Jay Seals very nearly became a lawyer, but he chose acting instead. It was the best decision the Hasbrouck Heights native ever made. These days, he's a rising talent in Hollywood, having notched a recurring role on Mad Men (as Marvin Woodman of Topaz Pantyhose) with the promise of much more to come.
"I couldn't be happier with my decision," Seals says. "Most actors, early on in your career, you hit a crossroads, like, 'What am I doing here? Am I making the right decision?' I'm doing what I love. When I wake up every day, I know I'm doing what I love."
"I was born in HACKENSACK HOSPITAL, spent time in WOOD-RIDGE and moved to HASBROUCK HEIGHTS when I was 7 or 8. I went to ASSUMPTION SCHOOL in Wood-Ridge until eighth grade, then to HASBROUCK HEIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL, and then I graduated from RAMAPO COLLEGE. So I am a Bergen County boy through and through. I have extreme New Jersey pride issues...in a good way. I have such love for New Jersey, and Bergen County in particular. It's unbelievable. I'm in L.A. now, but if I see a Jersey plate, I'm like, 'Roll down your window! Where are you from?' I want to talk to anybody from New Jersey.
"I don't come back home frequently enough, but when I do, I've got routines I've got to keep up. For pizza, I go to CUCINA D'ITALIA in Hasbrouck Heights. I love it. I've always got to get a tuna fish sandwich at HENRY'S in Hasbrouck Heights, on the Boulevard. My favorite bar to grab drinks at when I come home is BLARNEY STATION in East Rutherford. I was the bartender there from day one. My nickname was 'Hollywood.' All the Irish guys would call me 'Hollywood.' Half of them didn't even know I had a proper name. I worked there until I went to L.A.
"The beauty for me is that I've been blessed to be on tremendous, critically acclaimed shows. Mad Men is arguably one of the best dramas of the past 20 years, and some would say of all time. To be a part of that world, it's why I do what I do, to work on projects like Mad Men.
"Awake is a tremendous job. It's so smart and brilliant, and it's great to be a part of something like that. How good does it look for season two? I hope it looks good. It's a hard show for a lot of people to wrap their heads around. The numbers aren't great, but then again, NBC's numbers aren't great, so I don't know if that helps or hurts Awake. I think for people who've invested in it so far, they're going to want answers."