11-year-old Jacob Laval is an outstanding and promising young actor. He began his acting journey in 2014 by taking musical theatre classes which led to a great love and passion for theatre and acting. Jacob then branched out into television and began to do commercials. Since then, he has appeared in his first movie, Team Marco, Syfy’s Happy!, Marvel’s Jessica Jones and made his Broadway debut in The Rose Tattoo, starring alongside Marissa Tomei!
Now, Jacob will be starring as a series regular in HBO’s upcoming show The Plot Against America as Seldon Wishnow. He will be acting alongside Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan and John Turturro in the drama that depicts an alternate American history during World War॥ and the struggles of a working-class Jewish family. We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Jacob and discuss his new role!
Congratulations on your role in The Plot Against America. What is your favourite part about playing Seldon Wishnow in the new HBO show? My favorite part about playing Seldon was getting to meet all the great people I got to work with on set and also my location shoot when Seldon gets sent to Kentucky! We shot in the Catskills, and it was so nice!
That does sound nice! What is the most challenging part of this role? In the last episode, Seldon has to make a phone call to Bess because his mother hasn’t come home, and he is afraid she was killed. That scene was done in an audio booth, and I had to cry and took a few hours. However, right after, I had to go straight to the American Airlines Theatre because I was on Broadway in The Rose Tattoo with Marisa Tomei! I didn’t have time to eat, and I got a headache from all the crying I had to do.
Wow, that must have been a particularly difficult day! How do you usually prepare for your roles? I read the script and then learn my lines by heart, and then I decide how I think I would feel if I were in the character’s situation.
You are a talented actor who has played many characters; what has been one of your favourite roles so far? I love all of the roles I’ve done so I can’t pick just one!
It would be hard to pick just one! Besides acting, what are some of your hobbies? I love to play and watch baseball. I play in little league, although we aren’t playing this year because of the quarantine, and The New York Yankees are my favorite team. I also play the flute, read and play a bunch of video games.
What piece of advice would you have for other young people who would like to pursue a career in acting? Go for it, but remember that it is real work. I spend a lot of time learning lines, and sometimes it’s at the last minute for any last-minute auditions, and even sometimes after I just finished school and homework and any other extra activities, I do after school. Many times I even have to miss school and activities and even family and friend events like parties or play dates because I might be working. I usually don’t mind because I love it, but sometimes I even get tired or frustrated.
As a fashion-focused magazine, we have to ask… How would you describe your personal style? I like to look like a kid. Even when I go to special red carpet events and get dressed up, I want to try to look formal but still like a kid. For the Plot Against America, Michael Fusco (@mikestyles) dressed me, and he was so good at figuring out what I wanted to wear right away! I was wearing TiA CiBANi KiDS, The Little Red Planet Shop, The Tie Bar, and my favorite pink Converse sneakers that Michael gave me!!!
We love that! We definitely think it’s important for kids to have fun with fashion! Finally, during these uncertain times, what is one thing you are doing to stay positive?I’m trying just to take one day at a time. I know eventually, this will all be over, and even when I wish we could go outside (I live in an NYC apartment so we don’t go out, and I haven’t been out of my apartment in over 6 weeks now) I know that as long as we stay healthy now, I’ll have lots of time to go outside in the future.
Parents and teens can stream all 6 episodes of The Plot Against America on HBO now!