“Fire Country”'s Jordan Calloway Was Once Evacuated During a Wildfire: It Hits “Close to Home”
In our Q&A series “POPSUGAR Crush,” we get to know some of our favourite celebs’ more intimate details – from their first celebrity crush to the best love advice they’ve ever received. This month, we’re crushing on “Fire Country” star Jordan Calloway.
On the surface, CBS’s new first-responder procedural drama “Fire Country” may seem to just be about a bunch of really beautiful people fighting fires. But the series is so much more than that – especially to star Jordan Calloway. While the cast is not comprised of actual smoke jumpers and the drama is fictional, the issue of wildfires in Northern California, where the show is set, is very real. In fact, Calloway, who hails from Aberdeen, CA, has been affected by them firsthand.
“I remember the 1996 [wildfires in Southern California]. That was one of the ones that we evacuated in,” Calloway tells POPSUGAR. “I just remember all the hills being on fire and burning. Or recently, when the sequoias were burning, I remember doing road trips with my family up there and seeing the sequoias.”
Having the subject matter of the show hit “really close to home” for Calloway was one of the factors that convinced him to sign on. “I feel a huge responsibility . . . [and it’s] a privilege to be a part of this project . . . having grown up with that,” he says.
“Fire Country” also highlights the people of the fictional small town of Edgewater, CA, and how their lives are affected when a convict and former resident named Bode unexpectedly returns, joining an early-release program helping firefighters to reduce his prison sentence. “Because that’s his hometown, as he begins to work off some of his sentence . . . it’s also going to be revealed that there are some skeletons in the closet for him, for his friends and loved ones back home, as they all begin to answer the question of where Bode had gone for the past couple of years,” Calloway says.
Calloway’s character, Jake, is a well-respected, up-and-coming firefighter in the Cal Fire department and one of the many Edgewater residents with an inexplicable tie to Bode. “I love the dichotomy of Jake,” Calloway says about his character. “Here you have an individual who has a heart of gold that wants to help people . . . He loves the people that brought him into this line of business, that have been parents, and father figures, and surrogate mothers to him. But at the same time, he has a hard time with communication . . . He doesn’t know how to ask for help.” He continues, adding, “He’s so worried about trying to do things the right way or trying to make sure everybody likes him . . . that he ends up at times hurting himself.”
Jake’s own skeletons may be revealed as he and Bode wrestle with their shared past, a storyline Calloway is excited to explore. “Guys being guys, we don’t necessarily talk about it . . . we don’t talk about our feelings. No, of course not. So it’s kind of fun exploring that [history].”
Calloway loves that “Fire Country”‘s drama isn’t focused on “who’s sleeping with who” (though there is some of that), but rather the real-life turmoil and challenges that come with being a first responder in a small town where everyone knows everyone. “What are some of the medical or heartfelt issues that these people are dealing with, like loss or abandonment or even challenging questions as it relates to one’s spiritual beliefs?” Calloway says about “Fire Country”‘s underlying themes. “These are all the different things that they’re tackling, as well as putting us into the environment where we have to handle life-or-death situations. And you have to be able to put that to the side while maybe even working with somebody . . . that you may have the issues with.”
Check out the rest of the “Unfabulous” alum’s interview ahead, and watch him in “Fire Country,” which premieres Oct. 7 on CBS, with new episodes airing on Fridays.
What is your favorite form of self-care?
My favorite form of self-care would probably be [the video game] “War Zone,” a back massage, or rum raisin ice cream. There you go . . . And anime. I’m a big nerd.
Favorite thing to cook?
Oh, that’s a tough one. OK. It’s fast: I guess my spaghetti.
What is your go-to cologne?
Dolce & Gabbana.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs all day. Dogs. Dogs, dogs, dogs. In case you didn’t know: more dogs.
What is your ideal first date?
Ideal first date? Why not a nice coffee? Go out for coffee. I mean, I’m in a relationship now, so I don’t really know. Coffee? Is that a thing still? I don’t know. There you go.
Most memorable fan encounter?
I would probably say it was at . . . one of the Dragon Cons that I went to for “Black Lightning.” One of the kids that came up, he was dressed as one of my favorite anime show [characters], and oh, he was just awesome. He was a great kid. Really, really good kid.
What is your go-to movie-night movie?
Best trip you’ve ever been on?
Do you like to get dressed up or do you like wearing comfy clothes?
I like wearing comfy clothes. But man, give me an event to go to in a suit, and I’ll show out. I will show out now.