As summer is winding down, so are all of our favorite summer shows, and Wayward Pines is no exception. The second season of the series ended in late July, but before the Fox show said farewell, we spoke with one of its stars!
Jaime Callica opened up to The Hudsucker about his role in the Fox show, giving us insight into his character’s significance and what drew him to the part. He also dished on his other television hit series, USA Network’s Motive, his new movie, and whether or not we may see him on Dancing With The Stars.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Jaime Callica was unlike most of his classmates. At just two years old, Callica found his inner performer in the form of the King of Pop, the late Michael Jackson. The would-be actor caused quite a stir among his teachers when he refused to be addressed by anything other than Michael during class. Not long after, Callica found himself immersed in dance, sports, and acting. His television and film credits include Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightening Thief, USA’s Motive, and most recently, Fox’s summer series, Wayward Pines.
Callica’s role in the Fox mystery drama certainly manifested itself into something greater for the young actor, after writers took a chance on his character.
“Simeon was originally just ‘husband,’” Callica says. “After three episodes, the wonderful writers gave him a name and profession, which was really awesome. It gave the character more purpose in the show as a Professor at Wayward Pines Academy, and that was more than welcomed with me!”
Callica was originally drawn to the role due to the intensive nature of the show. That, and it didn’t hurt to have a big-name director and screenwriter attached to the title.
“Originally – it wasn’t the character itself, rather the show. The show is spooky and I love spooky!” He shares. “When the audition came my way, I was super excited to be on a hit Fox show that was filled with super talented cast, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. I came to enjoy the character as the seasons progressed.”
Simeon, a teacher and resident of the title’s town, Wayward Pines, first appears on the drama in season two’s premiere episode. His role, Callica believes, will become a beloved character as the series progresses further.
“I believe Simeon will one of those characters that the viewers will learn to love as he exists to ensure the survival of Wayward Pines,” says the actor.
“In his past life, he very likely was a completely different person (by way of profession) but in Wayward, he’s very happy to contribute in any way he can. Happy he is to teach and care for the kids, but definitely a man of Wayward Pines. Which is evident in episode one at the end of his first scene with Jason Patric’s character, Theo.”
While things are settling down in Wayward Pines, things are about to heat up on USA Network’s drama, Motive. Callica also stars in the show, with the newest episode set to air August 23. Given its mysterious nature, Callica had quite the challenge when it came to discussing the newest season of the series without giving anything away. One thing is certain: He’s sure it’s his best work yet.
“Without spoiling anything in a show where they basically spoil it right at the beginning,” the dancer-turned-actor laughs. “I play Sean, who is the boyfriend to one of the episodes leads. I was going to say which one, but I think we’ll let the viewers just guess for a bit longer! He is a radio DJ who comes to learn some really shocking stuff throughout the episode… it’s honestly my best work to date and I really can’t wait to see it myself!”
Despite the two series Callica is starring in this summer, don’t let their similar genres fool you. He’s got a taste for a little bit of everything in entertainment, and is definitely up for a few laughs.
“I watch a lot of TV these days, almost too much! Outside of being purely entertained, it’s homework for me now. I watch other actors and their choices, often times pausing the show and running a few of the lines myself to see how I might have delivered them had it been me. I like watching comedies the most (Big Bang Theory, and Modern Family are favorites), and then drama would be my next favorite (House of Lies, Billions, Power).”
And what about portraying a character in a story outside drama? He’s got that covered. Secret Millionaire is currently filming, and it definitely has a softer side compared to most of his work.
“Jared is the character I play in Secret Millionaire, and he’s best friends with Steve Lund’s character, Sean Payton, whom is the male lead in the film. He’s the best friend to the millionaire. The one that dresses well, good at sports, loves women, but is always still in the shadow of his best friend, who really doesn’t care about much in general until he finally finds ‘the one’. Jared plays an integral role in helping him get the girl as rad best friend wing-men should do! I really had a lot of fun shooting this and I need to give a shout out to Michael Scott for being a wonderful director to work for.”
But don’t think just because it wasn’t a serious role that it didn’t come with its challenges.
“It was a RomCom that my character was the comedic relief in,” the former track and field star says. “It was honestly the hardest role I’ve played yet. Comedy is so much harder than dramas, so that’s an area I want to work on to be more confident for future roles. Which, if I may say, is kind of funny because I’m honestly pretty hilarious on a day-to-day basis. Doing it on film is just so hard! Makes me respect a lot of the funny people in film and television.”
So when it comes to television and film, we had to wonder which he preferred. Callica admits his love of both forms of art, and credits their different stabilities for his appreciation.
“I think I like them both pretty equally, to be honest. With TV, you never know what’s going to happen as they often are writing scripts as you’re shooting the series. So much like Wayward Pines, one day I was slated to be killed off and the next day the writers wrote Simeon in to live until the very end! With a feature film, you get the full script and know exactly what’s going on. For some, not knowing keeps things fresh, for others, they need time to prep for what’s to come. For me, I’m just happy to be working!”
While some in the entertainment industry might have found their calling due to a lack in athleticism, you will find the opposite is true for Callica! The actor was once quite the athlete, participating in karate, track and field, and even dance.
“I lived for sports!” He exclaims. “Growing up, outside of impersonating Michael Jackson, sports were my life. Baseball was a huge favorite, but it was Karate that was my main sport that I competed in for years. I was nationally ranked for a number of years and one of the youngest to earn a black belt at the time. It wasn’t until I moved to British Columbia did I start running track and then I was a Team BC and Team Canada member a few times. The love for dance and acting was there early in life, for sure, but it wasn’t until later in life did I start to actually work at making it a love and profession.”
Callica’s love of sports spurred him on to return to his former high school and volunteer as a coach to current students. We were curious if he had any words of encouragement for his students that could also apply to aspiring young actors.
“That’s a great question! In track, the number one thing to do, especially as a sprinter, is to stay in your own lane and focus not on what others are doing around you, but what you have to do. You don’t race against the next person, you’re running against the clock. So much like in track and field, it’s not important what your other actor friends are doing. It’s important to focus on what you’re doing, what you can control about your own game, as deviating from that will drive you crazy and literally slow you down.”
After learning of his dance background, it makes sense that we might see Callica performing on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars someday. But is the actor open to the realty show? His answer was simple and straightforward.
“Absolutely! Dance was my first love, so even now, I have my agent on the lookout for acting jobs that include dancing as I still really really love dance. Dancing With The stars in the future would be super fun! Get at me DWTS!”
You can catch Secret Millionaire in theaters next year, and watch Motive on USA Network on Sundays at 11 PM ET, 10 C.