Talking DROP DEAD DIVA with Jackson Hurst

I could go on and on for days about how much I love the show DROP DEAD DIVA, you know, that right?  It has as much to do with the show itself being charming and adorable as it does with their incredibly charming and fantastic cast giving some of the greatest interviews.  This week’s DROP DEAD DIVA interview is with Jackson Hurst, the blue eyes behind Grayson Kent, the love of Jane’s life!  Jackson and I talked about what drew him to his role, what his favorite scenes to play are, and the two questions he gets a lot from his Twitter followers!

I love DROP DEAD DIVA.  I’ve gotten to talk to the majority of the cast now, and I have be sure to tell them that it’s one of my favorite shows!  So tell me, what drew you to Grayson?  Why did you want to play this role?
I like, honestly, I liked the tragedy.  I like to play characters that have an uphill battle, some sort of tragedy, or something tragic happens and you have to deal with it.  When I talked to the writers and producers early on, I wanted to make sure, you know, I don’t want the guy to be very vanilla.  I wanted him to have some demons and being able to survive.  It makes for an interesting character.  After reading the first script, the pilot, I thought, oh man, this is going to be fun.

Do you have a chance with the writers, to give feedback on how you think maybe Grayson’s story should play out, episode to episode?
I do, actually. I have a lot of detailed conversations with our creator Josh Berman, who is very receptive.  It’s been amazing.  If I have a problem with something, we talk about it, we work through it, and at the beginning of this season, there’s definitely some places that I wanted Grayson to go, and he and I were on the same page, so it worked out.

What can you tell us, obviously without giving anything big away because we don’t want to spoil, but what can you say about what’s coming up in the next two weeks on the show?
I can tell you, first of all, you can expect some amazing guest stars.  We’ve got Paula Abdul coming on this weekend.  Barry Watson, Natasha Henstridge.  As far as plot goes, there’s some twists and there’s some turns.  There’s some shockers and the last few minutes of the finale are just going to blow your mind, it’s going to be incredible.

Your show does so well with guest stars.  Other shows bring them in for the sake of having big names, but with DDD, you absolutely work them into the storylines; you almost forget that these are people you’ve seen in other things.
Actually, that’s cool that you bring it up.  It’s the first time that I’ve heard someone make that observation.  Because we all agree.  I meet with the writers, I meet with Josh regularly, and we talk about our guest stars, because they are such an integral part to our plot. They have as much screen time as some of our regulars.  As an audience member you can learn to care not just about the regulars, but these amazing guest stars that come in.

What is your favorite thing about Grayson?
My favorite thing is his strength, I would say.  In the first season, you saw hints of it, but he was really just treading, just trying to survive his grief, and this year you see his strength.  He’s learned to leverage that pain, and to make him a stronger person, a fighter, a survivor, I love that.

As the progression of the character goes, you definitely see him applying that to personal life and work life.  Everyone is so three dimensional on the show.  It makes the show more fun to watch!
Thank you, I appreciate that.  We all work out butts off so it’s nice to see it recognized!

Did you know anyone before the show started, or was the chemistry there just right from the get go?
The pilot was, the chemistry was palpable.  We all hit it off very quickly.  It hasn’t changed.  In fact, our relationships, personally, have grown even more since we started working together.  Our chemistry on camera is true to life.  We do have a lot of chemistry, we all love each other!

Have you talked about what happens in the next season (or does that give too much away about the finale ha)?
You know what, that would probably spoil everything.  Honestly, our creators are reluctant to share too much with us, but if, fingers crossed, Season 3 does happen, I do know a few things for Season 3 and it is going to be good.  I know how the season will begin.  It’s amazing.

Why is now a good time to get caught up?
Honestly, these last few episodes are so amazing, they’re really just going to blow your minds.  But walking into the last few episodes without knowing exactly what’s going on, without knowing where each of the characters is coming from, it takes away from it.  If you’re just caught up Season 2, you would be in a good place to watch these last few episodes.  But you want to know where all of your characters are coming from because the stakes are really high at the end of this season.

Do you have a favorite scene or episode with Grayson, or in general?
Oh yeah, this season, honestly, the one coming up this weekend, was one of my favorites.  It really moved me as a person.  I kind of pride myself in being able to keep myself together, but there are times where working with a person who is very similar to Grayson, the clown, played by Barry Watson, he’s grieving for the loss of his wife, and Grayson is going through very much the same thing.  As a person, it forced me to deal with stuff, and as a character, it did as well.  And I really like the super challenging episodes, the super challenging parts for Grayson, to put it out there.  This weekend was one of them, just like the one where he saw the ghost of Deb or the hallucination, was a really powerful episode.

Do you think on some level Grayson knows that Jane and Deb are one and the same?
That’s a good question.  I think his subconscious, it’s hard for you to consciously realize something like that because it’s so unfathomable, you can’t imagine something like that would be possible, but I think on some sort of subconscious level, he does see bits of Deb in Jane.  There are times where you see Grayson and Jane really connect on that level.  It’s just kind of this cosmic connection that you can’t really put your hands on, but it is there, it really exists.

What do you have coming up besides DROP DEAD DIVA?
I actually have a movie, THE LOOP, that is just finished post production.  It’s an incredible movie, I saw the rough cut and I’m really thrilled with it.  I was one of the leads in that.  And it’s directed by an amazing woman, Margaret Whitton, and it was shot by Philippe Rousselot, who’s also incredible.  I star opposite Rachel Nichols, you know, it was pretty amazing.  I’m pretty excited.  It’s going to head down to the festival circuit, pretty soon.

That’s what I have for you today – we’ll go out and continue having everyone follow you on Twitter.
I think I saw your twitter mention, give me questions, I’m going to hammer this guy tomorrow. [laughs]

A lot of the questions were “Why is he with Kim Caswell” and I thought maybe we’d leave that for the next time we chat ha!
[laughs] Why is he with Kim Caswell?

That came up a lot!
Yeah, I’m sure it did.  I’m sure, Why is he with Vanessa came up a few times as well!

Absolutely – you have to get through all that to get to the soul mate, right?


  • Dee Jolie

    Drop Dead Diva,
    Is an incredible show. It is innovate and fresh when you look at what the typical primetime line-up. DDD is so far above the formulaic sitcoms that it is in a league of its own. I truly enjoy Sunday evenings watching Drop Dead Diva. Mr. Hurst is scrumptious!

  • Jane (really)

    Love the show and the ability of the producers to keep us coming back for more. Waiting until next summer is a stretch but it is worth it. I fill the wait time by watching past episodes. Jane is my hero!