lot. It gets better, I guarantee it,” says Jackson. “There will be new aspects to the character as well as lot of different things that you’ll be learning about him. You’ll have to watch in order to see what I’m talking about but it’s going to be awesome.”

Tap dancing or basketball - those were the choices Jackson was faced with when he was growing up and deciding on a career path. “I tap danced for the longest time, probably seven or eight years, so one week I’d want to be [tap dancer] Fabian Glover and the next I’d want to play for the NBA,” he says. “One day I went to a workshop thinking it was going to be for tap dance but it turned out to be an acting class. So then I started acting and loved it. At one point I auditioned for a local play, then The Lion King, and when I got that job it changed my life completely. That’s when I realized that I loved to sing, too. Since moving to Los Angeles I’ve been focused not only on the acting and singing aspects of my job, but a bit of dancing, too. I just want to be the best I can be and try to inspire as many people as possible.”

As the young actor already mentioned, his first big - and life-changing - job was a Broadway national stage tour of The Lion King, playing the role of Young Simba from 2005 - 2008.

“I experienced so many things and grew up extremely fast doing The Lion King,” he says. “Live theatre is a lot different from motion pictures and TV because you have one take and you have to get it right. Working on The Lion King helped me learn about priorities, hard work, determination and things like that. I met so many people from so many different places, and I’m just so grateful to have had such an opportunity. Not many people get to travel like that, do what they love and get paid for it. Getting to see the smile on peoples’ faces and knowing that they had a good time watching you do what you love - it’s all great.”

Along with Eureka, Jackson has guest-starred on Cold Case and Harry’s Law. Currently, he is in Atlanta filming the Disney Channel Original Movie Let it Shine, which will air in 2012. “I also have another film coming out next year called A Beautiful Soul with Deitrick Haddon and Harry Lennix,” says the actor. “It’s going to be a pretty awesome movie that will appeal to kids as well as adults and I’m really excited about it.”

Please note, all Eureka photos above copyright of Syfy, and last photo of Trevor Jackson courtesy of/copyright Platform PR.

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A native of Massachusetts, Steve Eramo has been a Sci-Fi fan since childhood, having been brought up on such TV shows as Star Trek and Space: 1999. He is also an Anglophile and lover of British TV. A writer for 35 years – 17 of those as a fulltime freelancer – Steve has had over 2,500 feature-length…

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