Parks and Rec’s Perd Hapley Was Played By An Actual Newscaster: “People would say I’m typecast. Well it’s not typecast. It’s all I know how to do”

Jay Jackson as Perd Hapley

Perd Hapley might just be one of the greatest ever TV newscasters, fictional or otherwise. Those familiar with the brilliant Parks and Rec will recognize Jay Jackson from the show and his hilarious news spot: Ya’ Heard With Perd, which regularly featured Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope as a guest.

This is the man who thought the Iron Lady movie was about Iron Man’s wife, and once signed off with “I’m Perd Hapley and I just realized I’m not holding my microphone.” He really is a legend, but did you know that Jackson is actually a trained newscaster himself?

Jackson quite simply always plays newscasters. As well as Parks and Rec, he’s read the news on Scandal and The Mentalist as well as appearing in movies Battleship and Fast Five.

“People would say I’m typecast,” Jackson says. “Well it’s not typecast. It’s all I know how to do.”

Jackson spent 22 years as a reporter in Southern California, and actually came to be a fictional newscaster purely by accident.

“I run this school,” he explains.  “The Los Angeles Reporter’s Clinic. I help people become reporters by making their demo reels.”

It was one such student reel that landed him his opportunity. With Jackson playing the role of newscaster and the student as the field reporter, the reel grabbed the attention of a manger who hired both the student and Jackson too.

The manager who saw the tape thought I was great,” he says. “She was getting a lot of casting calls for reporters and anchors.”

That’s the big break,” Jackson explains. “My big break came when I made that demo reel for the student. That’s the only way it would’ve happened.”

From there, Jackson made his acting debut reading the news on Dexter, and the rest followed, including the gem of a role on Parks and Rec.

“I’m not, like, some rich guy — I’m still broke,” he says. “But it’s cool, though. I like it. I enjoy it because my training is from Parks and Recreation and the actors on that set.

“I will say to Amy Poehler one day, ‘It’s because of you, you didn’t know it, but you would teach me all of these ways of how to respond and how to act on set and how to be an actor.

“One day when I’m accepting my Oscar, I do want to say, ‘I want to thank Amy Poehler for all of that.’ I’m planning it out, I have it all written out, I want to see her smiling and the whole nine yards.”

via NPR

Leave a Reply
Bill Skarsgard on Playing Pennywise in ‘It’: “It was by far the most exhausting character I’ve ever done, physically and mentally”
"I was equally as excited as I was terrified when I booked the job, because now these people expected me to pull it off." - Bill Skarsgard
Sophie Turner on Falling in Love with Acting and Playing Sansa on ‘Game of Thrones’
"To be able to flesh out a character for over eight or so years has been really amazing." - Sophie Turner on Playing Sansa Stark
Kit Harington on Playing Jon Snow: “You take every scene as it comes”
"You just look like an actor wanting to change the character if you then go back and betray what your first instincts were." - Kit Harington
Dave Bautista on Shooting the Low-Budget Film, ‘Bushwick’
Bautista spoke about why he took the role even though he didn't initially like the script and what he brought to the character.
Griffin Newman on ‘The Tick’: “When I got the call back and I moved along in the process, it made me more desperate to be part of it.”
"My lifelong quest has been to figure out how sad you can make things, and also be funny." - Griffin Newman