Born in London, Ontario, Canada, to Italian parents, actor Jordan Charles’ passion for performance began early. In Canada, he started acting on stage in local Italian productions when he was a few years old. He was later theatrically cast as Matthew Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables while only twelve years old, playing the elder father of the protagonist Anne.
A multi-year Meisner graduate of the reputable Baron Brown Studio – School for the Dramatic Arts in Santa Monica, and the Margie Haber Studio in West Hollywood, CA, Jordan’s commitment to acting and its craft has seen him embody diverse, textured characters and ranging performance work in lead roles in independent and studio films. He is a prior Forty Under 40 recipient, and holds citizenship in each of the USA, Canada, and the European Union, to allow opportunity flexibility across his acting and filmmaking goals.
Concentrating on feature film acting, Jordan seeks challenges often against type. In early roles, he did so to capture the lead serial killer role in Friend (2009), an independent film directed by Curt Thackery which generated regional acclaim. His proclivity for complicated characters capable of wide range and emotion continued with his lead role in Makua Charley (2013), a film festival award-winning dramatic thriller centered on Hawaiian mythology. Jordan followed this with a bit part in Cameron Crowe’s Aloha (2015), then played two different maligning lead characters in two divergent timelines in The Gunman (2016). He’s proven the rare ability to play both hero or rogue, and brings unique layers and choices to every character.
Roles in upcoming films continue his advance on notable projects. 2023 saw him act in, write, and produce a crime saga called Brothers in Arms (2023), an original cinematic story set in modern Los Angeles, which is contemplating feature film development. Brothers In Arms won Best Cinematography, and also earned Best Drama Short, Best International Short Feature, Best Director and Best Actor (Jordan Charles) nominations Short Film, Best International Drama Best Actor nominee at the Swedish International Film Festival.
A multi-hyphenate creative, Jordan complements his acting by additionally serving as a screenwriter and producer. His first screenplay earned a quarterfinal placing at Creative Screenwriting’s Expo Competition.
He is the founding producer and principal of Annabill Artist Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company that originates its own feature film content with original screenplay material, for acquisition and development partnering. He founded the company in 2020 with the goal of producing original, thought-provoking feature films to spur dialogue and diverse engagement.
Jordan earned a Forty Under 40 Award from the Pacific Business News for his professional, artistic, and community service pursuits.
Jordan Charles As Cover Story – November 2023 Edition
Please share your background.
I was raised in London, Ontario, Canada in a very Italian household. My parents were Italian immigrants after World War II, like so many others. I began acting very young. My grandfather was president of an Italian-Canadian social club, and he’d cast me as the youngest roles in community stage productions. That later emerged to acting in local theater work, and then independent films.
I’m a proud Italian-Canadian-American, I have citizenship in all three! I’m equally proud of my parents for always inspiring my sister and I to pursue the paths that spoke loudest to us. They always celebrated the importance of the arts. My mom’s love for classic movies saw me grow up watching black and white films, Alfred Hitchcock, and the stars of yesteryear. It was a special and rewarding childhood. I never would have respected the arts the way I do, had I not been raised that way. I feel blessed by that.
Childhood to Adulthood – How was your transition from childhood to adulthood and what are the bad and good things you remember?
Does anyone like that process?! What’s that saying: youth is wasted on the young. It may be true. When I was younger, I think the bad things were the good things – I remember getting into small wrecks with the car, being accountable to my parents for breaking curfew, or the thousands of ways I learned to fall on my face so I could learn to get up. Looking back makes me appreciate my parents a lot, and how much they cared to set a consistent standard of love. We grew up modestly. No screens or phones; it was board games, neighbor pop-bys, and running and playing outside. For me, being young is not knowing what you want while knowing you don’t know enough, and those are some of the best things that push you higher.
Struggle – What hardships have you gone through in life?
