A graduate of The Old Globe USD Graduate Acting MFA Program, Jake hails from Spokane, Washington. He knew his career path early on: “It was either going to be baseball or acting.” But in sixth grade it all clicked. As the Woodsman in his school’s production of Blame It on the Wolf, Millgard’s tiny, relatively understated role sprung to life.
“It was the smallest part in the play and no one else took it seriously,” he recalls. Since then, this actor with 15 years of professional experience has taken on stage, film and television roles. Baseball? Not so much.
The self-proclaimed “acting supergeek,” says it’s all about “figuring out what makes a character tick.” Millgard’s never-ending character study is key to an accurate and rewarding portrayal. His first-choice roles? The “unlikeables.”
That said, this actor’s true north is “the ease and effortlessness” of the undeniably likeable Jimmy Stewart combined with the humor, breadth and depth of actors like John C. Reilly.
“I always like people who are very funny, but who don’t get locked into that.” Another rule to live by for Millgard is fearlessness: “I’m not afraid of them,” he says. By “them,” he means the audience.
A storyteller at heart, Millgard’s hope is to be remembered for doing what he loves. Fame, fortune and awards might be nice, but at his core, he’s still the sixth-grader relishing the applause and connection he felt way back when as the Woodsman. — Allyson Meyer ‘16