Some tidbits on Jensen. Much of the info comes from Teenmag.com's "Who's That Babe".
© 2001 teenmag.com
NAME: Jensen Ross Ackles
DOB: 1 March 1978
POB: Richardson, Texas
How You Know Him: Jensen starred as the super-sexy Eric Brady on the daytime drama Days of Our Lives from 1997 to 2000. Fans loved Eric because of his kind heart and sweet face. Jensen also appeared on Sweet Valley High and as Ben on Fox's Dark Angel last season.
His New Gig: This year, Jensen's back on Dark Angel as a full-time cast member but he's not playing Ben. This time 'round, he's Alec, another genetically enhanced human, or X-5, who likes to give Max (Jessica Alba) a hard time. (That's why she calls him "smart Alec.")
Family: All of Jensen's family still lives in Dallas, and he tries to get back there whenever he can. He has one brother, Joshua, and one sister, Mackenzie. "My sister's 16, so she's in high school, and I try to keep an eye on her as much as possible, but it's kind of hard," says Jensen.
Chip Off the Old Block: It turns out that Jensen's dad is a professional actor in Dallas. "He's been doing it since before I was born," says Jensen. "He's one of the top five working actors in Dallas. He does commercials and radio and industrial films. Basically, all the little stuff that comes through Dallas, he usually has a hand in. I think he had a small scene in a Matthew Perry film that was shooting down there. He's been on Walker Texas Ranger quite a bit, and he was on Dallas when that was shooting." Jensen says his dad didn't really influence his choice to become an actor, although he's been supportive of his son all along (so has his mom).
Starting Out: Jensen just kind of "fell into" acting. In fact, in high school he was more of a jock than a drama guy, although he did choose drama as his arts elective. "By my senior year, I was totally burned out on sports," says Jensen. "I had been eating, breathing and sleeping baseball for three years, and the theater teacher came to me and was like, 'I want you to try out for the Spring play.'" At first, Jensen said no. After all, he was right in the middle of baseball season. But then, he reconsidered and decided to quit baseball (the team wasn't doing too well anyway) and try acting. "So I go and I do this play, and there just happens to be this manager from L.A. that [had come] back to town to visit some family and decided to go to a high school play. He saw me and came up to me afterwards." Pretty soon, the manager was encouraging Jensen to move out to Los Angeles and become an actor. "I kind of laughed him off at first, and then, a few months after I graduated, he kept calling and I was like, 'Alright I'll go out there for a couple of weeks. So, I went out there and visited him. He set me up with some meetings, and I actually booked a job (the Sweet Valley High gig) within the first three days."
Commercial Kid: Although he was never serious about acting, Jensen had been in a few commercials and done some modeling back in Dallas. His actor father took him into his agency and got him a couple of jobs. He appeared in a commercial for Triscuits and some department store ads, among others.
Making the Leap: Jensen spent three years on Days of Our Lives playing the passionate Eric Brady, and it was a tough decision to leave the show. "I guess when it comes down to it, I just wanted to try to do some other things while I still had the opportunity," says Jensen. "While I was still young. While I didn't have any strings attached, and I could just pop up and go somewhere." In a smart move, Jensen didn't burn any bridges when he left Days -- His character only got sent away (not killed), and as he reveals, "I knew that the door wasn't closed for Days. It was comforting know that bridge wasn't burned, and if I needed to go back I could." He adds, "I still hope that that door is open, because you never know what's going to happen in the future, and I loved working there." So take heart DOOL fans...Eric Brady may not be gone for good.
Taking A Risk: Jensen left the security of Days without another job waiting for him. Luckily, he'd saved up the money he earned over the years, so he didn't have to worry about paying the bills, at least for a little while. "Still, it was a little nerve racking knowing that I didn't have that job," admits Jensen. "But I think that, when you're in this business, you've gotta gamble. If you the safe route, you can be fine, you can be secure, but if you want to kind of get out there and do some new stuff, then you've gotta take a risk and go for it." What a great way to look at life.
