“My agent said the words ‘Shondaland’ and ‘Mireille Enos,’” recalls Jay Hayden, the handsome star of Shonda Rhimes’s latest hit show The Catch. “I then replied, ‘Where and when?’”
Although he grew up with a normal family in New England, Hayden’s life in show business was set in motion from an early age. “You know,” he says, “I was a totally normal kid who probably would have grown into a totally normal adult, but my cousins and sisters decided that we needed to be a lip syncing cover band that performed at all the family’s get-togethers. So I, the 5-year-old, was forced to be the lead singer of The Basics while my 10-year-old cousins and sisters played fake bass, drums, and guitar. Judging by the VHS tapes, I was always interested in entertaining… and my own boogers.”
Since living in LA, Hayden’s credits have moved beyond the confining lead roles of home videos, through an array of smaller spots in various TV shows and movies, and into center stage this spring with his role on ABC’s newest member of #TGIT.
“I play Danny, Alice’s investigative partner in the field,” Hayden explains. “Danny is a mischievous, irreverent, girl-crazy PI—fiercely loyal to Alice and Valerie—who’s not at all squeamish about breaking the law, if it helps AVI solve a case and help a client.”
Premiering at midseason, The Catch’s freshman run will debut with 10 episodes, which means a lot of room for character development. Having dipped his toes in both the TV and movie pool, Hayden dissects the experience of the two mediums and the excitement that comes from the unknown aspects of a series.
“In film, you get a full and complete script, most of the time,” he says. “You know where the character and the story are going, what will be learned, lost, loved, and how it all ends. In TV, you don’t always know what’s next for your character; scripts and storylines change as a show evolves.”
And, if that’s not enough to be excited about, Hayden’s also gearing up to start the promotional junkets for his film Undrafted, which is slated for release in July. Starring alongside Joe Mazzello, Chace Crawford, and Aaron Tveit, the film centers around group of misfit teammates from an intramural baseball team.
“I was very lucky to work with them,” he says of his co-stars, a group that he describes as hilarious. “You’ll love the movie. Unless you don’t like to laugh or be entertained… then you’ll hate it.”
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Actor Jay Hayden Joins #TGIT on ‘The Catch’: Photographed by Marc Cartwright