From Barney & Friends to playing Ben Gross on Netflix's Never Have I Ever, Jaren Lewison's infectious energy has graced our small screens since 2008 — however, in that time, acting hasn't been the only thing on Jaren's mind. The proud Dallas native is also a powerlifter, baker, and food connoisseur. Oh, and he also filmed Never Have I Ever while earning his psychology degree full-time at the University of Southern California. Is there anything he can't do? Well, get a tattoo, apparently.
Distractify chatted with Jaren to learn more about which show he would love to guest-star on, his celebrity crush, and more!
If you had to get a tattoo right now, what would it be?
JL: I think tattoos are super cool and I love when they have such a deep meaning. However, I don’t think I’d ever get one. I’d love to do a role where the character has tattoos so I can pretend for a little while, but I wouldn’t get one myself.
If you couldn’t be an actor, what would your dream job be?
JL: This is a hard question because I am literally doing my dream job, and being an actor is all I ever wanted to do professionally. In a different life maybe I could have gone to culinary school and opened my own bakery or ice cream shop after. Maybe I can find a way to do that in this life too… you never know. Jaren’s Bake Shop does have a nice ring to it.
What’s the best fan interaction you’ve ever had?
JL: I can’t even pick one. Each interaction is so special and unique. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would have gotten the privilege to play a character like Ben Gross. It has truly been a dream come true, and I am so proud and honored that so many people love him.
What’s your most-used emoji?
What’s your favorite color?
What’s your go-to-karaoke song?
JL: "Wagon Wheel" by Darius Rucker
Tell us about the best meal you've ever had.
JL: I’m a huge foody so I don’t feel like I can pick one… Some of my favorite places to eat at include:
- A jewish deli (say Canter's in LA, Katz's in NYC, Cindy’s in Dallas)
- KBBQ spots or hot pot restaurants
- Torchy’s Tacos
- Ice cream shops where the ice cream is homemade or made in store
- A great Texas BBQ place (Cooper's BBQ or Terry Black's)
If you could guest star on any show, what would it be?
JL: Game of Thrones. It’s already finished obviously, but maybe on one of the spinoffs (like House of the Dragon) or something. I love that universe. It’s so brilliant. That or Ted Lasso. I want to work with Brett Goldstein and Jason Sudeikis!
Shout out one of your favorite fellow creatives!
JL: Fellow Dallas native Cooper Raiff. He’s a rising star in the industry and is going to win a best directing Oscar in no time. I hope to work with him one day. He’s sensational.
Tell us about the first concert you ever attended.
JL: Apparently my first concert was to see Selena Gomez, though I was like eight and don’t remember unfortunately. My favorite concert was recently, which was to see my favorite band the Tejon Street Corner Theives play at the Troubadour in Santa Monica, and they were just masterful. Best concert ever.
Who’s your celebrity crush?
Share your top three desert-island necessities.
JL: I won’t cheat and say things like WiFi and a phone to get rescued. If I was genuinely trapped, I’d need flint to start a fire (shoutout Survivor for teaching me about that), some kind of hunting or fishing gear, and preferably a friend who is stranded with me (sorry friend). Loneliness makes everyone go bonkers.
What’s your No. 1 distraction?
JL: The gym. That’s my time during the day to put aside all my stressors or anxieties and just live in the iron paradise for two hours. I love lifting weights and am very passionate about fitness.