You Gotta Find Your Thing
From an Ivy league graduate turned engineer in a world infested by aliens, to a high school teacher accused of committing a mysterious crime, Brandon Jay McLaren has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry through the diverse characters he has brought to life on the big and small screens. McLaren was recently cast as a series regular, playing US Marshal Xavier Watkins, on the highly anticipated Disney+ series “Turner & Hooch,” an adaptation of the classic 1989 film starring Tom Hanks. In 2021, McLaren can be seen in Netflix’s highly anticipated drama series “Firefly Lane,” opposite Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke. Based on the bestselling novel by Kristin Hannah, the series follows the story of Kate (Chalke) and Tully’s (Heigl) enduring friendship from their teen years through their 40s — as they weather career ups and downs, love triangles, marriage and divorce, and countless dramas along with way. McLaren stars as Travis, a handsome widowed father whose daughter attends the same school as Kate’s daughter, Marah, and finds himself bonding with Kate. “Firefly Lane” is set to premiere on February 3, 2021. On the film front, McLaren worked with director Catherine Hardwicke on the independent feature, “Plush,” and he co-starred in the comedy-horror feature, “Dead Before Dawn 3D,” directed by April Mullen. McLaren co-starred in cult-hit, “Tucker & Dale Vs Evil,” which made its way through the film festival circuit after becoming a Sundance Film Festival Favorite and winning the 2012 SXSW Audience Award. McLaren first made his mark in Hollywood as Toby, in the DreamWorks smash comedy hit “She’s the Man” opposite Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum. Recent television roles for McLaren include starring in the Bounce TV holiday feature film “Marry Me This Christmas,” CBS’ action drama “Ransom” and CBS All Access’ and Jordan Peele’s “The Twilight Zone.” From 2013-15, he starred as Dale “DJ” Jakes on the hit USA Network crime drama “Graceland” for which he received a 2015 Golden Maple Award (presented by the Academy of Canadians in Sports & Entertainment) for Best Actor. Additional television credits include Lifetime’s award-nominated drama series “UnREAL,” Bravo’s “The Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” TNT’s Falling Skies” and AMC’s “The Killing.” McLaren was nominated for a 2012 Leo Award for Best Supporting Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series, for his work on “The Killing.” On the producing front, McLaren is partnering with Max Topplin (“Suits,” “Carrie”) and Arkie Kandola (“Prison Break,” “No Tomorrow”) to launch BMA Films, a content company that will produce drama, thriller and horror films in interesting locals worldwide. In 2015, McLaren made his debut behind the camera as Executive Producer of the indie film “Almost Anything,” a story about love, relationships, infidelity and freedom.
On the music side, McLaren regularly collaborates with his brother, Brent McLaren. In 2019, their first track, “Tints” was featured in “Ransom.” Capitalizing on that momentum, they went on to license their song, “I Know” to the Audience dramedy, “You Me Her,” and their singles “Sequel” and “All Yours” in another one of McLaren’s projects, “Marry Me This Christmas.” The brothers continue to create musically while also actively exploring new and creative opportunities to grow and become a force in the space. Their undeniable chemistry comes through in their diverse and unique sound – hip-hop/rap with R&B and Caribbean influences. They are planning to release their debut EP in 2021. Born and raised in Vancouver, McLaren is of Trinidadian and Grenadian descent. He attended high school at Johnston Heights Secondary, where he took theater courses and his love for acting was born. He also was a star soccer player, and he was offered (and accepted) a full scholarship to the New York State University at Albany to play soccer. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, and then moved back to Vancouver to pursue acting full time. Once moving back to Vancouver after college, McLaren booked his first real project, a WB series called “The Black Sash.” Behind the camera, McLaren made his directorial debut on the music video “The Valedictory Address” for ALMA MATER, reaching an impressive 40,000 views within four days of being released.
“I was trying to mimic these actors coming in who I really like or I really respect, but I’m doing their thing, and that’s not my thing. You gotta find your thing.”
“This is not a predictable business. So you just gotta have this wild faith and keep knowing that you’re doing things in the right way. It’s about the process and things will eventually, hopefully come together in the end.”
- WRITER: Erin McCluskey
- SOUND DESIGN: Zachary Jameson
- WEBSITE & GRAPHICS: Chase Jennings
- ASSISTANT: Elle Powell
- SOCIAL OUTREACH: Bebe Katsenes