Jaden Michael is the face of Prime Video’s newest hit series titled Shelter, which is based off of the book written by New York Times best-selling author Harlan Coben. J-14 sat down exclusively with the actor, where he spoke about his character, some of the “small changes” between the novel and TV show and so much more. Keep reading for our exclusive interview with Jaden.

J-14 spoke to Jaden prior to the beginning of the ongoing Screen Actors Guild strike, which began on July 14, 2023.

Jaden Michael On His ‘Shelter’ Character, Mickey Bolitar

ICYMI, Shelter premieres on Prime Video on Friday, August 18, and tells the story of Mickey Bolitar, a teenager who moves to New Jersey to live with his aunt after some seriously traumatic life events.

“Mickey Bolitar is a go getting go-getter who is into solving mysteries. He’s kind of a loner, but he’s not a loner because he can’t connect with people. It’s because he doesn’t want to,” Jaden told J-14 exclusively about his character. “He’s sort of shut himself off from society and he finds some really cool friends to restart his life and find new reasons to fall in love with himself.”

Jaden is best known for his role in Netflix’s Colin in Black & White, where he played former NFL star Colin Kaepernick. He also has appeared in Netflix’s The Get Down as Rafe, and other shows and movies like Blue Bloods, Gotham and Vampires vs. the Bronx.

harlan coben shelter jaden michael
Prime Video

The New York native explained that he learned a lot about himself while getting into Mickey’s character, which he believes is the ultimate goal as an actor.

“I know a lot of actors talk about, you know, incorporating something of themselves into a character, but I always feel like it feels so much more authentic to learn something from your character,” he explained. “Because that means you’ve completely understood what the character’s goal and arc was. And for me, I learned that I need to let go sometimes. And, ultimately that’s Mickey’s arc and the story.”

Jaden Michael on Book-to-TV Changes In ‘Shelter’

As Shelter is based off of the 2011 book of the same name, Jaden revealed there are “small changes” from the novel to the show, in order to make sure that the body of work is up-to-date.

“There’s a lot of small changes, but I think it builds upon what the book has already said,” Jaden revealed. “There’s a lot of things that the book is a little antiquated in because it was written 10, 15 years ago,” he said, adding that they worked to bring the show “into 2023.”

“That was Harlan [Coben]’s goal and Harlan was so cooperative and helpful with everyone,” the actor added. “So, you know, Adrian [Greensmith] or Abby [Corrigan], our other cast mates, they would come up with great ideas and we would just shoot ’em off of each other and everything just sort of developed naturally in that way. So, it wasn’t changed on purpose, but some things just felt more natural.”

The eight-episode series debuts via Prime Video on Friday, August 18.

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