Actor Evan Roe launched his acting career in 2014, when he guest-starred on the shows Sam & Cat and Saint George. He followed that with a role in the film Time Toys in 2016. Now, he’s starring in the new show Madam Secretary as Jason McCord, the youngest son of Elizabeth, whom Roe describes as “protective of his mother, but critical of her decisions while in office and snarky when talking to authority.” The shows stars Tea Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, the shrewd, determined Secretary of State who drives international diplomacy, battles office politics and circumvents protocol as she negotiates global and domestic issues. Tim Daly, Bebe Neuwirth and Zeljko Ivanek also star as regulars on the series. I recently had the chance to ask Roe about his role on Madam Secretary, what impact the events of last season’s finale will have on this season and his love of Game of Thrones. Check it out below!
What inspired you to go into acting?
I don’t think any one event spurred me to become an actor. I’ve always had this underlying need to entertain people – when I was really young, I wrote comic books and made little animations. I got into trouble at school for joking around. My ambition isn’t acting; it’s entertaining people. Acting is just the most recent form of that.
How would you say that playing Jason McCord has challenged you as an actor?
Jason’s an odd character – on the surface, he’s cynical and snarky, but over time he shows how much he genuinely cares for his family. I’m not normally a cynical person so sometimes it’s very challenging to get into a mood where I can casually insult parents.
What do you enjoy the most about the dynamic between Jason and his mother?
Elizabeth and Jason have very different ideas about politics, but as time goes on (especially in the third season), you start to see the similarities between them. Jason and his mother share a huge sense of political ambition, even if his are misguided.
In what ways would you say you are like Jason and how are you different?
Jason and I are both interested in politics, but he’s far more outspoken about it. He doesn’t seem to care what his family or friends think about his opinions and gladly shows the world what he thinks about this season’s election. I suppose, in that sense, I strive to be more like him.
What surprised and excited you the most about last season’s finale?
By the time season 2 ended, I didn’t know what season 3 held, so the VP nomination for Elizabeth was as surprising to me as it was to the fans. I didn’t know any more about Jason’s future than the viewers did.
What impact will the events of last season’s finale have on Jason this season?
I think the finale’s VP issue and this season’s election have led Jason to be, as I said before, much more politically outspoken. All I can really say is that it’s only going to lead him into more problems.
What storyline are you most excited for this season?
There’s nothing specific I can say yet, but Jason is certainly growing up and wanting to be an adult comes with adult issues.
If you could play any other character on the show, who would you want to play and why?
Probably Zeljko Ivanek’s character Russell, he’s an enormous jerk all the time but incredibly entertaining to watch. Miscast would be an understatement if I played him, but it would be so much fun.
What is it like working with Tea Leoni, Tim Daly, Bebe Neuwirth, Zeljko Ivanek, and Morgan Freeman? Who would you say that you’ve learned the most from?
Unfortunately, I rarely get to work with Bebe or Zeljko, but I really hope I can this season. Téa and Tim are the veteran actors I work with constantly, and they’re the ones I learn from the most. They’re both parents, so they know how families work; our family feels like a real one because we can draw from our real experiences. Morgan is on another level of directing. He knows exactly what he wants from a scene.
What books, movies, television shows, etc. bring out the nerd in you?
Richard Dawkins’ nonfiction, Game of Thrones, and Louis C.K. and Jim Gaffigan’s stand-up, to name a few. I’m a fan of a lot of things, but there’s so much media out there it’s overwhelming at times.