On who influenced his life the most:
"Probably my mother - a lot. I kind of did what I wanted when I was
growing up and my mother always helped me do whatever I wanted. It was a
real kind of open atmosphere."
This interview was done in Boston, and his brother accompanied him to the interview. The writer, Darlene Arden, was impressed with both men, saying, "The Hexum brothers are tall, attractive, charming young men whose direct eye contact and easy warmth make them a delightful duo." And at the end she says, "The men they have become are a credit to their mother." Well said!
What is your favorite holiday song? The Christmas Song.
What is your favorite gift ever received? A gold chain a girlfriend gave me.
What is your favorite gift ever given? A gold-backed diamond (to whom is a secret!)
What is your favorite Christmas food? Eggnog, marzipan, and Christmas cookies.
What is your favorite style tree? A big Blue Spruce.
What is your favorite Christmas tree decoration? Lights - outdoors!
High School and College
On college: "When I first went to Michigan State, I was a biomedical engineering major. I was going to make artificial hearts and kidneys and stuff. I thought that was really neat. But then it wasn't fun anymore because I had to learn chemistry and physics and math. I realized I just really wasn't interested in it. It seems less ambitious, but I want to have fun, so I'm doing this (acting). I would look at all the graduate students down in the basement laboratory operating on all these mice and cats, and it just wasn't fun."
On studying philosophy, reading Aristotle and Thoreau: "I said, 'Wow, this is heavy, this is hot! Wow, I'm an intellectual.' Then after a while I thought, "I think this is bullshit!'"
On playing football: "I spent eight hours a day getting into shape in order to play, and I barely made bench warmer."
On being a disc jockey:
It wasn't a job I would've wanted to do forever, it would've driven me
up the wall. All we were supposed to do was say the weather and the
time and do commercials here and there and try to make up something
funny that wouldn't offend the program directors.....which was hard to
do, they got offended all the time!"
When Jack was in the booth, he admits he did get out of hand every so often, but his mischief was harmless....usually. "We would call people and I'd tape things that they'd say to use on the air. We'd also make funny phone calls to people on the air."
He was living in New York then, and had some friends "over the bridge" in
New Jersey who weren't able to pick up the station that late in the
evening, so Jack did something that was actually illegal.
"I didn't turn the power down because these friends of mine wanted to listen to me on the radio. It's like the signal goes on forever...it comes down through the stratosphere without the sun going through the ozone or something. You're supposed to turn the power down on AM at night but I didn't. I got fired for that one and I should have gotten fined too, but for some reason they didn't fine me."
How his looks influenced others: "Some people feel insecure around me because of my looks." But he's a sensitive guy: "I try to make them feel less insecure by paying attention to them and what they're interested in."
On his looks and his career: "Looks can often be an obstacle - in the acting business and in life in general; in terms of how people feel around me. But if you're really good at something and persevere, talent will win out."
Jack finds that the so-called "beautiful people" often are taken less seriously than their plainer counterparts. "Looks can be somewhat of an obstacle in the acting business especially, although it applies to other fields as well. The people who hire you sometimes think that if they get the looks they won't get acting ability. Or that a handsome man won't be a competent doctor or stockbroker or whatever.
But if you are really good at something and you persevere, talent will win out. I don't think a person's appearance can be used as a scapegoat for his lack of success."
"The face has changed, of course; It's matured. But the rest of me is much the same as when I was a teenager, for example. I always was real trim and into athletics."
"To me, the sex symbol stuff is not that big a thing. I use it for what it is: a hook and a catalyst. But I don't go overboard. There are a lot of guys selling posters and they come and go. I have to be careful about being stereotyped, of course, but I'm young, and the career is young.
He sounds sheepish about his physique. "It's not something that I focus my day on. It's something that's received, for some reason, an inordinate amount of attention.
(Um, maybe because it's delicious?)
On his future: "I'm like everybody else. I want to get married and live happily ever after." In another article, he says he'd like to have kids as well.
On his '54 Chevy: "I wanted to get a big, safe car.
