JackFalaheeWeb
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Welcome to Jack Falahee Web! This site aims to be your ultimate online source on all things related to actor, Jack Falahee. He currently stars as Connor Walsh in the ABC legal drama series, How to Get Away with Murder, and as Frank Stringfellow in the PBS period drama series, Mercy Street. Thank you for visiting the site, and check back soon for all the latest news, photos, media, and more on Jack.

Locals might recognize a familiar face when they tune in to the series premiere of Shonda Rhimes’ “How to Get Away with Murder” on ABC, channel 7, at 10 p.m. Thursday, September 25: recent Huron High grad Jack Falahee (’07).

Falahee – an alumnus, too, of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts – previously appeared on the TV shows “The Carrie Diaries” and “Twisted,” but on “Murder,” he plays Connor Walsh, an ambitious law student who’s used to getting what he wants, and who always thinks he’s the smartest person in the room.

The show’s main focus is Annalise Keating, a professor and defense attorney – played by 2-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis – who selects 4 of her brightest students each year to help with cases. When the show begins, this practice is complicated by a deadly event that involves the students.

In anticipation of the hour-long drama’s premiere, Falahee answered a few questions.

Q. When did acting become something you wanted to pursue seriously as a career, not just do as a hobby? Was there a particular role or experience that sold you?

A. While I was in high school a friend of mine passed away suddenly. It was a very difficult time. That year the department was putting on “Singin’ in the Rain,” a production my classmate had been excited about. Someone encouraged me to participate in the musical in order to help sort through some of my feelings about the recent loss. My classmates and I dedicated the production to the memory of our friend. That was the first time I thought about doing this professionally. That whole experience was extremely cathartic. It felt good to lose myself into someone else – a character that wasn’t feeling the pain that I was feeling at the time.

Q. Tell me a bit about auditioning and being cast for “How to Get Away with Murder” – when and how you were introduced to the project; what intrigued you about your character; how many auditions you went through; when (and how you learned) that you were cast; and when shooting got underway.

A. Each year between January and March, the networks start auditioning for their new pilots. This is called pilot season and is the busiest time of the year for actors. I first heard about HTGAWM when a friend of mine mentioned that he was going in on it later that week. He shared the breakdown with me, and I thought that I was a good fit for the role of Connor Walsh (Patrick Donahue at the time).

Pilot season can be overwhelming with the amount of material that you’re given. More often than not, I don’t finish a script when I start it. There’s simply no time. At 6 p.m. you’ll be given three scripts and 20 pages of sides to prepare for an audition the next day. HTGAWM stood out. It made an impression immediately. Pete (Nowalk) did a great job of writing an engaging show with dynamic and multi faceted characters. That’s what drew me in.

I only went in for two auditions before securing the role. Originally I auditioned for an assistant to the casting director. A few weeks went by, and while my friends were given callbacks, I twiddled my thumbs and called my mom to vent. Eventually there was some buzz for me on another pilot and I think that piqued the casting director’s interest in me. She watched my tape again and sent it up to the powers that be. The next week I was in the room to screen test with executive producers and the creator, Pete Nowalk.

After the screen test, they have 5 business days to let you know either way. I auditioned on a Tuesday and on Thursday I got the call. You know there’s good news when you get put onto a conference call with your entire team. I had been freaking out since I had left the room on Tuesday and was in the park when my agent called to patch me onto the conference call. I immediately started doing cartwheels. It was actually a few days before my birthday (February 20) – so that was nice. We started shooting in Philly in March.

Q. Was Shonda Rhimes present for your audition(s)? Is she on the set much of the time? What’s she like to work with?

A. Shonda was not present for my audition, but I think that she saw the tape. Shonda … is also busy producing “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” so although she’s not always there, her door is always open to us. Pete Nowalk, the creator of HTGAWM, is on set, or if he’s in the writers’ room, there will be any combination of one or more of the nine writers, a director and sometimes a producer on set.

Q. Were you at all intimidated by the opportunity to work with a superstar, 2 time Oscar nominee like Viola Davis?

A. Objection! Leading the witness. I don’t think ‘intimidating’ is the right word. More than anything it was exciting. From the moment we (the students) stepped on set Viola made everything feel very safe and easy. She can be extremely maternal on set but isn’t afraid to crack a joke (often at her own expense) between takes.

Q. When will shooting for this first season wrap? Do you know what will happen to your character over the course of the season, or do you find out script by script?

A. We will wrap sometime in December or February. I think they’re still scheduling things out. Pete was really great about sitting down with each of us and talking through some of the major character points, but generally I find things out script to script.

Q. What are your plans for watching the premiere episode? Will you watch with friends? Is it hard to watch yourself perform on television?

A. I will actually be on set working during the premiere. It is hard to watch myself. I’m hyper critical and it’s difficult to watch a performance when I may end up being at odds with it – wishing I’d done something differently or that they had edited it a certain way.

Q. Do you feel like Ann Arbor was a good environment for an aspiring actor to grow up in? Anything you sometimes miss, or look forward to doing/seeing when you come back home?

A. I think A2 is a great place for someone to thrive creatively from a young age. While I didn’t participate in community theater, I saw many productions in town and would encourage any aspiring actor to get involved. Moreover, Pioneer’s theater program is made outstanding by utilizing the talent of U-M’s musical theater students.

On that note – growing up in a town that is home to such a vibrant University community was very fortunate. From a young age, my parents would take me to Royal Shakespeare Company shows at Hill Auditorium or U-M productions around campus.

I miss my family. I call my mom too much. I miss the Fall. I miss the smell of leaves and watching colors change. I miss the energy in town on a Saturday morning. I miss the roar of the Big House! Hopefully, I’ll be coming home for a game or two this season. Go Blue!

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