If you’re headed to the movies in 2015, there is a very good chance you may see Petrolia’s Jedidiah Goodacre.
The 22 year-old is now living in Vancouver and is winning roles in a number of TV and big screen films including the upcoming Disney Sci-Fi blockbuster Tomorrowland starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie.
It’s a dream career Goodacre wasn’t sure he’d have the courage to grasp.
Goodacre was like most teens growing up in Petrolia; he went to LCCVI and earned average marks. “I was the class clown and I paid more attention to my friends than my actual lessons,” he tells The Independent.
Goodacre – whose family is actively involved with the Petrolia Squires – played some hockey with the Alvinston Flyers and the Dresden Jr. Kings. When he graduated, he enrolled at Lambton College with the goal of becoming a process operator at one of the local plants. He hated it and dropped out.
Goodacre knew what he wanted to do – he just couldn’t tell his parents. “I’ve always wanted to be an actor,” he says adding he never acted as a teen. “I always wanted to just do something that was different. I wanted to be a hockey player, a dancer, a professional wrestler; what job could I do that would include all of these?” He came up with the answer, acting. But he was having a hard time telling his parents whom he thought would not approve.
After three weeks of dinnertime conversations as his parents pressed him to tell them what was on his mind, he finally was able to spit it out. “It was kind of funny really,” he says recounting how his mom put her hand on his arm and asked “’Jed – are you gay?’ ‘No! I want to be an actor.’”
“My fears (of his parents being angry) were shot down right away and that night we looked up acting schools.”
Goodacre settled on the Vancouver Film School – an institution with a good reputation and which was close to his sister who lived in Vancouver already. He was in school a year-and-a-half, signed with an agent a month after finishing and started getting parts four months and dozens of casting calls later.
He would be Cotton McCreary in a TV movie called Restless Virgin. “Coming from Petrolia – I thought actors or people in movies are all famous people and live in million dollar houses…when I first got the call – embarrassing to admit I thought ‘okay I’m on my way.’ But after working on it – it’s just a job.”
Goodacre says since he started working he has met a lot of people who have been “making enough to survive” and are very happy. And he knows he has been able to break into the movies long before others. “When I first got that call overcome with joy – I told my agent ‘shut up! No way!’ I didn’t really know what to say because I never really expected it to happen that quickly…I was fortunate to even get it. I have a lot of friends that things haven’t moved for them.”
And things are really moving for Goodacre now. With Tomorrowland, he was able to experience what it is like to work on a big budget movie and he learned some valuable lessons watching the ‘big stars.’
“If I was going to take anything away from the big actors that I worked around it was the people that are better to work with have a lot of respect for the people who do the behind the scenes work,” he says. “At any given time there are 100 people running around doing 100 different jobs…it’s very easy to forget that someone else arrived three hours before you.”
Goodacre will carry that with him to his next jobs. He’s landed a role in a Disney Musical called Descendents. It’s similar, he says, to the high school musical franchise which catapulted Zac Ephron into stardom. Goodacre is excited about the job, but adds it’s been a lot of hard work. The part of Chad Charming requires a lot of dancing – a skill he told the directors he had, but didn’t. “The first hour of rehearsal was a nightmare,” he says adding some of his friends and a great choreographer helped him through.
“It was awesome. It was super hard on my body and it was super hard on my brain…I’ve gained a whole new respect for dancers and what they do because I have four left feet not two.” Descendents hits the theatres in Aug. 2015. Tomorrowland will be in theatres in May.