On himself: "I'm white bread as hell, from the Midwest and all. I don't think I'm a real bad actor, either. I have a generally consistent ability to regard myself objectively. I hope to be open, friendly, considerate and unpretentious."
On passion in life: "I feel it is a great fortune to have some passion in life and an urgency of direction; it makes our whole being so much fuller.
On the ongoing rumors that he was gay: Rather than act angrily, he often played along, leaving phone messages giving the name of a gay bar and say, "Have him call me at the table, the regular one."
Ask him about growing up handsome: "I certainly wasn't real confident with girls." Long pause. "I guess that's what got me started with guys." Another pause, "and small animals."
Getting serious for a second, he explains, "I
don't care if people think I date a lot or a little, if they think I'm
gay or if they think I'm aborigine. Who gives a shit? I would rather
people didn't think I was gay, but I don't 'rather' it a whole lot,
and I've been to gay bars with friends and I don't worry about it."
"Gay I aint," he says, but admits to being unhappy in love.
On his musical tastes: "I hated rock 'n' roll until I was a freshman in college. Now I like it a lot. "
"I'd even love to be a rock star more than anything - I'd love to be Mick Jagger! That would be great fun.
On his sense of style: "I dress better today. I'm learning more, naturally. I see some things differently. The fun of getting older is not constriction of your world but its expansion. You understand more, therefore you can do more. Yes, I am happy with how things are going, but I wouldn't be happy if they didn't go any further."
On how he describes himself: "I'm a regular-type guy - real normal. My friends might say that I'm eccentric because I'm an efficiency freak - an extreme miser."
On the friends he has in show business: "I know John Stamos pretty well - he's a real nice guy, oh and Tony Danza too. Things are different when you get out of college, though - you don't hang out as much. I work and travel a lot so I have a lot of friends that I see a little."
On eating abroad: "I'm an American - hot dogs and Coca Cola and college football and all that stuff. I went to Norway once, and they eat fish and cheese there all the time. I was starved for French fries!"
On eating junk food: "Oh, junk food - I like chicken supremes at Jack-in-the-Box," he admits of his semi addiction. Pizza is another of his favorite foods, and when it comes to dessert, cheesecake is first on his list.
On spending money: "It's
very simple. I hold onto the cash because you don't know what's going
"I don't get a kick out of buying things, so there's no real sacrifice involved. But even so, I'm real careful. I don't go out to dinner a whole lot."
"I don't go to super nice restaurants because I always feel like they're laughing at me in the kitchen!" he chuckles. "They
give you these tiny portions and charge you $26! It just seems
ridiculous to me. I'd rather just eat at middle-of-the-road restaurants
- not fancy places."
On gold digging women: "I treat the girls I go out with like friends. I say, 'Why am I paying? I don't get it.' They say, 'Well, you're the guy.' I say, 'So?' They say, 'Well, because you make more money.' I say, 'Well, are you eating half of the meal? Did you see the movie? Then why am I paying? Because I have more money and I'm the guy? I don't understand that."
"One girl got in a bad mood because I went to pick her up in the Maverick instead of the Chevy. Then we went to a movie and I paid for it because it was kind of awkward. We got popcorn and all that other stuff, and I paid for that too. Now I'm getting in a bad mood. Then we went to eat something. I pulled into Denny's. She said, 'I don't mean to make trouble, but I don't eat here.' I said, 'Oh.' I took her home. I didn't see her again."
On the type of girl he likes: "I like strong women because I'm kind of tough in that way. I don't like people who don't accept responsibility. If they don't have what they want and they're not doing anything to get it, it's their fault; I hate it when they start dumping on everyone else about their terrible lot in life."
He doesn't fall in love easily, or even in major infatuation.
"Maybe I got a little burned out or something. There are a lot of
beautiful, stunning women out there - but that in itself doesn't really
thrill me. A woman's personality is much more exciting than her
He's used to admiration and has confronted some blatant overtures. "I had a girl in Cleveland show up at the airport in four inch spiked heels and an overcoat." He pauses for effect. "Yes, that's it. And six yellow roses. I've seen her twice. I get naked pictures and stuff in the mail. The crew get those; we've got them pinned up."
