Jake (Brett Davern) seems a little bit too good to be true on MTV’s Awkward., doesn’t he? Of course, we mean for Jenna (Ashley Rickards), not the girl he ultimately cheated on to be with Jenna instead. But he just seems so nice, so all-American, so vanilla that he dares you not to love him, too. We caught up with Davern to get the scoop on whether or not this is all just an act of Jake’s in order to get the girl and if we would be seeing a new side to him any time soon.
LA TV Insider Examiner: Okay, we’re leading up to a pretty big moment in any teenage girl’s life: a winter formal in her high school. Tell me why, at this point in time, fans should be Team Jake– rooting for Jenna to go to the dance with you.
Brett Davern: The reason to be for Team Jake is just because 1) Matty has B.O. That’s first off, I mean come on! Number two, I mean, he doesn’t have the confidence to take her anyway. In the last episode, they go on a date, but it’s thirty miles from their hometown, and you know, Reseda from Palos Verdes is quite aways! But Jake would not be afraid to take her out on the town; this is my girlfriend; meet my mom, whatever. He would not be afraid of any of that stuff. He’s the right guy, I think. He’s been in a relationship before; he’s seen what works, what doesn’t work; and I think he’s ready for a real relationship, as opposed to what he had with Lissa.
Well, we guess we should disclose that we already are Team Jake.
B.D.: Well, it’s funny. I appreciate it, and I’m glad you made the right choice!
Thank you. Have you been surprised by the fact that so many fans have felt the need to pick a side, so to speak?
B.D.: No, it’s funny because we started joking about it when we were on set– I think even when we were doing the pilot, like a long time ago. Lauren Iungerich and Beau and I started joking about a take-off on the Twilight thing. Team Edward or whatever that is. And she was kind of teasing us about it, like, ‘Oh you know, we’ll see whose team wins!’ And this and that because when we were shooting the pilot they didn’t have the season written at all; it was just that one episode. And I was just joking that she’d end up with Jake…but we went there, you know?
And with any show where there are two guys, girls are going to look at each one and say ‘Okay, I like these characteristics’ so I want him to get the girl. What are your favorite parts of Jake?
B.D.: [Jenna] almost describes him perfectly in that one episode where she says ‘You’re like the puppy, and everyone loves puppies!’ He says ‘What is that, a put down or whatever?’ but no, not at all. I think it describes him perfectly because he’s always loyal and always there for you and always by your side. It’s that kind of unconditional love thing that puppies have. Even though Jenna’s not seeing everything he’s there for, he’s still by her side, and even if she said ‘This is never going to work,’ he’d still be her friend. He’s just that guy. He’s always going to be a good guy and a true friend until the end.
But is he really loyal? He did cheat on Lissa after all, simply by kissing Jenna. So do you think if he and Jenna gets together he will be loyal to her or will he kind of have one eye out, looking for someone new down the line?
B.D.: I think that Jake knew very early on, even from the pilot episode– see, it’s my backstory that I’ve developed for him that Lissa and Jake have been dating since, like, seventh grade, you know? And so now they’re sophomores in high school, and you see even in the pilot when Jake’s talking to Jenna, and Lissa’s like ‘Come on, let’s go,’ he’s like ‘You go! I’m fine.’ I think he’s just been over it for, like, a year anyway, but she just kind of hangs around and tags along, and he can’t get rid of her. It doesn’t excuse kissing another girl, but I think in that episode, you know, Jenna’s giving him some mixed signals outside the pizza place, and he’s a teenage boy with hormones, and he’s confused, so you know, we’ve got to cut him some slack there.
Fair enough. He’s still young; he didn’t know the best way to get out of a bad situation. Maybe he seems a bit too good to be true because he is.
B.D.: Maybe a little.
Will we see a new side to Jake before the season’s end?
B.D.: I think people aren’t going to expect what’s coming up for him, especially in the beginning of the season finale. It’s pretty shocking, and I’m really excited to see how people react to it and what they think of it. And then going forward, it remains to be seen. I mean, who knows!? The season finale definitely leaves a lot of questions, and I have no idea what’s in store for season two, but I think if it’s anything like the season finale, it’s definitely going to be interesting.
And we imagine he and Matty have to have it out about the situation with Jenna– both going after her and ultimately in competition with each other. They’ve danced around it, but they’ve never really talked about it.
B.D.: There is definitely some stuff in the season finale that deals with that!
So things will come to a head between the best buds?
B.D.: I think it has to at some point. They’re best friends; they’re both going after Jenna; I think it’s bound to happen.
What has been most fun for you to explore as Jake? Is there a part of him that’s really different to who you are that was exciting to tap into?
B.D.: Especially in that last episode, it was fun to play that kind of whipped guy where he’s going to get her frozen yogurt and driving her all over town…but then it was also fun at the end to kind of take charge and lay it all out on the line. I’d say that both of those things aren’t really in my own personality, so it was fun to stretch and get to do that, and having it all in the one episode was really fun.
And finally, we have to ask you your take– or Jake’s take– on the letter…
B.D.: Well, it’s funny, but they kept that all a really big secret to us, too. The last few pages of the script weren’t given to everyone, and it was a closed set [when they were filming].
Wow, that’s some deeply shrouded mystery! They’re protecting the secret pretty hardcore if only the person who wrote it and Ashley got to find out in the end.
B.D.: Yeah, but the last few pages were only given to who was needed for that scene, you know? So who wrote the letter might not know if they’re not in the scene. It’s been a crazy mystery, for sure.
Interesting point. We had a theory, but we may have a new one now… Is there anything you have yet to explore as Jake that you can’t wait to in the second season?
B.D.: I would love to get to go home with Jake, you know? Meet his family and things like that. Lauren and I have kind of discussed what his backstory might be just so we could shoot the first season, but none of it’s set in stone. It would be interesting to see if that’s kind of what she sticks to if we do get to go home with him. I’d really like to meet his family!
That being said, do you think Jake is the good guy he is because of his family and his upbringing, or perhaps in spite of it?
B.D.: Sort of a little bit of both because I think– what I kind of thought for Jake is maybe he has a very strong female influence in his life. Probably a few sisters, probably younger than he definitely sticks up for and is the ultimate big brother force. I think that only comes naturally to him, but then I think maybe it’s kind of a single mom situation; maybe his dad’s not around. So that’s where he’s being the good guy in spite of his upbringing.
And who would you want to cast as your family?
B.D.: Oh wow, I have no idea! I don’t know; I’ve never thought of it! Who would play Jake’s mom? Rita Wilson has played my mom before; that’d be awesome! That’d be great! I would not mind working with her again.
Let’s put that out into the universe alongside the school trip episode both Nikki Deloach and Davern thought would be a great second season arc. She wanted Hawaii; he thought it was time to take Awkward. international– to someplace like Tokyo. We have to admit as long as more episodes come, we don’t care where they’re set; we know they will be hilarious and heartfelt all at the same time!
Awkward. airs on MTV on Tuesday nights at 11pm.
Want more Awkward. news and interviews? Follow LA TV Insider Examiner on Twitter!