Daytime to Primetime: So far, Jensen is loving his new role on Dark Angel. "It's been awesome. It's completely different from what I'm used to," he says and goes on to explain that on a [daily] soap, most of the scenes are planned out in advance and the cast and crew end up shooting about 60 to 80 pages of a script per day. On Dark Angel, the actors talk to the director before each scene and plan it out together. Because of this, the shooting goes much more slowly. "One scene can take up to like four hours to do," says Jensen. So they only shoot about three or four pages a day. Jensen really enjoys all this collaboration and appreciates the fact that the makers of Dark Angel take the time to get things just right.
Alec vs. Eric: While Eric Brady was all heart on Days of Our Lives, Jensen's character on Dark Angel is a little more of a trouble maker. "He's completely different [from Eric]," says Jensen. "He's kind of this fun, humorous, kinda cocky guy who likes to run things. He doesn't take anything from anybody." It sounds like somebody's really enjoying his new bad-boy role.
eXamining the X-5: Alec, was created and raised at the same sinister laboratory as Max. He was chosen as Max's "breeding partner," but that doesn't really happen. "I come in, and I'm like, 'Hey, we're breeding partners,' and she basically kicks me to the wall," says Jensen. "So, I'm like, 'Alright, whatever,' because, you know, this guy could care less." After the little breeding fiasco, Max and Alec move into more of an antagonistic brother-sister relationship, but with nastier fights. Apparently, like an annoying little brother, Alec is always bugging Max. "She's like, "I can't stand you, get out of my face,' and I'm like, 'Whatever.' So it's kinda one of those relationships, and it's really funny," says Jensen. "There's a lot of comedic stuff in there."
Kicking Some Butt: But it's not all fun and games on the Dark Angel set. Jensen has to work hard to accomplish all the tricky stunts and fast-moving fights. "This is the most physically demanding role, ever," he says. "I'm probably doing a good one or two fight scenes per episode, and because the character is genetically enhanced, it's all these really intricate moves." Jensen has had to train hard with the show's stunt coordinators, but he's doing well. "I wake up the next day and I can't move because I'm so sore, but it's a lot of fun," he says. "I come from a pretty athletic background, so I'm in there. The stunt coordinator, he's even stopping calling in my stunt double because I'm doing all the stunts." Nice work, Jensen!
TV Technique: You might think that the producers of Dark Angel would want Jensen to take a bunch of martial arts classes to prepare himself for the role, but Jensen says they preferred him not to. He explains: "If I was to go to a class, they would teach me traditional martial arts, and what they use there as opposed to what they use on film is a little different. What may be correct technique may not look right on camera. So basically, they're teaching me what looks the best on camera." Hmm. Learn something new every day.
Fighting With His Co-Stars: In many scenes, Jensen's character ends up fighting with Jessica Alba's character, Max. Every once in a while, one of them accidentally makes a wrong move, with kind of painful results. "Obviously in several episodes [Jessica Alba and I] get in fights. In the last one, she was supposed to do a kick to my stomach, and she just railed me," says Jensen. "She just full-on nailed me right in the stomach, and so I was doubled over. I was like, 'I'm fine. I'm fine.'" He laughs. "But, you've gotta have a pretty good attitude about it because it's all fun, unless you really get hurt," he says. "I've definitely gotten cut up and stuff like that, but you just put a little Band-Aid on it and keep going."
Proud Parents: Jensen's parents are pretty proud of their son, and they should be. "My mom has everything I've ever done on tape. "She's got every article written about me. I walk in my house and the wall in my bedroom is lined with soap magazine covers. I'm like, 'Mom, you've got to take these down.' She's like, 'Never!'" Well, Mrs. Ackles better get out her scissors. There are going to be a whole lot more articles to clip out in the coming months. Jensen's new role on Dark Angel will expose him to a whole new group of fans, and we're sure his popularity will just keep on growing!
© 2001 teenmag.com - the orginal article appears here
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