I really enjoyed visiting with Hayden Byerly from ABC Family’s The Fosters last week! Hayden plays Jude, and he talked during a conference call about what we can expect from his character, what it is like working with the cast and so much more.
The highly anticipated season 2 will be premiering on June 16, 2014. I can’t wait!
Take a look at the interview:
Q: What’s it like working on set of The Fosters?
Hayden: The Fosters’ set is probably one of my favorite sets I’ve been on. I’ve worked on just a few, but it’s by far my favorite. The people that we work with are fantastic. All the actors and actresses are very professional and they’re very experienced and very fun to work with. The crew, they work very hard and they’re great at what they do. It’s a great crew. It’s a great experience. It’s a wonderful set.
Q: What’s the craziest thing that has happened on set?
Hayden: It’s actually, believe it or not, pretty calm.
Q: How do you get into character?
Hayden: Jude is a separate person. Jude is me but I’m Jude, but I’m not Jude if that makes sense. Getting into character for Jude is basically creating another person, thinking about every little detail. Who they are, why they do what they do, why their hair is brown, all of that. You think about your character and who he is. It’s an interesting process but I guess everyone has a different way of getting into character.
Q: How does it feel to be an inspiration for so many young viewers that are watching the series and connecting with Jude?
Hayden: It feels super special, especially as a kid my age, at 13 years old for people to say that they really connect with me, and really understand my role. It’s super cool. It means a lot. It’s very special and important to me. I think it’s a very big thing to be able to play something on T.V., but have it be so real that it connects with so many different people on such a personal level.
Q: How has the fan support been since joining the show? Are you enjoying connecting with your fans?
Hayden: Yes, I am. I definitely love meeting different people who watch the show and getting to talk with them and hear what they think about the show and what they like. It’s been super fun, I like it a lot.
Q: What are you most passionate about outside of acting?
Hayden: I’m very passionate about school. I love school. I love learning, but I love learning in school which sounds like a typical thing, “Oh I love school,” but I really do. I love learning and I love math and science and reading and writing. I love all sorts of that type of stuff. But other kid activities that I do is try to get out and play sports. Sometimes I’ll play basketball or ride my bike. I’ll do a lot of that stuff as well.
Q: What can you tell new viewers about Jude?
Hayden: Jude is a very quiet—well, when we first watch The Fosters we see that Jude is a very quiet, sensitive-type of shy kid who comes from a very rough past who has been in several different foster homes and has gone to several different schools in over just a couple years. He goes through these foster homes with his older sister Callie and they have a very rough time and haven’t really been in a good home. He just wants to keep the peace and stay happy. He just wants to find a good home. He wants to be able to have a family, he wants to have a mom and a dad, or in this case, a mom and a mom. He wants brothers and sisters. He loves all of that.
Q: What quality of Jude’s relates most to you in real life?
Hayden: I definitely think that he’s very sensitive. I feel like I am kind of sensitive in a way. I feel like a sensitive quality is good to have and I feel like I am very sensitive as well as Jude. Jude is also very aware of his surroundings and I feel like I try to make sure that I’m aware of my surroundings and know what’s happening around me.
Q: Do you think Jude finally feels like he’s a part of the family now that the adoption has gone through?
Hayden: Jude definitely feels like he’s permanently there, like he’s going to stay there forever now that the adoption is finalized. Before, he was having some issues with if they were going to keep him or not and he really wanted to stay there, but now that the adoption is finalized Jude is very comfortable. He feels safe.
Q: How did you get started in acting?
Hayden: I got started through a showcase, which is kind of an interesting story because I never went to that showcase for acting, I wanted to do it just to try to gain some confidence or maybe make some friends along the way and I had a very fun time. I won first place in my age group and I had a bunch of different agents and managers in Los Angeles who wanted me to come out and just try some acting for a little bit.
So I came out and I signed with my commercial agent that I still have and while I was there they have a theatrical department that asked me to go on an audition. I never had any experience, I didn’t really know what to do or what I was expecting and so I went there and I booked it as a guest star on a Disney show. And it started from there. I kept coming out time after time every time I had a spring break and every time I would come out I would book something before I would leave. So it’s just become a thing where my mom, brother and I now have an apartment out here and we stay out here and I act.
