(KGET) — Jedidiah Goodacre just wants to act. The star of the new romantic dramedy “Finding You” doesn’t care what type of role he gets just as long as he keeps working.
In the case of “Finding You,” scheduled to open in theaters May 14, the Canadian actor not only got to keep acting but got an opportunity to stretch his acting skills. His resume has been heavy on darker roles from the CW’s “The Originals” and “Legacies” to playing Dorian Gray on Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”
There’s no death, destruction or blood in “Finding You.” He plays Beckett Rush, a major motion picture star who travels to Ireland to shoot his latest dungeons-and-dragons epic. He arrives at the same time Finley Sinclair (Rose Reid) is headed to the same small town in Ireland where she is looking for musical inspiration after a failed audition at a prestigious New York music conservatory. They both end up staying in the same bed-and-breakfast.
Think of the film as a 21st Century answer to “Notting Hill.”
“Finding You” is based on the book “There You’ll Find Me” by Jenny B. Jones, a prolific, award-winning author of more than a dozen popular YA mysteries and romances. This is the first work by Jones to be turned into a movie.
“This one was definitely a good change of pace,” Goodacre says. “I got to play a real person and not a vampire or a warlock. It was very refreshing to play a character more grounded in reality even though I am playing a guy who is very much rooted in the film industry.”
The role in “Finding You” provided an opportunity for Goodacre to do something different at the same time he maintained a link to his fantasy acting past. That comes through the movie being shot within the movie.
“Finding you” marked a lot of boxes for Goodacre as he gets to the fantasy elements, be funny and have numerous romantic moments. It’s the romance that was the most critical. An audience has to believe the main characters – despite being from very different worlds – will get together before the closing credits.
Goodacre and Reid started preparing for that challenge long before filming started. He traveled to Reid’s home in Nashville before production started in Ireland.
“I flew down there for two days just to get to know her,” Goodacre says. “She drove me around in her jeep, that lovely jeep that she loves. There was an instant connection like we had known each other before.
“She ended up being the glue that held me together on this film.”
Reid’s acting credits are not as broad as her co-star’s. Her previous features include “The World We Make,” “Sweet Sweet Summertime” and “I’m Not Ashamed.” She starred in Lifetime’s “A Welcome Home Christmas.”
The one area Reid didn’t need to do any research for was that her character plays the violin. Not only has she taken violin lessons but by living in Nashville, she was surrounded by the diddle playing in the country music world.
“I was familiar enough with the violin that when (director) Brian (Baugh) showed me the Paganini competitions he was planning on having me play, I found one of my old violin teachers and we worked countless hours,” Reid says. “I love the fiddle. We used to host square dances in our barn.”
The necessity of learning to play the complicated pieces proved a plus because it helped Reid develop how she wanted to play Finley. It became clear to her that music was a major part of the character’s life.
The other big part of Finley’s life is the romance that cautiously unfolds. That part came easy because of Goodacre.
“Pretty instantly I know Jed was going to be such a fun person to be around. He’s such an exciting human being,” Reid says. “He’s so fun-loving and filled with energy. He’s a total comedian and an incredible athlete.”
Baugh – whose previous credits include “The World We Make” and “I’m Not Ashamed” – ended up with his main characters having the kind of connection and chemistry that makes a romance work. The secret was finding people who he believed fit the roles the best.
In the case of “Finding You” that meant banking the entire film on two actors who have been working but have not reached that level in Hollywood where they are considered a big box office draw.
Baugh was happy he was allowed to cast the actors he wanted and not have it based on the size of their resumes. In the case of Reid and Goodacre, Baugh fell in love with casting the two actors as soon as he saw them together.
“Sometimes it is almost in its purest sense of directing when you don’t have to cast people for their level of being known,” Baugh says. “You can really focus in on their auditions and how they are performing.”