Jason Caceres attends "MADE IN ABYSS: Journey's Dawn" North American premiere at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 on March 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Sentai Filmworks)

'Open To It. 'Jason Caceres Thrilled to Play Sex-Positive, Queer Characters

Frank J. Avella READ TIME: 15 MIN.

One of the delights in the new OutTV queer rom-com "Open to It" is the unabashedly shameless (in the best way) performance by model-actor Jason Caceres as the sex-positive flirt, Princeton.

Created by Frank Arthur Smith, the series revolves around a young gay couple (Smith and Tim Wardell) who decide to bring a third into the romantic mix. Caceres dives right in, complications arise (among other things), and mayhem ensues.

The thesp is a comic pro, but also adept at playing the pathos when necessary so that by the time the final episode of the season ends, the audience is fully empathizing with Caceres' Princeton and his twink-people problems. (Scoop: Season Two is currently filming!)

Jason Caceres on "Open To It"
Source: IMDb

Caceres got his start in theater and has appeared in many shorts, music videos, and web series. On network TV he is best known for portraying missing teen Jimmy Bennett in an episode of "Criminal Minds." He's appeared in Netflix's "Insatiable," Hulu's "Pam & Tommy," and the queer-themed film "The American Boys" (in the segment "Billy's Blowjobs").

Most recently he killed as Chayce, one of the leads in "Boy Culture: Generation X," the long-awaited followup to the popular 2006 movie "Boy Culture."

Caceres's social media presence on Instagram and TikTok is quite brash and sexy, with pix and videos showing off his many... ahem... attributes.

EDGE recently Zoom chatted with Caceres to discuss "Open to It" and his career.

Jason Caceres
Source: Facebook

EDGE: Tell me how you got involved with the series.

Jason Caceres: I submitted online. I sent in the initial audition tape... I didn't get to meet anybody until the callbacks. I did not think I was going to get this part because the other two boys that were called back for Princeton looked like they were straight out of high school. So, I was like, "Okay, I might be a little too old for this. I'm just gonna go in and have fun..." I think we were coming out of the pandemic... Frank was there with one of the directors and the production assistant, Troy, who's fantastic. He was like, "Alright, so, we're just going to keep our distance, if that's okay..." And in my head, I wasn't gonna get this anyway, so I was like, "Oh, I rehearsed everything sitting on someone's lap, so let's just do that." And Frank was visibly uncomfortable, and just started cackling. And I think that's, essentially, when I booked it... He told me later on that I was the only Princeton who really committed and went in and took my shirt off and threw it in Frank's face.

EDGE: Princeton initially comes off as a superficial twink, but, as the series progresses, there's a lot more there. I found myself really feeling for him. Tell me about creating him with Frank.

Jason Caceres: The funny thing is that Princeton was only supposed to be in the first three episodes. Initially, Frank had written it so that every three episodes there would be a different encounter with a different guest star. But throughout the process of shooting the first three, Frank and I got pretty close. He's one of my best friends now. So, we discussed gay media and what we like to see in our art going forward, and, through that, there were a lot of deeper conversations about these kinds of superficial, almost one-note stereotypes that we see often portrayed. And how this is how these people come across when you first meet them, but there's so much more depth to each character that we don't see... But wouldn't it be fun to explore why Princeton is that way? What else is hiding beneath those layers of confidence and security... because we're all multifaceted people. So, through those talks, Frank decided to keep Princeton on as a series regular and explore where else we could take his character. And I'm really excited for Season Two, because there's a Christmas episode where we see a completely different side of Princeton that's very tender, very sensitive. It's the most dramatic scene Princeton has, as opposed to his regular comedy bits.

Jason Caceres on the set of "Boy Culture:Generation X"
Source: IMDb

EDGE: I'm excited to hear there's a Season Two.

Jason Caceres: We have half of Season Two already shot, edited, completed. And the second half of Season Two we just finished shooting, so it is being edited as we speak.

EDGE: Let's speak a little bit about queer-themed content. How important is it for you to be a part of queer-themed projects?

Jason Caceres: It is incredibly important for me to be part of queer-themed projects. It's part of what drove me to this industry, because when I was growing up there wasn't a lot of queer-themed projects. The most I saw was "Queer as Folk," which I had to illegally pirate off the internet. I know why that's wrong now; however, as a 14, 15-year-old kid, I was starving for queer content...

There was a British show called "Skins." And then, Q. Allen Brocka franchises – "Eating Out," "Boy Culture," which I got to be part of later, which was amazing... And they were so essential to finding my own identity, and being comfortable with who I was becoming... So, it's so important for me to create a wide variety of stories going forward for generations after me to help ease the process for these kids a little bit – just realizing that there are people out there with similar stories... It's so important to show people that are struggling with their identity that everything does eventually get better.

