Jordan Gavaris is not your typical Hollywood actor. He doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t drink, and he actually enjoys hanging around with his parents.
As a matter of fact, Jordan said his lone vice in life is an affinity for coffee. Make that an obsession.
“My family calls it insanity,” he said. I spend more money looking for the perfect coffee bean and the perfect espresso machine than I think most people do on their first car.”
So it’s really no surprise that the co-star of the Cartoon Network’s hit show Unnatural History knows the exact location of the best java in Los Angeles and his hometown of Toronto.
“Before I go on a trip, the first thing I’ll do is Google a town and get a list of different coffee houses,” he said.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said, reflecting on the virtues of the latte they serve at Lamill Coffee in LA. And when Gavaris is north-of-the-border, there’s a pretty good chance he’s nursing a latte at the Mercury Espresso Bar in Toronto.
“It’s incredibly addictive,” he said.
And so is acting – another passion for the coffee-swilling Canadian. That might explain why he managed to land a spot on the Cartoon Network with what he calls a “less-than-impressive” resume.
There were a few television commercials, a starring role in an independent film and some episodic work on “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”
“It’s that iconic show that every Canadian actor works on at some point in their career,” he said. Think of it as their version of “Law and Order” – without the crime scene tape.
But after two years in college, Gavaris decided to pursue a fulltime career as an actor. And after four auditions, he managed to land a co-starring role in his first American series – “Unnatural History.”
Gavaris plays the role of Jasper Bartlett in the action-adventure show. “Hist with a twist,” is what they call it. “We take something from history and we twist it so we get a mystery out of it.”
“The character is very much a real teenager,” he said. “He’s vulnerable, he’s insecure. He’s not a superhero. He’s goofy – very tenacious.”
In other words – Jordan is a lot like Jasper.
“I love being able to live out all of my childhood fantasies,” he said. “I grew up on shows like Scooby-Doo and I read the Hardy Boys. I loved a good mystery, a good who-done-it.”
Gavaris is the youngest of three children. His father was a school teacher; his mother, a stay-at-home mom – living a pretty average, run-of-the-mill life outside Toronto.
“We lived close to the country,” he said, “No mall – we had cornfields.”
Like any good Canadian, Gavaris played hockey – left wing. And when the countryside thawed, he whacked around a golf ball. But he was no Tiger Woods.
“Sports were never really for me,” he said. “I wasn’t a real rough kid. A lot of my friends were, though. And as I got older, I realized I didn’t have a lot in common with the other kids.”
And since there wasn’t a glee club around, Gavaris turned to film. It was like peanut butter meeting jelly – a perfect combination.
“My first job was at a video store just so I could get free movie rentals,” he said. By the time he turned 15, Gavaris had send nearly 500 movies.
He was particularly drawn to the works of Quentin Tarantino. “When I saw his movies, they blew my mind,” he said. “I’d never seem movies like that. He wanted to make films that just hit you like a brick in the face.”
And the rest – they say, is history.
With season one wrapped up, Gavaris is back in Canada – living with his parents. And while he has big plans those plans don’t necessarily include a beach house in Malibu.
“My dream place is somewhere in Virginia or Massachusetts,” he said. “Maybe a farm or a ranch in the middle of nowhere.”
The bright lights of Hollywood are enticing, but not just for the 20-year-old kid from Canada.
“It’s a nice place but I’ll never live there,” he said.
And that’s when he dropped the bombshell.
“I have a moral compass,” he said. “It’s very important to me.”
So no drunken nights on Sunset Strip?
“Never liked the taste of it.”
No massive parties on the beach with all sorts of Lady Gaga-esque shenanigans?
“My mom would kill me.”
Is this guy really for real?
“I made a promise to my parents and I meant it,” he said. “I attribute a lot of who I am to my parents. They taught me a lot about life and they still teach me a lot about life.”
But that’s not to say he’s an altar boy.
“I want to play a psychopath,” he admitted. “My dream role is to play a complete and utter psychopath.”
Gavaris admits that he knows little about psychopaths and to his knowledge, he is not one. “But when you play somebody who doesn’t abide by the rules of society, you can get away with anything – being theatrical, over the top.”
And while we’re on the subject of theatrics, don’t get Gavaris started on his favorite movie star.
“Sissy Spacek,” he said. “She is the most phenomenal actor on the planet. Did you see her in ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’?”
I did – actually – although I’m not sure how many 20-year-old Canadians are familiar with the Loretta Lynn bio-pic.
“Those performances wanted me to bare my soul for the camera,” he said.
And there you have it. Jordan Gavaris, a kid from Canada with a passion for coffee, a passion for acting, and a passion for doing the right thing.
Oh, yeah, and according to his Twitter profile, Justin Bieber “stole his look.”