On getting serious with a girl: "There's a lot of stuff I want to do still, and I don't want to get tied up really. I don't think I'd make a good husband yet because I'm really thinking about my work now. Besides that, I'm still kind of young and not ready for marriage."
On romance: "I'm not very romantic. I treat girls a whole lot like guys. I'm very down to earth." And since he claims he's not very romantic, does filming love scenes which will be seen by millions of people bother him? "No, I don't mind," he grins. "It's fun to do those things because they're make believe. I'm comfortable with it, and I like it."
But when talking to this handsome guy, you find that he is old-fashioned and sensitive when it comes to his true feelings about love and affection. "I
like the image of the romantic, and that's one reason I love the
movies and love to act. But in real life I'm just not like that."
But he does have his soft-hearted moments. "When I really like a girl a lot, then I will usually do romantic things," he admits. "I used to write poems to girls," he blushes. "and I even send flowers and things."
Now, doesn't he sound like a romantic to you? He is also quite liberal about equal rights.
"She can call me up!"
On how he stays in shape: "I should probably say lots and lots of sex. Although you don't burn up that many calories during sex. It's only like a couple hundred. I once heard somewhere that you get a lot more out of walking a mile. So you say, 'Hey, honey, how'd you like to walk a mile with me?'"
On stability in exercise: "I'm not that regimented about it - it's much more fun that way, I enjoy working out . I'll run down to the gym and lift weights, and if I like the music I'll keep lifting them. But if not I'll go play basketball."
On why being in shape is important: "It's one of the things I have to do to maximize my opportunities to get jobs. I also feel much better when I'm working out. I look better and am healthier. I also lead a much more productive life. I want to live forever!"
A Quickie with Jack!
Hair: Sandy Blonde
Eyes: Light Blue
(Wait. Is that the best they got? Light blue? What about ice blue? Crystal blue? Adriatic blue? Make-you-run-around the-block-howling-in-agony-blue?)
Birthdate: November 5, 1957
Hometown: Tenafly, New Jersey
Food: Pizza, cheesecake
Color: Pink (He was teasing the reporters. It really was blue.)
Time of day: 10pm to 1am
Hobbies: Football, basketball, writing, going to movies, bowling
Actor: Paul Newman
Actress: Amy Irving
Music: Rock/musical comedy
Musician: Pat Benetar
Author: Norman Mailer
Books: Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence and The Old Man And the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Car: My '54 Chevy
TV Show: 60 Minute
(I seriously get a whiff of B.S. here. 60 Minutes is the show that stole ratings from Voyagers! I think he's having a laugh at the interviewers expense!)
Magazines: Time, Newsweek, People
Pet: Most dogs except poodles.
Article of clothing: My black leather jacket.
(What about those sad, worn, tan boots Jack? You know which ones I mean, in the top photo. You've had half your pictures taken in them, and you wore them on Cover Up!)
Hero: Art Schlicter
(All right, it's official, he's pulling our leg. If you don't believe me, Google Art Schlicter. There's the proof. Methinks he was sick and tired of the press by the time he was interviewed for this.)
Drink: Milk, orange juice
Q: What do you think is the first thing people notice about you?
A: My voice, because it's so low.
Q: What is your greatest fear?
A: Not succeeding, not doing very well.
Q: What is your ultimate fantasy?
A: To play a tragic hero. It's a bit self-indulgent and sympathetic, but interesting. In my private life, my fantasy is to get married and have kids.
Q: What was your first job?
A: Before I got into acting, I worked at some discos in NYC as a bartender and bouncer, as a singing waiter at Arthurs, New York. I also worked for a company cleaning rugs. I was always tired, had no money, and was waiting for auditions.
Q: Can you describe your idea of a great evening?
A: After sixteen hours of work, I get off at 9pm, go to a local redneck bar with the guys on the crew (Jack was a self-proclaimed work-a-holic.) A late dinner with a girl friend and maybe a movie or bowling. (All that after 9pm? To work a 16 hour day, he'd have to start at 5am, no wonder he didn't sleep!)
Q: Is there anything you hate?
A: Pretentiousness and lack of discipline.