Jonah Beres is an 18TPY original and authentic actor. He's known for his vunerability, spot-on facial expressions, elegant demeanor, comedic choices and the ability to be in the moment once the director calls action.
JONAH BERES - ACTING BIO
Beres started his professional acting career at a young age. He was only 10 when he took to the stage as the beloved young Ebenezer in the adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol, in the musical Scrooge produced by the Seattle Musical Theatre company. He started his training at age 6 when his parents got him admitted into Broadway Bound BB, a children’s theater group in Seattle (Exec. Artistic Director Jimmy Nixon). They offered full scale productions and performed live in theatres. A year later, his sister would decide to join and she was cast opposite him in the iconic roles of the sly "Rooster Hannigan" and zany "Lily St. Regis" in Annie. He had a confident stage swagger and a laugh-out-loud effect on the audience. He would soon get what was known as "the Jimmy call", a personal phone call slating him for lead roles in upcoming shows. His inaugural BB musical, Peter Pan, was directed by Gregg Gilmore, who studied under the late Sanford Meisner in NYC. Mr. Gilmore didn't know it at the time, but he was largely responsible for Jonah signing with a local talent agent after planting the seed with his mother about getting him representation.
In 2012, Beres’ film acting career would begin to take off, garnering him roles in several independent short and full feature films including Matts Chance with Edward Furlong (Best Dark Comedy Houston WorldFest) and Different Drummers (Best Family Movie at the 2013 Houston WorldFest). Beres developed an excellent reputation within the Seattle film community with directors and producers. Connor Hair, an award-winning independent film director, cast Jonah in three of his movies. In the same year, his parents would sign him up for an open casting call with more than 600 other kids at a department store in Seattle. Beres was selected by three eminent Los Angeles talent scouts to interview in Hollywood and would ultimately sign with Jeremy Apody at Abrams Artist's commercial division. Not long after, he would sign with their theatrical division as well.
In 2014, Beres and his family moved to Los Angeles so that he and his sister could pursue a career in the cinematic arts. Beres' first role was playing Johnny Keating, the son of an Irish immigrant family in the 1950's stage drama Corktown 57’. The world premiere original play was directed by Tony award nominee Wilson Milam and played at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For the next two years, he would have a succession of movie and television roles. In the summer of 2015, he started shooting the eco-thriller Strange Nature, a horror genre film by FX Guru Jim Ojala. As Brody, Beres acted as the son of Kim Sweet played by the late Lisa Sheridan, and grandson of Bruce Bohne (Fargo), The film also featured the town's mayor, Stephen Tobolowsky. The movie premiered at the Twin Cities Film Festival and was released in 2018. Shortly thereafter, he was selected as a cast member in Girl Flu alongside American Girl star Jade Pettyjohn. Girl Flu premiered at the LA film festival in 2016 and was released the same year. His next film was the feature movie Stephanie, a Blumhouse production. He played the character Paul, Stephanie's older brother, with onscreen parents Frank Grillo and Anna Torv. The film was directed by Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, Insurgent, Winter’s Tale) and released in 2018. In the same year, Beres played Arden in a beautiful story of an orphan boy who finds his voice in the AFI film ALOUD. The movie showcased his depth of vulnerability and elegant on-screen presence and would lead to a succession of AFI Conservatory films by other international student directors from Israel and China.
Beres made his television debut in 2017 as a guest star in the short episode series Small Shots, distributed by Netflix. He plays a cocky foul-mouthed boy named Hunter Goldberg, the king of his Barmitzvah party. Beres' other television guest appearances were TNT's Animal Kingdom as young Baz starring Ellen Barkin and TruTVs comedy series Those Who Can’t, known for having famous comedians guest star. Beres had a recurring role on the ABC series Splitting Up Together as Mason Wagner’s best friend Jules, who shamelessly flirts with Mrs. Wagner played by Jenna Fischer.
Last year, Beres starred in his first live-action film BALLOON by AFI director Jeremy Merrifield. He played the protagonist character Sam Wheeler, a 14-year-old boy who becomes the target of bullying, and his ‘me against the world’ mentality leads him to discover his super powers. It premiered at the Palm Springs International Festival and was screened at dozens of other film festivals. It won many prestigious awards including the top grand prize at Hollyshorts Film Festival in Hollywood, which automatically qualified it for an Oscar in the short live action film category. It was featured in the Hollywood Playbook as an Oscar favorite. In June, it won the top award at the television academies College Television Emmy's. In the same month, BALLOON was promoted as a series at SeriesFest, bringing home the Director's Award and an Honorable Mention recognition for Beres' acting at the festival. Beres was invited to promote the film throughout the year, traveling with the team to screenings, walking the red carpets and participating in live Q&As with the director, including at ComicCon in San Diego.
Currently, Beres is a cast member on the breakout original comedy series PEN15, set to return for season two on Sept.18, in news just released by HULU. The adult teen comedy starring Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle first debuted in February 2019 to rave critic reviews and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. Beres portrays the character Brandt, the popular, cool kid, douche bag Maya has a crush on. In the season finale, his character gets involved in an unexpected racy scene with the two girls. According to an interview with the duo, season two picks up where it left off. We know the first episode is titled "Brandted."
Beres was born on March 12, 2002, in Seattle, Washington. He is the only son and youngest of three siblings. He is half Latino. Beres attended public school for most of his academic years, except for a two-year stint at Brighton Hall. He graduated from High School with the quarantine class of 2020. For the most part, Beres keeps his personal life separate from his professional one. His Instagram profile with the handle @yupwet is more about who he is as a person and what he cares about rather than promoting his acting career. His posts are artistic and socially conscious with no captions so that people can interpret it their own way. He has his own unique style of dressing and visits flea markets collecting vintage clothing and accessories. He has an online store on Depop where he sells some clothing items. He is a film and music buff. His favorite movies are avant guard and he has a DVD collection of his hard-to-find favorites. He listens to all genres of music, frequenting record stores, and creating digital music that he will sometimes post on his Instagram feed.
Bio updated July 12, 2020 by Monica Barrera