Brett Davern’s won over the hearts of fans as Jake Rosati on MTV’s hit series Awkward, but the up-and-coming actor is more than just one good role: he’s talented on the racetrack and is a stand-up guy, too. Before tonight’s Awkward mid-season finale, BFTV re-connected with Brett so that we could introduce you to how awesome he is.
He called us up in the middle of shooting the second half of the show’s third season, which he explained is unique from the previous two. “Season three has a different tone,” Brett said. “With season three we had a bigger episode order. We went from our usual 12 episodes all the way to 20. This allowed for the writers to create this really nice slow burn.”
And in tonight’s episode, that burn is going to turn into something big. “The foundation has been laid and all hell breaks loose,” Brett teased. “It just gets so crazy [with] the twists and turns and Jenna’s love life. Jake and Tamara, they go through their own ups and downs. And of course it’s funny, like it always is.” (If you still have some catching up to do before tuning in, MTV has you covered.)
Playing the brainy and outgoing Jake Rosati, Brett is one of the key pieces of Awkward‘s endearing ensemble cast – and part of the show’s central debate as viewers argue over whether Jake or his best friend Matty should end up with Jenna. He enjoys interacting with Awkward‘s active fan base, whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or even in person. “Last night, we’re doing these night shoots and we’re in a neighborhood in like, Encino,” he said. “Right when we started filming, a little crowd was kind of gathering and so we got to go out and meet a bunch of fans. They just kind of stopped by and it was really cool to get to talk to them.”
“The social media stuff, I was lost in the beginning,” he added with a laugh, “but I feel like I’ve kind of figured it out. Getting that real time response from them, especially when the show’s airing, is just really cool.”
Cool is a word that can also be used to describe Brett. Aside from being an emerging talent, he’s a pleasure to be around. He’s social, charmingly self-deprecating, and not shy to say how much he appreciates the fans or his job. It’s clear that he loves going to work every day, even when he’s shooting until six in the morning. And having made his acquaintance during April’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, this reporter can personally say that he’s a sweetheart.
Which leads us to the many sides of him beyond Jake. Brett’s been enjoying a pretty interesting life of recent. “Being on Awkward, what it does is it opens up opportunities like Long Beach thing or charity opportunities, and a lot of traveling,” he told us. “Being on MTV, which is such a cool network, I got to go to Europe last year and present at their Europe Music Awards.” That put him in the envious position of handing out the trophy for Best Live Act alongside supermodels Anne Vyalitsyna and Isabeli Fontana.
Then there was the Pro/Celebrity Race. Not only did he get to help Racing For Kids raise money for Southern California children’s hospitals, but first-time racer Brett drove like a veteran and impressed his fellow competitors. “He was just good,” reflected Battlestar Galactica star Michael Trucco, whom Brett edged out for second place. “Brett learned a lot in one weekend of training. He made a really great move on me, and there’s a point where you just have to concede and go, ‘OK, you got me.’ And he got me.”
If you weren’t lucky enough to be in Long Beach to catch the action in person, you can watch the entire Pro/Celebrity Race on SPEED Channel; click here for upcoming air dates and times, and to find SPEED in your area.
For his part, Brett has definitely been bitten by the motorsports bug. “If any fans own a car racing team and they need a driver, let me know,” he quipped. He got to indulge his new passion again when he teamed with Awkward co-star Beau Mirchoff for the movie Born To Race: Fast Track. There’s no release date for the film yet, but you can find out more about it by visiting the official site or Facebook page.
It’s not uncommon for celebrities to be asked back to the Pro/Celebrity Race, so would Brett be open to returning to Long Beach next April? He’s just waiting for the phone to ring. “Let me tell you, I hope so,” he enthused.
For Awkward fans who are about to go into withdrawal, it’s the perfect time to explore the rest of Brett’s filmography. He arrived on the scene in a big way when he booked the lead in the 2006 feature film Beautiful Ohio, and that was when it hit him that he’d made it as a professional actor. “I had William Hurt playing my dad, Rita Wilson as my mom, Michelle Trachtenberg was my girlfriend, Julianna Margulies was my neighbor,” he said. “Here I am, this kid with no credits on his resume, as the lead of this movie. It was an eye-opening experience.”
He also has another big-screen effort on its way called Junk, which won the audience award at the Austin Film Festival and is co-written and directed by an old friend from his native Washington, Kevin Hamedani. “It’s a movie about movies and the indie film world,” Brett said of the flick, which centers on a pair of screenwriters who have a falling out, yet end up coming back together when one of their projects shows signs of life. “It’s just so cool.” On TV, he nabbed the recurring role of Lilly Rush’s half-brother Finn Cooper in the last season of the hit crime drama Cold Case.
But he’s more than happy to be known as Jake Rosati. Even as he continues to update his resume, Brett can’t contain his enthusiasm about being part of Awkward. “It feels great,” he said of finally getting to be a TV leading man. “The day that I booked Awkward was just a great day. I remember kind of jumping up and down for joy. I just love going to work. I love hanging out with the people at work. Connecting with the fans. It’s the greatest job in the world.”
Since he plays a high schooler on TV, what were those often crazy years like for him? “My high school experience was very normal,” revealed Brett, who graduated in Edmonds, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. “I was a theater kid, but I also played sports. I still stay in touch with a lot of people up there. I was definitely not as popular as Jake.” Yet given how talented, down-to-earth, and just generally good he is, Brett’s popularity should definitely be on the rise now.
Awkward airs its mid-season finale tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on MTV. You can also keep up with Brett on Twitter (@BDavv).
Photo credit: Courtesy of Toyota Racing