Dec 16, 2015

Jason Gedrick

Born in 1965, Jason Gedrick broke into show business with The Heavenly Kid (1985), a comedy in which the nerd (Jason) wins The Girl with a little help from a dead teenager from the 1950s (Lewis Smith).  In the process, he bonds with the teen angel (and exhibits the usual 1980s homophobia), and shows off an implausibly buffed physique.

The actioner Iron Eagle followed (1986): avid video-gamer Doug (Jason) rescues his dad from Islamic terrorists, with a little help from an older pilot (Louis Gossett Jr.), who is distraught over the many kids that he has seen die over the years, and isn't about to watch Doug die, too. More buddy bonding.

Promised Land (1987): Davey (Jason) and Danny (Kiefer Sutherland) pursue an elite-working class friendship through high school and failed marriages.

Teen magazines paid some attention to him, displaying his dark, sultry pout and lean muscles.

Gay teens in the 1980s saw a pattern developing: his characters always had girlfriends but found meaning with guys.

The pattern continued in Rooftops (1989): a homeless teen named T, who lives on rooftops, has a girlfriend, but is also in love with a boy.  When his boyfriend is killed by drug dealers, T vows to use his dance-combat skills to clean up the neighborhood.

The pattern continued in Backdraft (1991), with Kurt Russell, and Crossing the Bridge (1992), with Josh Charles.

And we saw more of Jason's body in the nude shower scene.

I lost track of Jason in the 1990s.  He apparently moved into television, playing a college boy in Class of 96 (1993), a Hollywood star accused of killing a teenage girl in Murder One (1995-96), and an ex-con trying to go straight in EZ Streets (1996-97), plus significant roles Desperate Housewives, Luck, Necessary Roughness, and Dexter.  I haven't seen any of them.

But in 2007, for old time's sake, I saw Jason in  Kings of South Beach (2007).  He plays Chris Troiano, a New Yorker who moves to Miami to escape the Mafia and start a new life.  He opens a nightclub and takes bouncer Andy (Donnie Wahlberg) under his wing.

Andy is actually an undercover cop who must choose between his love for Chris and his job.

There is a palpable chemistry between Andy and Chris which almost moves from subtext to text.