I first became aware of Jason Burkey when he played Jason in October Baby. Since then, he’s been in twenty movies including the just released Moms’ Night Out. Next week audiences will get to enjoy him again when A Long Way Off hits theaters. Jason plays Jake, the lead, a prodigal son, searching for what’s important in life.
How did you get your start in ﬁlm acting?
I grew up performing in theater, so acting was always an interest. I had moved to Nashville, TN in 2008 looking for a job doing ﬁlm production since that’s what I studied in school. I came across an email from one of my college professors after she had seen a play I had done. The email encouraged me saying that she believed I had a gift for acting and no matter where I ﬁnd myself in life, that I should keep auditioning. Keep pursuing acting. After reading that email I thought, why not? So I dove in and it’s been a fun journey since.
What faith-based ﬁlms have you been in?
A handful, but the most well known ones are October Baby, Moms’ Night Out, A Long Way Off, and Rumors of Wars.
Tell us about your character in A Long Way Off.
Jake is a good-hearted guy who becomes a victim of circumstance. He desires something more for his life and is convinced that if he leaves his family and home for “greener pastures” that he will ﬁnd happiness. He’s torn between love and devotion to his family and the temptations of the world that surrounds him.
How are you like Jake? How are you different?
I deﬁnitely have the same adventurous spirit as Jake. I’m always wanting to travel, meet new people and have memorable adventures. There are a lot of similarities, however I don’t drink coffee and I know little to nothing about ﬁnancial investing…
What was the biggest challenge with playing Jake?
Jake is on an emotional roller coaster in this movie. There were a few tough, emotional scenes that I think were both challenging and rewarding to take on as an actor. Speciﬁcally, the scene when Jake comes back home to the family farm after hitting rock bottom and his father runs out to greet him. That was a memorable moment between me and John Diehl, who plays my father, that I believe will strike a chord with the audience when they see it.
What other movies do you have coming out this year?
I appear in the new Erwin Brothers comedy, Moms’ Night Out which is currently in theaters across the country. I just worked on a romantic comedy called Coffee Shop with Kevin Sorbo, Jon Lovitz and Laura Vandervoort which will air on the UP Television Network in the fall. I also did an independent thriller, Beacon Point, that will be released on the festival circuit toward the end of the year.
I’m excited to share A Long Way Off with audiences because I believe that no matter what age you are, where you are in life, there are elements to this story that people will hopefully connect with. It’s a story about forgiveness, a father’s love and the sweetness of life.
Photos by Jerry Keys