James Wolk is a remarkably handsome and talented actor, who first caught people’s attention when he played a teacher with Tourette Syndrome in Hallmark’s Front of the Class (2008). His powerful performance captured viewers’ hearts by his honest and emotional portrayal, and made people wonder why aren’t we seeing more of this new star right now. With his jaw-dropping good looks and abilities there can’t be any doubt that he will soon be back on the screen.
Playing a person with a disability gives an actor the opportunity to have an amazing performance, because it really stretches their ability to pretend to be something they physically are not, and make it believable. It also can present an opportunity to appear silly or clownish, and especially a portrayal of TS has the potential to do that. In Wolk’s case the illusion was perfect. The erratic nature of the outbursts was so believable you couldn’t imagine that Wolk didn’t have TS or that it was scripted to occur at the exact spots that it did. The other thing that he accomplished well was bringing the overwhelming poignancy that one wants in a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. He created such an emotional bond with the audience that viewers in the tough parts of the movie would want to just give him a big hug and let him know it’s going to be okay.
His acting ability aside, the thing that rates his inclusion here is that he not only has a pretty face, he’s got a great beefy figure that looks good when he saunters towards the camera, as well as away from it. There was a short scene in the movie with him in boxer shorts, but some shirtless scenes are much needed in any of his future roles.
Biography: James Wolk is from Farmington Hills, Michigan. Wolk graduated in 2007 from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance. There he performed in several productions, including The Laramie Project, a work about gay martyr Matthew Shepard. After college he did theatrical work in New York in off-Broadway productions, as well as a TV appearance on the daytime drama As the World Turns. A year after his graduation, Wolk got his first big break in Front of the Class. His youth and short time since graduation made his work in the movie even more remarkable.
Front of the Class is based on the autobiography of Brad Cohen, a young man afflicted with Tourette Syndrome who overcame his obstacles to become an award winning teacher, author and motivational speaker.
Regarding being selected to portray Brad Cohen, Jimmy Wolk said, “It mobilized my emotions, which makes it so much easier to act. When you feel moved by the story, you want to tell that story.”
Besides being an accomplished actor, Wolk is also an accomplished dancer. When he was a child, his father would play Frank Sinatra songs and Wolk would entertain his parents by singing and dancing to them.
In the Fall of 2010, James Wolk will star in the new Fox series Lone Star. See below. As seen here, there will be scenes of James Wolk shirtless. Link to all about James Wolk in Lone Star.
James Wolk in Lonestar in bed.