Miami actor Blake Jenner goes soul searching in a buzzy new series for Netflix.
Blake Jenner wants us to buckle up. “You’re in for quite the ride,” says the Miami-raised actor of his new Netflix series, What/If, the twisted 10-episode roller-coaster ride (out May 24) in which a newlywed couple attempting to make ends meet makes a deal with the devil in the shape of Oscar winner Renée Zellweger. The combination of Revenge creator Michael Kelley and a moral quandary a la Indecent Proposal does not bode well for the lovebirds, and yet—even acknowledging the outcome of the 1993 film starring Demi Moore—the two still decide to take the leap into dark territory. “Everybody wants to think they’re invincible,” says Jenner. “I think this is a wake-up call, that there is no shortcut into anything worth having.”
Jenner knows that feeling well. Moving to Los Angeles at the age of 18, he decided to forgo college for a career in entertainment. While many recall his rise to fame as rapid—Jenner won the second season of The Glee Project, which landed him a role on the hit Fox show in 2012—the 26-year-old actor admits to feeling out of his league at the beginning of his career. “My first day on Glee, I was working with all these people that I’d watched with my brother at home in Miami. I kind of felt like I was a guest in someone’s house, trying to be on my best behavior,” he says. “It definitely took a minute, pinching myself until my arm turned blue thinking, ‘When am I gonna wake up?’”
With a thriving career in film and television, he’s not waking up anytime soon. After writing and producing his first feature film, Billy Boy, in which he co-starred with ex-wife Melissa Benoist, Jenner is eager to continue digging deep. “I’d love to keep creating things that I write,” he says. “When you’re laying something down like that, you have to really dive into everything that you’ve been through and everything you’ve learned, so you definitely get a sense of who you are. It’s like shaking hands with your soul.”
Photography by: Cliff Watts/Courtesy of Netflix