Lake is a summertime family comedy that premiered on Amazon Prime Video on June 17, directed by Jordan Canning of Schitt’s Creek. The series centers on Justin (Jordan Gavaris), a biological father who awkwardly tries to get to know his teenage daughter, Billie (Madison Shamoun), as he shows her the small community around the lake where he grew up. When Gavaris spoke with Complex about the series, he described it as “progressive without feeling judgmental”, as it features a diverse cast and LGBTQ+ characters.
Although this is the first original scripted series set in Canada for Amazon Prime Video, the cast is made up of many recognizable actors, including Julia Stiles, Terry Chen, Jon Dore and Jerry O’Connell. While some of the actors are familiar with the world of comedy, most of the actors have primarily played dramatic roles, and their characters on Lake provide a pleasant surprise to fans of their previous work.
ten Jordan Gavaris – Degrassi: The Next Generation (2009)
Stream on HBO Max, FreeVee, Pluto TV and Tubi
Jordan Gavaris has proudly portrayed several gay characters throughout his career, including his notable role as Felix Dawkins in black orphanand like Sean in Freeform’s Love in Corona times. However, one of his earliest appearances was on Degrassi: the next generation as Nathan, a teenager who meets Riley on a dating app, which leads to them sharing a kiss in the woods, while Riley is still in the closet.
This story comes full circle with Lake since Justin de Gavaris likes a guy named Riley who is one of the only local gay singles on a dating app. Although Gavaris’ role in Degrassi was only featured in two episodes, the awkwardness of teenage love between Nathan and Riley in Degrassi can easily be reflected in the flirtations between Justin’s daughter, Billie, and his crush, Killian.
9 Madison Shamoun – All-American (2022)
Stream on Netflix and The CW
One of the stars of Lake is Madison Shamoun as Justin’s biological daughter, Billie. She has previously had guest roles in Blackish and #BlackAFbut her recurring role as Skye on all american showed off her lineup as a surprising new love interest for Coop, and a great addition to one of the best teen ensemble casts.
The character of Shamoun Billie on Lake might fit in better than Skye on all americanbecause she is very vocal on human rights issues and environmentalism like Olivia, and adds a direct commentary on the state of the world, like Coop and Spencer.
8 Julia Stiles – 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Stream on Disney+
Julia Stiles’ Emmy-nominated performance as Lumen Pierce on Dexter is one of his most recognized television roles. But the New York native is also known for the films she made early in her career and her role as Kat Stratford in 10 things i hate about you perfectly blends his penchant for drama, with light-hearted comedic moments, similar to his Maisy-May persona on Lake.
Stiles plays Justin’s conniving sister-in-law who is determined to keep the family cabin at all costs. Even though her strategies around money and property can be quite deceptive, Maisy-May shows her softer side when she supports her youngest son’s name change. As Kat preaches about feminism in 10 things i hate about youMaisy-May promotes openness and inclusion in her small town.
seven Terry Chen – Unreal (2018)
Stream on Hulu
From the moment Terry Chen walked out of Lake, his character, Victor Lin, seemed like the perfect treat for Justin’s eyes, until it was revealed that Victor was actually married to Justin’s sister-in-law, Maisy-May. Terry Chen has attracted attention with his roles in The extentand A million little thingsbut in Unreal he embodies a professional chef with dubious morals.
Unreal is a scripted series based on the drama of top reality shows like The single person. Chen plays Guy, a contestant who lets producers mistakenly alter him into a gay storyline, in exchange for a lucrative business deal. In LakeVictor and his wife Maisy-May go to extraordinary lengths to get the mayor’s approval for their renovation projects.
6 Jared Scott – Before Dawn (2019)
Stream on Pluto TV
As Billie and Killian Lin spend the summer facing their fears Lake, it feels like the start of an innocent teenage romance, but they have a complicated dynamic since they’re technically cousins-by-step. Killian is played by Jared Scott, who has previously starred in a few independent projects, including the movie, Before dawn.
In the film, Scott’s character, Jason Walker, gets a little too close to his teacher, Lila Kendy (Alana de Freitas), and the two start having an affair. Scott shows off his acting range as Jason, a darker and more complex character than the shy lifeguard he portrayed in Lake.
5 Declan Whaley – Criminal Minds (2017-2020)
Stream on Hulu and Paramount+
Opal Lin is one of the most outspoken characters in Lake, which is a surprising change of pace for Declan Whaley. The young actor currently plays Sammy on the wholesome family show puppy place on AppleTV+and previously played Matt Simmons’ son David on Criminal minds and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.
Whaley steals almost every scene from Lake like Opal, and her character’s passions for design and musical theatre, give her the determination to win the local talent show. Opal gets frustrated when things don’t go according to her meticulous plans, while Whaley’s character on Criminal minds is generally soft and discreet.
4 Travis Nelson – I Am Syd Stone (2020)
Stream on Tubi
Riley’s caring nature, maneuverability, and confidence in her sexuality make her the perfect partner for Justin, who happens to Lake fresh out of a messy divorce. Travis Nelson portrays Riley, and while he fits right into edgy comedy, he’s best known for taking on darker roles on shows like Clear.
Nelson also plays the main character in, I am Syd Stone. His character Syd is a famous actor who tries to separate his private life from his career. While filming a movie, he meets a lawyer named Matt, who surprisingly doesn’t recognize him. Syd decides to keep their affair a secret, which stands in stark contrast to Riley’s openness and honesty about her sex life in Lake.
3 Natalie Lisinska – Orphan Black (2013-2017)
Stream on BBCAmerica and AMC+
In LakeMaisy-May Vice President Jayne is played by Natalie Lisinska, who has had a successful television and film career, with dramatic roles in Mary kills peopleand The Handmaid’s Taleas well as her award-winning performance as Aynsley Norris in black orphan.
The image of the perfect housewife is an age-old trope, and Aynsley of black orphan and Jayne from Lake fall for it. As Aynsley becomes paranoid about her husband’s illicit affairs, Jayne realizes she wants to find a more supportive partner. Both women would need to leave their husbands to find success and happiness.
2 Jon Dore – Hart Of Dixie (2014)
Stream on FreeVee
Jon Dore is well known as a stand-up comedian, who had his own comedy sketch show, aptly titled, The Jon Dore TV Show from 2007-2009. However, Dore also appeared in a three-episode arc of dixie stagwhere he portrays an unlucky divorcing father named Charles.
His character on dixie stag has a few things in common with his character, Wayne on Lake, including his devotion to his children and his lifelong love for his wife, even after their separation. But while Wayne has an awkward, overbearing frat-boy mentality, Charles seems to have his life together.
1 Jerry O’Connell – The Big Bang Theory (2018)
Stream on HBO Max
The mayor of the small town of Lake has a big personality, which is why Jerry O’Connell was the perfect casting choice for Gil The Thrill. He makes a funny appearance and his character slyly accepts financial and sexual bribes from Justin and Maisy-May, in exchange for favors.
O’Connell also made a guest appearance as Sheldon’s older brother, Georgie Cooper Jr., in The Big Bang Theory. Georgie owns a successful tire business in Texas, and while he has a keen business sense, it doesn’t seem like he would sink as low as Gil The Thrill. in Lake.
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