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Hollywood Unscripted

Episode 43 - Jake McDorman (The Right Stuff): A Stuck at Home Special


Photo Credit: Storm Santos

Actor Jake McDorman talks THE RIGHT STUFF, the lessons he’s learned throughout his career, and behind the scenes stories from GREEK, SHAMELESS, AMERICAN SNIPER, LIMITLESS, LADY BIRD and more. 

Actor Jake McDorman joins host Jenny Curtis to talk about the Disney+ series THE RIGHT STUFF, the lessons he’s learned throughout his career, and behind the scenes stories from his many projects. Throughout the conversation they discuss: 


0:36 - the impending election at the time of the recording

1:15 - his experience of quarantine and being back in Los Angeles

3:03 - getting to live through the fantasy of being an astronaut and learning about the history of the space race in THE RIGHT STUFF

5:22 - finding inspiration in unique ways per projects

5:55 - Getting to learn about the real life Alan Shepard from conversations with astronauts who’d met him. 

7:34 - Taking a road trip to Florida in order to have time to absorb his research

8:50 - Getting to do some astronaut training, including what Jenny calls ‘the spinny thing’

10:25 - The casting process and feeling like he bombed his initial audition.

14:34 - Having the role of Alan be offered to him without reading and how that changed his process of approaching the role. 

16:38 - The cast’s united effort to prepare without having much rehearsal

17:23 - The big confrontation scene with John Glenn and Alan Shepard

18:38 - The episode shoot order

19:46 - Always finding the character on the last day and watching his work in post. 

22:41 - What makes a hero in the face of public image versus human flaws

24:23 - What the feeling of being strapped to a rocket and being blasted into space could be like. 

26:35 - Taking classes when he was young and his experience of moving to LA for pilot season

29:10 - Booking Quintuplets and gushing over Andy Richter

30:48 - Having a tight-knit ensemble on GREEK and staying close

31:40 - Actively deciding with his reps to pursue projects on a more mature level, beginning with SHAMELESS

35:15 - Lessons learned from Bradley Cooper in working with him on AMERICAN SNIPER and LIMITLESS. 

38:05 - Dealing with the anxiety in wanting to get it right

39:02 - AMERICAN SNIPER’s quick process

39:53 - Moving quickly on LIMITLESS

42:15 - Having LIMITLESS being a different kind of procedural

45:08 - Thinking about where Brian Finch might be had the show continued

46:00 - Loving LADY BIRD and connecting to the script immediately with a unique connection to St. Francis

47:53 - Knowing that when production asks you to prepare something “just in case”, you’ll definitely need it, and brushing up on algebra for LADY BIRD

49:09 - Using GREEK to learn all the lessons from set

50:07 - Getting cast in the series, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, the surprising scene on his first day on set, and Taika Waititi having some fun. 

54:27 - his upcoming holiday film, HAPPIEST SEASON. 

55:30 - The consummate actors he’s worked with setting the tone on set and getting to apply that when leading LIMITLESS. 

58:03 - What ‘The Right Stuff’ is to be in the entertainment industry

58:42 - Getting sappy and loving this medium of telling stories.


Hosted and Produced by: Jenny Curtis

Executive Producer: Stuart Halperin

Edited and Co-Produced by: J Whiting

Theme Music by: Celleste & Eric Dick

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