5 min­utes with… Blake Jen­ner

Sorry, he’s mar­ried.

ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

You just turned 24! Any sign of a quar­ter­life cri­sis? “Ev­ery day. Ev­ery day I am on the verge of a mid-life cri­sis. [Laughs] No, I had a great birth­day. I chilled with my wife [ac­tress Melissa Benoist]. We went and saw a movie, saw some friends, had a good break­fast.” You play Hailee Ste­in­feld’s teenage brother in your new movie [ The Edge of Sev­en­teen, a quirky com­ing-of-age story about how two sib­lings cope af­ter the sud­den death of their fa­ther]. Is it weird play­ing a high-school kid at this age? “I was in a rush to grow up when I was younger: I was hold­ing down a job, I was sav­ing money to move out and I grad­u­ated a year early from high school be­cause I just wanted to be an adult al­ready. I moved to L.A. from Mi­ami. Look­ing back, I think I would have liked to be more in­volved with drama or paid more at­ten­tion in English when we were read­ing Pygmalion or some­thing. I would have val­ued those mo­ments more, so it’s kind of cool to play with it a bit.” Your char­ac­ter, Dar­ian, is a jocky, pop­u­lar guy. Was that your own ex­pe­ri­ence? “I was by no means ‘the man’ in high school. I wres­tled for a bit, but I was mostly a theatre nerd.” You played a sim­i­lar char­ac­ter on Glee. How do you bring some­thing new to this guy? “I do a stream-of-con­scious­ness exer­cise ev­ery time I have a job. So, I was on my com­puter and vent­ing to my­self as the char­ac­ter, dig­ging into his mem­o­ries—like be­ing at that soccer game, think­ing my dad is go­ing to be there and re­mem­ber­ing, and when ev­ery­one’s get­ting orange slices, I’m in the bath­room hav­ing a mo­ment. It helps me get into a char­ac­ter and fig­ure out how he’s dif­fer­ent.” Do you keep those ex­er­cises? “I do. You can’t read them!” You should pub­lish them, like a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries. “I never thought of that. Thank you!” We’ll take 10 per­cent. Fi­nally, we have to ask… are you re­lated to those Jen­ners? “No! [Laughs] My dad is Rick Jen­ner, and he hasn’t told me that we’re re­lated to them. Two things have hap­pened to me since I was a kid. Ei­ther they’d say ‘Jen­nifer Blake’ dur­ing roll call and I was like ‘No, it’s Blake Jen­ner’ and then every­body would laugh, or they would ask the Bruce Jen­ner ques­tion. I didn’t know who he was. When I was like six years old and I thought he could be an un­cle, I was like, ‘I’ll go home and ask.’”

The Edge of Sev­en­teen is in the­atres on Novem­ber 18.

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