Jake Picking plays Rock Hudson in Hollywood, a new Netflix miniseries from Ryan Murphy.
In an interview with OprahMag.com, Picking opened up about feeling Hudson's presence on set.
Hollywood opens at the start of Hudson's career, fresh off the bus from Illinois. Like his character, Picking is also a star on the rise. The 28-year-old has appeared in a few flicks, like Blockers, Patriot's Day, and most recently, Horse Girl. However, as one viewing of Hollywood makes obvious, Picking has a bright future, and a long IMBD page, ahead.
Constrained by fame and societal restrictions, Hudson was unable to live freely as a gay man. Hudson's agent, Henry Willson, even arranged a three-year marriage to secretary Phyllis Gates to keep rumors about Hudson's sexuality at bay. In 1985, at the age of 59, Hudson died of complications from HIV/AIDS.
Picking tells OprahMag.com that playing the real-life figure in the Ryan Murphy series was a "daunting" endeavor. "He's a hero in my mind," Picking says. "He had to deal with the tragedy of not feeling like you can be yourself, and feeling ostracized."
An exercise in revisionist history, Hollywood imagines another path the Giant actor's life could have taken. Essentially, the miniseries asks: What if Hudson hadn't had to hide his identity?
Here's everything we know about Jake Picking, the man bringing this portrayal to life.
Chances are, you've already seen Jake Picking in a movie.
Picking's first film role came in the 2013 coming-of-age drama The Way Way Back. Since then, the Massachusetts-born actor appeared in a number of popular movies, like Blockers, Patriot's Day, and the action film Sicario: Day of the Soldado.
Compared to his vulnerable performance in Hollywood, Picking is practically unrecognizable compared in Goat, an acclaimed 2016 drama about frat house hazing. Picking played pledge master Dixon, who torments Nick Jonas's character.
Another highlight from Picking's seven-year-long acting career? Picking flaunting his six-pack in the raunchy comedy Dirty Grandpa.
A post shared by Jake Picking (@jakepicking) on Jan 1, 2016 at 4:28pm PST
His rap skills are on display in the movie Horse Girl.
Like his Boston compatriot Mark Wahlberg, Picking can also drop a beat. In an interview with WWD, Picking revealed he's been rapping since high school. Most of his 50 tracks will remain hidden on his computer hard drive—but not all.
A few of Picking's original raps, like the song "Hollywood Kills," are included in the 2019 indie movie Horse Girl. Currently on Netflix, Horse Girl is a thriller starring Alison Brie. Picking plays an Enterprise Rent-a-Car employee with a penchant for wordplay.
If you're curious (and how couldn't you be?), scroll to the last video in Picking's Instagram series to hear him rap.
A post shared by Jake Picking (@jakepicking) on Feb 18, 2020 at 8:43am PST
We can't tell if he's in a relationship.
Judging by his Instagram and red carpet appearances, Picking does not appear to be in a public relationship. However, back in 2018, Picking brought influencer Fiona Barron as his date to the film premiere of Blockers—and gave her a very public kiss.
He unwinds by watching classic Hollywood movies.
After moving to Los Angeles, Picking went through a period of loneliness. According to an interview with WWD, Picking coped by escaping into old films.
“I remember going through a nocturnal time where it’d be all through the night watching black-and-white movies. Forties, Fifties, Paul Newman, those are the guys I really looked up to," Picking said.
Picking was especially excited to play Hudson in Hollywood, a love letter to that era of filmmaking era. "That’s why I like playing Rock Hudson. I was cognizant of him already,” he continued.
Picking felt Rock Hudson's presence on set.
But not in a spooky afterlife kind of way. While speaking to OprahMag.com, Picking opened up about the "gravity" of playing a real-life figure.
"You almost feel judging, or—maybe [Hudson] is watching. I had to remind myself what Ryan Murphy said: ‘We’re paying homage to his legacy, capturing his essence throughout this,’" Picking says.
A post shared by Jake Picking (@jakepicking) on Mar 19, 2020 at 10:32am PDT
He played ice hockey at NYU.
In his pre-acting days, he was a forward for New York University's ice hockey team. Here’s proof.
— NYU Ice Hockey (@NYUIceHockey) September 26, 2016
Foreshadowing his career as an actor, Picking also appeared in a hockey-themed commercial that aired during NHL games.
A Top Gun reboot is on the horizon.
Need another reason to look forward to Top Gun: Maverick, the reboot of Tom Cruise's iconic 1986 action flick? Here you go: Picking will appear in the movie, alongside Cruise, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly, and Miles Teller.
And now, you can bask in his Instagram.
Picking posts under @jakepicking, and, uh, it's worth a follow.
A post shared by Jake Picking (@jakepicking) on Apr 22, 2018 at 6:15pm PDT
Trust us—it'll brighten up your news feed.
A post shared by Jake Picking (@jakepicking) on Jul 2, 2018 at 3:25pm PDT
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