Toronto actor 13-year-old Jake Goodman sat down for an interview on his first-ever day off since starting work on the hit teen comedy series Max & Shred, which just wrapped up its second season.
Thirteen new half-hour episodes are set to premiere this fall.
The YTV/Nickelodeon TV series chronicles the unlikely friendship between Alvin – also known as “Shred” – Ackerman, a nerdy science whiz-kid, portrayed by Goodman, who becomes “bros” with his roommate, athlete Max Asher, played by actor Jonny Gray.
Shred’s parents sign up to host Max, a celebrity snowboarder, when he moves to snowy Blizzard Springs, Colo., to train for the Winter Cup.
Establishing loyalty, patience and honesty as the key to a good friendship, the show centres on the boys’ odd-couple “bromance” as they help and hinder each other with the trials of teenage life.
In the premiere episode, a case of mistaken identity lands Alvin in Max’s shoes at the top of a mountain, and he has to pull it together in order to save his new roommate’s career. When Alvin impresses Max with his impromptu moves on the slopes, Max bestows on him the nickname Shred.
“Shred goes down the mountain, never having snowboarded before. He goes off a jump, wobbles, turns into a flip and does a crazy good job by accident,” Jake said.
“He ends up in the hospital, as he falls at the very end, but Max kept saying, ‘You shredded that mountain.’ Everyone calls me Alvin, but Max calls me Shred because of that,” Jake explained.
With a gift for memorizing lines and following cues, Jake oozes confidence both onscreen and off.
Since beginning his acting career at the age of five, Jake has appeared in numerous TV series, including YTV’s teen sitcom Life with Boys, Disney XD’s adventure series Aaron Stone, MTV’s teen drama Skins, CTV’s drama series Saving Hope and Global’s drama series Bomb Girls. He also appeared alongside John Stamos in the Lifetime TV movie The Two Mr. Kissels, and voiced the characters of Castor and Sigma on Playhouse Disney’s animated series Mr. Moon.
Jake’s film credits include the action comedy Red, starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren, and Pacific Rim, starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Ron Perlman.
Not many 11-year-olds can boast that they are in retirement, but that’s where Jake found himself two years ago.
“I called my agent and had them take me off their roster,” he said.
When Jake received a call back from an audition for Max & Shred he knew his retirement days were history.
“I liked the character. I liked that the crew were the same as Life With Boys. These are people I have known since I was eight years old. We were like a family. So I came out of retirement,” Jake said.
“My character Shred and I both like math and science, but otherwise we are very different from each other. I have a lot more friends and am a lot less uptight than Shred.
“My character has grown in Season 2. Max kind of rubbed off on Shred. He is a lot less nerdy but still true to himself,” Jake said.
“I go to set everyday. Rehearsals are two or three times a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Filming days are long, anywhere from 10- to 11-hour days beginning at 7 a.m. For two hours each day, I work with an on-set school tutor,” Jake said.
Passionate about music, Jake sings and plays guitar, banjo, ukulele, tuba, trombone, trumpet, drums and piano.
Proudly showing The CJN his newest Taylor guitar, Jake spoke of his home music studio and how he collects vinyl records.
Returning for a second season the producers know the cast well.
“They know our talents, and what we like to do. Without giving too much away, there will be a Battle of the Bands episode. My character writes and sings a song and gets to play the banjo.
“It was my favourite episode and hilarious,” Jake said with a smile.
When not working or in school, Jake volunteers his time with Kids Help Phone, where he will be part of their new campaign this fall.
Fans can follow Jake Goodman on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.