Interview: Chris Perfetti on Relating to Jacob and the Wonder of ‘Abbott Elementary’

Abbott Elementary is easily one of the best success stories of network television in recent history, the only broadcast series to be nominated for a top prize at the Emmys last year and now wrapping up a great second season ahead of its third round coming soon. Among its talented cast is Chris Perfetti, who plays Jacob, a teacher who’s all too aware of his whiteness – most of the time.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak with Perfetti about getting to play a character who is constantly a punching bag for everyone around him. He has a positive attitude, however:

“I don’t feel bad for him. One of the brilliant conceits of this character is that his instincts and his environment are constantly in opposition with each other. As an actor, that’s a fun thing to play. That’s all I’m really looking for, what are the obstacles to this human being’s life? I need people to make fun of him, because when they stop, I would imagine that there’s nothing left to do there.”

Perfetti also praised having talented young children around him playing his students:

“I typically find the experience of being on set to be mild to moderately painful. I work very slowly, and our show shoots very quickly, but I will say that being surrounded by our young actors has been an interesting balm for that. I think they just create an entirely different environment, and it’s really hard to get in your head when there are the most hilarious, adorable swarms of kids around you.”

Watch the full conversation below.

The season two finale of Abbott Elementary premieres tonight on ABC and the first two seasons are available to stream on Hulu.


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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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