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Exclusive Interview

Catching Up With B&B/GH/AMC Alum Jacob Young

Jacob Young


Although Jacob Young (ex-Rick, B&B; ex-Lucky, GH; ex-J.R., ALL MY CHILDREN) may no longer be starring on a soap, he credits the connections he made on daytime with his ongoing career success. Case in point: his latest movie, Four For Fun, which hits The Golden State Film Festival in Hollywood, CA on February 28, was written, directed and produced by pal Jason Cook (ex-Matt, GH; ex Shawn, DAYS). Young scored one of the four lead roles, but there was a critical hitch in getting production off the ground. “Jason was like, ‘We need a mansion,’ and I was like, ‘Okay, let me call my friends that have mansions’, ” Young chuckles. “I ended up going [to] a plethora of different friends of mine in Los Angeles and said, ‘Hey, what do you think?’ and it was, ‘No,’ over and over again.”

This is where Young’s soap roots came in handy. “I called Shelley Curtis [former producer for GH] because I knew she’s got a couple of houses around this town,” he recounts. “So, Shelley picks up the phone and I said, ‘Hey, we’re looking to shoot a lot of exteriors and just a few [shots] inside of a mansion, but it has to be something pretty nostalgic and old-school.’ She’s like, ‘Well, it sounds like you need the Bel Air house. The only problem is, I’m renting it to the guys that run one of those real estate reality shows. Let me call them and see if they’re okay with it.’ She called back and she said, ‘Yeah, they said they’re fine with it so, you can shoot there.’ ”

With the location locked down, shooting began with Young playing George. He explains, “My character in the film is this hot-headed, egotistical, basically sort of an Elon Musk-type guy who is all into AI and just is very brooding and over the top.” Young describes the movie as a dark comedy. “There’s a lot of humor in there and one thing that Jason enjoys is writing a sense of humor. His sense of humor though is pretty intellectual and there [were] many times where we did some read-throughs early on and I was like, ‘I don’t really understand what this means,’ and ‘Do I need to be Albert Einstein to understand this?’ It took a little bit of coaching on his side and I enjoyed that because it takes an artist to get outside that box and he does that very well.”

Brytni Sarpy (Elena, Y&R) plays George’s wife, Desirae, in Four For Fun. “Brytni’s great — I mean, she’s absolutely fantastic,” Young lauds. “What’s interesting about Brytni is when you work with her, she’s cool as a cucumber and I love that about an actor. There’s something really interesting about somebody who just lives and exists inside the moment and she’s one of those people. You can study her but you don’t know what’s gonna happen and she’s incredible. I had never worked with her at that point. We [had] been working right across the hallway from each other — she was on YOUNG AND RESTLESS, and I was over there on BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL. I [had] seen her in the hallway multiple times but never had a conversation with her and, and then getting to work with her, I was pleasantly surprised. We had such a great time on this particular film.”

brytni sarpy-jacob young


Coupled Up: In Four For Fun, Young stars opposite Brytni Sarpy (Elena, Y&R).

The premise of the story involves two couples having dinner together. Young describes, “Everybody basically has their own journey that happens throughout the film and everybody has their own ending, but they’re all experiencing the endings together and then it just continues to repeat, but not in the way of Bill Murray and Groundhog Day. And every time something happens it changes the effect, which is really interesting. [It’s] very art house in the way that Jason did this.”

Since the movie’s completion, Cook has been taking it on the film festival circuit, which has yielded interesting experiences. “We went to the Sedona Film Festival, and we did a whole Q&A with the audience and all of that,” Young shares. “The next day I get a phone call from a producer friend of mine, and he’s like, ‘You know Roger Clemens [Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees] was there with his wife.’ He was at the film, watched the film, loved the film and he was like, ‘Hey, would those guys be interested in coming over to sing karaoke?’ And I was like, ‘Wait, wait, Roger Clemens is asking us to come over to his house to sing karaoke? Okay!’ And so we ended up going to Roger’s house. I walked in there and he’s like, ‘I go by the name of DJ. No requests, that means you can request nothing. I control the karaoke tunes.’ ” Young ended up dueting with Clemens on “Whiskey for My Friends, Beer for My Horses” and marvels, “since then, we’ve been great friends.”

Young and Cook’s collaboration on the film went so well, they decided to partner up for other projects, including one that was already important to Young. “Jason is now part of my team with my company, Next Generation Storytellers,” says Young. “Next Generation Storytellers is a company that goes into high schools around the country and in unrepresented communities, schools that are just not getting the attention that they need, and we basically run a 24-week crash course on how to make a movie. With my other partner, Trent Garrett [ex-Asher, AMC], we have an intensive [course] on scriptwriting and movies 101. I wrote the curriculum originally and then I ran it by a consultant friend who is a doctor of education, Dr. Kate Maxlow, [who] turned it into a way to teach teachers in public high schools around the country to teach students to make movies.”

Young’s training gives students nuts-and-bolts instruction about what happens behind the camera. “Every week we have a mentor sit in, so we’ve had people like David Janollari, who put FRIENDS on the air; he was also the show runner for SIX FEET UNDER. We’ve had Michael Waldron, who wrote Doctor Strange and LOKI and on and on and on. I mean, every single department that you can imagine from line producing all the way to directing, etc.”

The course has already brought positive results. “We did four short films last year with Hampton City Schools in the state of Virginia and had our own little film festival,” Young reports. “Our sponsors — Black Magic Design, Alux Lighting, Sigma Lenses, Hawk Anamorphic Lenses — basically supply us with the gear and we make short films. And now this year we’re doing even more short films, four with Hampton, six with Newport News. I live in Charleston, South Carolina these days, and so Charleston County Schools are also doing a film with us this year. It’s a really neat adventure for me and I just love to see that spark. I’ve had so many wonderful mentors in my 25-plus years [in show business] and to be able to pass that on and give somebody else inspiration to be an artist, I think is the most important thing that we can do.”

Next month, Young will be directing and starring in the movie Murder Between Friends. “I fly to Prague to direct it with Dame Joan Collins [ex-Alexandra, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Alexis, DYNASTY],” he enthuses. “I’ll be out there from March 24th to April 17th and I’m in it as well. And then we have Toby Alexander Smith, a young guy, a handsome guy, from EASTENDERS [Gray], the BBC soap, and then Nadia Bjorlin [ex-Chloe, DAYS ] is also attached. I hired her to play my love interest in the film and this is a really cool project. We’ve already rented the castle that we’re shooting at.”

The actor doesn’t foresee a daytime return in his future. “I’ve done over 2,000 episodes of soaps since the age of 17 and I’m pretty worn out from that,” he says. “By giving [soaps] up, I found that I was able to create all the passions and create other dreams for other people at the same time. And that means more to me than anything, than being in front of the camera.”

At this point in his life, Young smiles, “I’m glad being able to live out my dreams and still be here for my wife [Christen] and my kids [Luke, 15, Molly, 10 and Grace, 7]. I’ve been very lucky in my life and I count my blessings everyday.”

Check out the trailer for Four For Fun below.