EDGE: There's quite a bit of nudity in the series, and a lot of it involves you. Is that something that you're totally comfortable with? Or are you just that good an actor?

Jason Caceres: [Laughs] I'm very comfortable with nudity and my body. It's really funny, because coming on to this series I was the only one who had done nudity and sex scenes before, so the rest of the cast was, of course, a little nervous... It's weird being the only people naked in front of a room full of crew members... The room is packed, and you are naked and pretending to have sex. It is not sexy. That's one of the most common questions, "Were you turned on filming that scene?" No! There are 30 people looking at [you]. It is very technical. There's also an intimacy coordinator that's telling you what looks like real sex and what doesn't... I came in having done nudity and having done sex scenes... It's something I'm pretty comfortable with. And it's fun.

@jasonscaceres A few new poses 😇 #foryou #polefitness #pole #polesport #foryoupage #malepole #polemale ♬ Angels Like You - Miley Cyrus

EDGE: I saw this crazy TikTok video of you pole dancing.

Jason Caceres: [Laughs] Yeah, I started taking up pole dancing a little over a year ago, initially as a form of exercise... but I'm not a dancer. I have never really danced before, so it was like, "I don't know if I'm coordinated enough for it." But I work out six days a week. I weight lift. On occasion I do yoga, [but] I'm really not a yoga fan... I'm going to try pole dancing! Why not? Plus, I'm sure it's marketable -someone's gonna write some pole dance scene and be like, "I need a pole dancer. Oh, Jason!"... It's a great workout. It is hard. I have newly-found respect for strippers... Those women are athletes.

EDGE: You've done quite a bit of stage. You got your degree in Theater Performance?

Jason Caceres: I did. I got my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Performance at Florida International University, and then got my Master's of Business Administration at Western Governors.

EDGE: Would you say theater is your first love?

Jason Caceres: Absolutely. I grew up doing theater. I went to school for theater. However, I live in Los Angeles, and not New York, where theater pays about $25 a night.

EDGE: It doesn't pay that much in New York, either.

Jason Caceres: Oh, yeah, fair. Exactly. And I like having a roof over my head. I like having breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So, unfortunately, I don't do as much theater as I used to when I first moved out here. But it'll always be my first love. It's so freeing. There's so much more ability to explore a character than in film and TV, because in film and TV they're on a schedule, and everything costs money, so you've got to keep it moving along. In theater, you can rehearse the same scene for two months, and then move on to the next scene...

Plus, it's also very chronological. Whereas in film and TV you will sometimes start shooting the last scene of Episode Six and then go back to the second scene of Episode Four...Theater, I feel, is one of the only mediums where you can live with the character from start to finish every night and tell the whole story.

Jason Caceres
Source: Instagram

EDGE: What's your favorite career experience so far?

Jason Caceres: That's tough. [Smiles] "Open to It!" [Laughs]

EDGE: Okay, besides "Open to It!"

Jason Caceres: Okay, I have two answers. One, my first network show, "Criminal Minds." That felt like a success because it was the first major show I was on. I auditioned for that show six times over three years before I actually booked a part. It got to a point where I was like, "I don't even want to audition anymore. They obviously don't like me..." But the seventh time I actually didn't even audition. They called my agent and were like, "We're just going to offer him this part because we have so many tapes of him over the past three years..." So I didn't even have to audition, which was very cool. And then my kidnapper was played by Frances Fisher, who had previously come out to watch me in a play a year earlier. And when I came to the table read, she turned [to me] and was like, "Jason!" Oh my god, Frances Fisher remembers me!

Alternatively, what my favorite experience would also have to be is anytime I'm flown somewhere. [Laughs]

EDGE: What's up next for you?

Jason Caceres: We're going to shoot a special Pride episode of "Open to It." We start rehearsing, OMG, next week. It's going to be just a one-off special episode that I believe Frank is aiming to air sometime in June for Pride. And it's fantastic. It's going to be full of drag. It's going to be very funny. It's going to have some heart, and it's going to be slightly political, just because you've got to stand behind the causes that matter. And it's going to be directed by Laganja [Estranja], which is amazing and so exciting. She's a wonderful artist. I worked with her as an actor. I'm excited to work with her as a director now and see how she fits into that role. It's going to be a gay ol' time.

Follow this link to stream Season One.

Check out these pics of Jason from Instagram:

by Frank J. Avella

Frank J. Avella is a proud EDGE and Awards Daily contributor. He serves as the GALECA Industry Liaison and is a Member of the New York Film Critics Online. His award-winning short film, FIG JAM, has shown in Festivals worldwide (figjamfilm.com). Frank's screenplays have won numerous awards in 17 countries. Recently produced plays include LURED & VATICAL FALLS, both O'Neill semifinalists. He is currently working on a highly personal project, FROCI, about the queer Italian/Italian-American experience. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. https://filmfreeway.com/FrankAvella https://muckrack.com/fjaklute

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