All About Jensen Jacobs
Loves to Run
How do you want triathletes to feel as they watch TRI?
I want them to feel inspired and supported. What is most important to me is how tiathletes in training feel as they watch TRI. Someone who might be training to compete in their first race or getting back into the sport unsure of their abilities. I think I relate the most to this group because my character, Natalie is training to compete in her first triathlon. She starts from scratch and goes through the whole process of pushing her mind and body like that for the first time, wondering if she has what it takes to BE a triathlete. I want people who may be questioning themselves see her struggle and growth and be able to connect to that. I want that to help inspire them to keep going and believe in themselves and know they are not alone and that it can be done.
Are you a triathlete? Do you plan to compete in a future triathlon?
I am not. I am very into fitness and I have competed in difficult races but not a triathlon...yet. Honestly, the respect I have gained for the sport through making the movie and then meeting and talking to a lot of triathletes at the screenings made me release how much time and focus it takes to prepare yourself for one of these. Right now, I am trying to throw that energy and time into building my skills as an actor, but I am not ruling out training for one in the near future. I like to challenge myself and I would like to be part of the amazing community.
Do you prefer running, biking or swimming?
Definitely running! I enjoy running and do it regularly. I LOVE putting on a good playlist and going for a run.
How do you want cancer patients to feel as they watch TRI?
My mother is a cancer survivor. I remember after she saw the movie for the first time, one of the first things she said was how much she related to Candice's story. To the credit of the writers and Shawn Pelofsky's performance, she said it depicted the struggle and the fear and all of feelings and doubts she experienced very truthfully. I think it was kind of cathartic for her to watch, to see her experience played back to her and understood and validated. I want that for and cancer patient watching the film. I want them to not feel alone.
In what ways do you personally relate to the characters in this movie?
Who does not relate to Natalie? Anyone who has ever doubted themselves can relate I think. I absolutely have not completed things or stayed away from challenges, because I let fear and self doubt get in the way. I still do...in my career and in my personal life too. There are times I have been at screenings and I HAVE been inspired by Natalie- as crazy as that sounds! A little reminder that we are not alone in our struggles with self confidence and our ability to overcome challenges that just seem to big is something everyone needs sometimes.
What is your personal journey in relation to health and wellness?
I actually had a very similar experience to Natalie. I had never been into sports or fitness growing up. In my mid 20s I decided to join a gym, at that time more for the sake of vanity. I started working with this amazing trainer, Sandra Yewdall, who convinced me to join a group who would train together to do a Tough Mudder. At that point I could not run a mile or barely do a push up. I started getting together with this group of people, all ages and types, just like the movie. To go on group runs and do different types strength training together. I will never forget that feeling when I completed a race for the first time. I ended up doing a couple Super Spartans with that group too. It was such a wonderful, supportive group of people. If it weren't for that team and completing those races with them, I never would have gotten the part in this movie. I actually got the audition because someone saw a picture of me competing in one of the Spartan races. A bunch of them actually all showed up for one of our screenings in Philadelphia. It makes me tear up thinking of all of them standing in the audience clapping and cheering, seeing how everything comes full circle.
What is your favorite scene, and why?
My favorite scene is the finish line scene. That is for more personal reasons as an actor. The scene involved Natalie running towards the finish line with her husband Rex, played by Jaylen Moore, pushing her on from the sidelines. As an actor, we are always told to be in the truth of the moment, but moments when you are REALLY there, completely immersed and connected are special. Jaylen was so wonderful to work with through the whole movie, but we really had each other's backs in that scene. I felt so connected filming that and it felt so true to me. I think that comes across on screen.
Do you have a special message for movie viewers?
TRI something. Challenge yourself. Keep going. No matter the challenge, know that a lot of time it is fear and doubt that define what we see as our limitations, not reality...You are capable of more than you think. I promise.
That Pretty Runner