Photo Credit: Chris Campos
Can you tell us about your new project “The Quad”?
To put it simple, “The Quad” is about college. It follows the trials and tribulations at Georgia A&M. Audiences will get to see the school through many points of views. Mostly through the school’s first female president, played by Anika Noni Rose, her nemesis/prolific band leader, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, a young rapper, Peyton Alex Smith, and of course, the football squad which is where I come in. My character, BoJohn Folsom, was a star high school quarterback but was blacklisted from all the major college football powerhouses. Left with little options, Georgia A&M takes a chance on me in hopes that I can revamp the University’s struggling football program. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of all the drama we’ve got coming in season one.
2. How would you describe your character “BoJohn Folsom”?
This may sound weird, but the metaphor I use for BoJohn is that he is like a Golden Labrador. He has the look of the classic All-American kid and like Golden Labs, he’s got a great heart and fun loving personality… But sadly, like some dogs in the world, BoJohn was abused and mistreated his whole life. So while he still has that great heart and golden exterior, BoJohn’s insides are broken and sometimes it breaks the surface. Georgia A&M is his last chance so while BoJohn doesn’t particularly want to be on campus, he is willing to do anything and everything to save his future and his career.
3. What has been your favorite episode to film so far?
It’s cliché, but they are all so good I hate to pick just one. Maybe selfishly, I’ll say episode 8. BoJohn hits a wall in which it’s time to put up or shut. His family life basically smashes right into his new relationships at school and BoJohn’s forced to make some tough decisions. It was the definitely the scariest episode for me to shoot but I think that’s what made it my favorite. That’s why I wanted to act in the first place, to face and dive into those scary moments.
4. How is this project different form those you’ve worked on in the past?
Well “The Quad” was my first time carrying one character from the beginning of a season through to the end. While it certainly provided hardships in terms of the character needing to change and evolve each episode, it was also a comfort to have so much time to sit with just one person. Throughout the season, I needed less and less time to get in to the BoJohn mindset. By the season finale, the cast and crew pretty much just called me “Bo”, “The great white hope”, or “Wholesome Folsom”.
5. What can fans expect to see from the show?
One of the things I’m most proud of is that “The Quad” doesn’t back away from hard issues and truths about college and today’s society. We face racism, infidelity, sexual assault, domestic violence, and hazing. Each character carries a torch for one of the issues and I know on set we each felt a sense of pride and responsibility for our own issue. There’s no room to slack on your own issue when your cast mate and friend is sleeping in his closet every night because his character on the show is stuck in a prison cell alone because he’s fallen victim to both racial prejudices and cracks in the judicial system.
6. Do you have any other upcoming projects?
I’m actually on location in Oklahoma right now for an independent thriller called “Overexposed” that I’ll be shooting till March. I’m very excited and proud of this project as well because it faces the issue of “teen sexting” in our society. I’ll be starring alongside Marguerite Moreau and Mary Katherin Duhon, and the film follows a senior in high school who gets involved in a texting scandal that leads to lies, blackmail, sexual assault, and murder. It’s a small town film that really concentrates on the characters and those small moments in our lives that can have massive repercussions. It’s gritty, dirty, and raw. And I love every moment of it. The film is also directed by my brother, Conor Allyn, from a script he penned himself. This is our first time working together as director and actor so it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to broaden our working relationship.
7. What are your social media accounts?
Check me out to see some cool behind the scenes from season one of “The Quad” and I’ll definitely be posting mysterious stuff from this middle of nowhere thriller, “Overexposed”… So follow me at @jakeallyn85