Q: What was it like auditioning for The Fosters?
Hayden: It was very official but it was very quick, it was very fast. It was in and out, but it was definitely, probably one of the most nerve-racking auditions I’ve ever been to because it’s in this very nice building and you go up the elevator and there’s this wide space and not many people; especially when you go in for the testing when there’s 11 people standing on one side of the table and you’re on the other. It was very exciting. I definitely was super excited to hear that I had booked the job.
Q: How will Jude’s adoption affect his relationship with Callie this season, and if the family dynamic will change at all?
Hayden: That’s definitely an issue that Jude faces. He feels as though, you know, especially finding out that they don’t have the same dad that it gets a little weird for Jude and it gets hard for him to kind of handle. We definitely see that in the Season 2; we watch as he struggles to take that in. But he still feels very close to his sister, but you’ll have to watch. You’ll have to see to find out!
Q: Can you tease anything about the upcoming season?
Hayden: Brandon wants to do a risky hand surgery. Mariana is struggling with her heartbreak with Zac. Jude goes through struggles with Callie about her real dad.
Q: What do you think is most different about your character Jude and you as a person?
Hayden: Jude and I both have a good home. We both have a great mom who loves us and Jude [now] has great moms who love him. Jude has brothers and sisters, I have a brother. Jude has some struggles with school, as we’ve seen, I don’t struggle with school too much. I find it pretty simple. I feel like I’m pretty good at it. That’s just some of them. Definitely a lot of similarities, though.
Q: If you could play any other character on the show who would you want to play?
Hayden: I would want to take a crack at Brandon’s character. I love the role that David plays. I love the scenes that he does and I love the way he acts. David is such a great actor, he’s a very smart actor and I love working with him and I love working with everybody. Everybody’s great. But I just feel like I love his role very much just because he plays this kid who’s very confused about if he loves this girl who turns out that she’s going to be his sister. He goes through a lot of different struggles that aren’t just romance, that aren’t just about teens loving each other. He goes through a lot of stuff playing piano and having to focus on school and we have some gossip about Mike’s girlfriend and him. David goes through a lot with his character and he’s extremely talented.
Q: What’s your favorite story line so far?
Hayden: My favorite story line, especially for Jude is the Blue for Jude story line. That has to be my favorite one; I definitely think that’s an important episode.
Q: What’s it like working with Maia Mitchell, Jake T. Austin and David Lambert?
Hayden: Oh, it’s great. They’re amazing. They’re really great actors and actresses. Everyone is super professional on the show. We definitely like to have fun. We’re definitely a very fun cast. Maia’s great to work with and she has a brother so that’s kind of a good reference for her when she goes through those issues with Jude because she can use that.
Jake is a very cool, nice dude who definitely loves playing the role of Jesus. David is a very, very smart, very cool guy who plays Brandon very well and I think he’s a very talented actor.
Q: Are there any developments in your character with his father that we should look forward to?
Hayden: Not too much. There are some things that happen with Callie’s new father, but not Jude’s father. We don’t see much of him. We don’t see much happening with his real father.
Q: Did you watch any of Jake T. Austin’s shows or movies before you acted on The Fosters with him?
Hayden: Not too much. I don’t watch a lot of TV and if I did I would watch the History Channel. I was always big into learning about history, but I definitely knew that he was on Wizards of Waverly Place. I’ve seen some of the movies that he has acted in, but I never really watched him as kid. I definitely love his acting now. He’s a very cool, kind guy.
Q: Who are some actors/actresses you look up to?
Hayden: One of my favorite actors is Leonardo DiCaprio. I love his work and I love a lot of the movies that he’s in. He’s actually in my favorite movie, Catch Me If You Can. I like Tom Hanks, which is another great actor that I definitely look up to.
Q: Where would you like to take your career as you get older?
Hayden: I really would just love to continue acting on all levels. I’d love to keep doing commercials and I definitely want to do a big movie. I think that would be very fun to do. I loved doing motion capture, I did motion capture for a video game and that was super cool, it was super fun. So I definitely want to continue to do everything I can.
I am going to be watching The Fosters with my family on Monday, June 16! How about you?!