On the small screen’s latest thriller, Between (Thursdays at 8 pm, CityTV), an unknown disease claims the lives of everyone in a small town over the age of 22. That leaves stars Jennette McCurdy, 22, and Jesse Carere, 21, to solve the mystery and survive on their own. Despite the show’s dark premise, the actors had each other in stitches when Hello! Canada sat down with them at the Thompson Hotel in Toronto.
Jennette, who rose to fame on Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat with Ariana Grande, was excited by the serious subject matter. “It reminded me of a younger version of Lost, one of my favourite drama series of all time,” she says. For Finding Carter star and Toronto-native Jesse, being on set was a happy homecoming. “I like the fact that the show has intertwining stories and that it was shooting in my hometown,” he says.
Here, Jennette and Jesse give us their takes on who has better survival skills, following their instincts and what it was like to meet two of their favourite stars.
Jesse: Hanging out as a group was really easy because we’re all roughly the same age.
Jennette: We all got along as a group and would all eat lunch together. [Our castmates were] so funny that I don’t think any of us could keep a straight face for more than five seconds. I had a bit of downtime so my brother and sister-in-law came up to visit from Pennsylvania for American Thanksgiving. I did a bit of shopping and got to hang out in Toronto’s Distillery District and on Ossington. I got to know the city and it was really fun.
AT FIRST SIGHT
Jennette: We first met when we did a reading together for the producers. Jesse’s the best. We talked on the drive home and I could tell that he was just genuine. I feel like that’s become a canned word now that is said in so many weird ways but I mean it.
Jesse: I really loved that first reading. I thought, “Jennette’s good. She’s cool. This is going to be fun.”
Jennette: I definitely have better survival skills. I’ve seen every episode of MacGyver so I feel confident in my abilities. If this building started crumbling, I’d probably take my shoe off and make a meal out of it. I’d be fine and Jesse would be left here. His stomach just grumbled at the thought of it. I’d want my oldest brother Marcus around because he’s very strong and sensible. He’s got grace under fire.
Jesse: I don’t have any of those skills! If there’s ever an emergency, have someone read me my last rites. [Laughs] I’d want Marcus there too!
GOING WITH YOUR GUT
Jennette: At one time, I was feeling very overworked and was taking everything too seriously. I was sweating the small stuff and the large stuff. I was basically very sweaty. I thought, “I need to take a trip and do something fun.” I ended up just getting on a plane and going to Disney World for a month. I think that what that did for my wellbeing was so worth it. You always hear that work will lead to success, but success doesn’t necessarily mean happiness.
Jesse: I’m proud of myself for listening to the hunch that I had to drop out of university [to pursue acting]. After three weeks I thought, “This isn’t right for me.” For a lot of people, it’s the right thing to do. But I’m happy with how things have turned out.
Jesse: I once auditioned to play Andy Garcia’s son and that was a big moment for me. I learned a lot from just watching him. I remember thinking, “Woah. That’s acting.” I didn’t tell him I’m a big fan. But he knew it because I was nervous.
Jennette: I met Johnny Depp at the premiere of his movie Rango. My grandfather was driving my brother and I to the event and there was traffic. So I got out of the car in the middle of the road, kicked off my heels and we ran for two miles. My necklace broke along the way and beads were flying everywhere! When we finally got there, Johnny Depp had just arrived and I got to talk to him. He was wearing six jackets, rose-coloured glasses and four hats. I was very excited and overwhelmed. He took pictures with me and was very sweet.