I remember one ‘when it rains, it pours’ stretch vividly: I was living in Hawaii. In the same stretch, we lost my father, I had a romantic breakup, I quit a job, turned down a major acting opportunity, and left Hawaii for California, all at the same time. That was really hard. I needed a lot of decompression time from that stretch. I never judge when I hear people say they’re going through their own stuff in life. You’re going to be challenged. If you build self-care fortifications and the right foundation in good times, it sustains you in the rough times. I make sure to be surrounded by great family, friends, and filmmaking colleagues. That’s the sanctuary.
What do people usually not know about you?
Acting, surfing, and raising awareness for environmental sustainability causes, are probably my three favorite activities.
What sets you apart from your competitors in the industry and in life?
I think it’s really setting apart from any sense of things like competition. For me, it’s important as an actor to express the characters and roles I play, with the singular purpose to bring truth to who that character is. I think when you do it right, it’s about the absence from competition or ego metrics. You put so much heart and care in the moment to feel and react. You don’t think about it during action and cut, but it’s so meaningful to me later for someone to view your participation in a story narrative when a film is done, for them to say “I was moved by that” or “I felt that” or “I learned something watching that because I know someone going through that.” To me that’s music, that’s what the artist’s journey is supposed to be. I don’t know if anyone is really thriving or standing apart from anyone else in this business. It’s about the work; you’re really chasing the truth in the work. I think it’s all just dedication to feeling something so others can feel something. You try to be the best you can be of yourself and the work. Because so many have invested so much for you to even be there in wardrobe.
What are your upcoming major events – Unforgettable Moments or products/services that you want to promote/inform?
Right now, I’m excited to be advancing a lot of my acting work in upcoming film projects. We’re working on gaining development and financing for our feature film project, Brothers In Arms. It’s an original cinematic story I wrote that I’m acting in, about two brothers who get separated by a tragic childhood accident; one becomes a relentless police officer, the other a rising crime leader, and they’re fated to collide years later. The film explores the meaning of family after bonds are broken, and the uncertain redemption that follows. It’s in the vein of seminal films like Michael Mann’s Heat and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. We completed an award-winning short film for the project that we’re now using as a proof of concept for the intended feature film to gain development and financing. It’s been a lot of work so far, and a lot of work to go!
I also have three other feature film screenplays I wrote as acting vehicles, that we’ll begin shopping for development. One concerns the current migrant crisis, and how the uprooting of family for a better life brings difficult choices. Another is an adventure story in the vein of Indiana Jones, where a family of treasure hunters seeks an ancient artifact with global consequences. And the other is a soldier story, where a devastated Captain returns from war and learns how to assimilate back into civilian society. I’m so excited to connect these meaningful stories with audiences.
What are your food preferences and physical attributes?
My greatest food preference is anything cooked by mom 🙂 I grew up Italian, so you eat what’s in front of you. For anyone who’s never been in a European household – ‘Do you want some more’ is actually not really a question, it’s only offer and acceptance! I will say, I’ve cut out red meats and saturated fats, and often choose fish, vegetables and fruits. I think inspiring people towards healthier diets is excellent – and a worthy way for us to meet the carbon reduction challenges we need to strive for by reducing food waste. I also think the good nutrition + exercise + good sleep formula should be a second national anthem.
Your love life, relationships and family?
I have all three, and I’ll say they continue to teach me the most meaningful things in life. They also often help inform my acting work. You definitely shouldn’t act in your real relationships, and you can’t act without them.
What expert advice would you like to give?
I’m a multihyphenate. I work hard to act in, write, and sometimes produce films. It’s hard work, and you have to overcome a lot. Give yourself every chance and every try, and give a chance to new artists who are trying to find their voice. Go out of your way to seek out artists and filmmakers that you otherwise would never find. Watch their films, celebrate what reaches and teaches you. There are so many talented, incredible filmmakers, directors, actors, writers, producers, and film crews making beautiful films and series. Find ways to watch and support the independents. The soul of cinema is found in those making stories for less, because they have something to say and are compelled to say it. The storytelling we have from smaller parts of the globe and from underrepresented voices is outstanding. Be proud your expanded viewing can amplify that impact.
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