Knoxville actor Jake Thomas to star on N.C.I.S.

Beth KinnaneFarragut, Our Town Arts

Veteran Knoxville actor Jake Thomas returns to a living room near you on Monday, March 4, with a guest appearance on the hit CBS drama N.C.I.S. The series’ newest season premiered Feb. 12.

Thomas has been regularly cast in procedurals like N.C.I.S. throughout his career, appearing in shows like S.W.A.T., C.S.I.: NY and Criminal Minds. Cast against type, he mostly played bad guys in those episodes. But this time around, he gets to put on his protagonist hat.

Jake Thomas

“Often I’ve played the guy they never saw coming,” Thomas said. “But it’s refreshing to be a good guy for a change,” adding that he’s one of a handful of actors to return to the series playing a different character. His first appearance was in 2012.

He snagged the role on his third audition of the new year and wrapped the episode at the end of January. It was a relief following the strikes of the Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America. Those occurred just as Hollywood was really getting back to normal following the long delays and, in some cases, full stops caused by the Covid pandemic.

“I’m very fortunate that I was able to weather the storm of the strike. It was a very trying time for everyone in the industry, and I am grateful to all the crew members out there who stuck it out with us, especially following something like Covid,” he said. “People are very excited to be back to work.”

Now 34 years old, the Farragut High School alumnus has been at this Hollywood thing for nearly 30 years. When just a child, he accompanied his mom, TV reporter and writer Simms (Kim) Thomas, on a trip to Los Angeles where she had a meeting with her agent. Dad is writer, promoter, radio personality, actor and former county commissioner, Bob Thomas

Jake’s childhood dream was to be a stand-up comedian, and he would practice his routine on any captive audience, in this case the agent’s receptionist. His antics caught the agent’s eye, who then recommended Jake sign on with the youth department.

“I can’t remember if my jokes were all that funny or not. I was 6,” he said. “But I fully committed to my delivery.”

Jake Thomas and Hilary Duff in Lizzie McGuire (Photo credit: Disney)

His career started with commercials, some that went national. For the millennial set, he will be well remembered for his role as little brother Matt on the Disney channel series Lizzie McGuire as well as The Lizzie McGuire Movie. His other film credits include The Cell, Baja and A.I. Artificial Intelligence, for which he won a Young Artist Award for his supporting role.

Speaking of film, he’ll be featured in Holly by Nightfall which is currently in post-production and should debut later this year. He’s also playing the main character in a new video game, but that’s all he can say about that project for now. He also wrote and directed a short film which he hopes to premiere in the next month or two.

In his spare time, the actor said has “too many hobbies” and loves to do his own home improvement projects. He’s very outdoorsy, loves to hike and hit the gym. He’s also a big fan of naps and hanging out with his two cats. He comes back as often as his schedule allows, saying, “Knoxville will always be home.”

Catch Jake on CBS Monday, March 4, at 9 p.m.

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