ENTOURAGE’s Jordan Belfi talks SNOW BRIDE and the theatre
After you’ve feasted on Thanksgiving turkey, counting down the shopping days ‘til Christmas, you might want to surf on over to the Hallmark channel and check out Snow Bride.
Snow Bride is one of the Hallmark Channel’s original programs airing on the Countdown to Christmas specials, and one of it stars, Jordan Belfi (Entourage, Moonlight), was kind enough to take time between auditions to chat with me about that show as well as a few other projects.
The script for Snow Bride came to Belfi through a producer that he knew. After reading it, he told me, “I just felt like it gave me an opportunity to play a kind of role I hadn’t done that often. It was a little different, and it was something that I wanted to take on. It was a sweet story.”
Belfi shared with me that, when the story begins, his character (Ben), a well-known Senator’s son, has gone through the breakup of an engagement. Belfi said, “He’s a kind-hearted, solid guy who I think at the end of the day just wants to find love.” And so he does. But as the plot thickens, the love of his life turns out to be a tabloid reporter simply searching for a juicy story on the rich and famous.
How much similarity did Belfi find with Ben and his own persona? Belfi said, “I think you actually bring pieces of you to each role that you play, and you find bits and colors of you and your experiences, of you and people you know, and you bring it to every role. You kind of bring the role to life. It becomes yours. At the end of the day, that’s your goal – to make it yours. I’m sure you have favorite movies and favorite plays and things like that where you could never imagine another actor playing that role. You hear stories of that role originally being offered to another person. Can you imagine? That really is a testament to the actor you saw doing it – making it their own. To answer your question, I think there are pieces of me in all the roles that I play, with a different formula each time – imagination, experiences I’ve had. I think, though, with Snow Bride, with Ben, I think there’s a lot of me in that. I’d like to think that there’s a certain aspect of genuineness and sincerity in me like I see in Ben.”
Viewers might recognize Belfi from several television series – one being HBO’s Entourage, where Belfi played Adam Davies. Of the many roles he’s played to date, Davies would probably be his favorite. He told me, “It’s the role that I played for the most seasons, and it was a role that was part of a show that became a kind of cultural phenomenon, a kind of cultural touchstone, where people were quoting from the show. It was really fun. In the world of that show, my character was one of those kind of off-balanced characters. People love that kind of thing. It was such a well-written show and had such top-tier collaborators at every level, including writing and directing. It was really fun to have a role and be a part of something that people were so actively engaged in.”
Belfi also played District Attorney Josh Lindsey in the CBS vampire series Moonlight, which starred Alex O’Loughlin (McGarrett, Hawaii Five-0). The pair teamed up again a couple of years ago when Belfi did a guest spot on Season One Episode 14 of Five-0 (“He Kane Hewa’ole – An Innocent Man). I asked about the experience of working with O’Loughlin for the second time and on such a different genre. Belfi told me, “It was fun. Moonlight was one of Alex’s first shows. Of course, he was a moody character in Moonlight, and the show had a different tone and flavor, with a different approach to the scenes. We became friends on Moonlight, so it was a pleasure to work with him a second time. And, going out to Hawaii to work, it’s very adaptive. He’s still growing into the role that he has on Hawaii Five-0, and it’s fun to see that in him.” (I had to share my shock at Belfi’s character’s untimely death in Moonlight. He chuckled and said, “Losing Josh was overwhelming to a lot of the show’s fans. A lot of people were surprised. It could have gone a lot of different ways. It made me feel very flattered to think how much the character became such an integral part of the show and its viewers.”
A Time to Direct
Besides acting, Belfi has very successfully tried his hand at directing award-winning plays, such as The Elephant Man. He said, “I directed The Elephant Man here in L.A. last year. It was a wonderful endeavor. I was shooting an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (the two-part cliffhanger for Season Eight, “Migration”) at the same time, so I would shoot that during the day and direct the play at night. It was a wonderful energy. It was exactly what I wanted t be doing, which was performing and directing at the same time. Both are amazing creative outlets.
“I spent most of the summer in New York working on directing a new musical with my friend, Neil (Neil Patrick Stewart, who also worked with Belfi on The Elephant Man). It was called Volleygirls and was in the New York Music Festival. It was spectacular. There were so many moving parts. It was so much to pull together, but it was a big hit and also ended up winning at the Festival. It was great. I also was teaching for the first time at the Performing Arts Center. So, all that creative energy is inspiring, recharges me, and influences my work.”
Belfi performed in theatre through school and after graduation, including work at the Pico Playhouse. He was also a member of a company run by actress Bonnie Franklin (One Day at A Time). Of the latter, he said, “It was an amazing training ground for me. I love it. You have that medium, that relationship with the audience. It’s electric. I love theatre.”
Belfi told me acting in theatre and the small screen are both creatively satisfying in different ways. “I think most actors who have done theatre will tell you that there are few things like that relationship you have instantly with an audience. That’s why I said I was happy when I was working on The Elephant Man and shooting Grey’s Anatomy at the same time.”
Roles That Challenge
So, what’s next for Belfi? “I don’t know what’s next. There are a couple of things on the horizon. There’s a couple of movies, TV shows, a lot of meetings and a lot of things like that. I’m excited to see what comes next. I just finished a movie called Blackbird with Minnie Driver, Danny Glover, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Touch, Undercovers). That’s immediately next. I’ve been able to play good guys, bad guys, romantic leads. I think that’s what I’d like to do – stretch and take on roles in shows that inspire me, that I’m interested in. I’m always on the hunt for what’s going to challenge me. We’ll see what happens.”
Watch for Belfi in the Hallmark Channel’s Snow Bride throughout November and December, with the last airing on Christmas Day.
Cheryl has been a freelance TV/film writer for more than 10 years. Simultaneously, she has worked in PR for Bon Jovi Productions in NYC, PolyGram Records (also in NYC), and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations. Cheryl has published articles at suite101.com, “Sci-Fi Entertainment” magazine, and “Soap Opera Weekly.” She was also a credited researcher for English author Denis Meikle’s JOHNNY DEPP: A KIND OF ILLUSION. Cheryl enjoys writing for the entertainment industry and meeting new people. She is also an animal lover.