For Australian actor Adam Demos, starring in the Netflix movie Falling Inn Love was an uncanny experience.
In the film, Demos plays Jake Taylor, a strapping contractor who helps Gabriela (Christina Milian), a floundering American, renovate a dilapidated New Zealand inn. Gabriela and Jake fall in love while sanding wooden decks and caulking tiles.
Here's the thing: Demos hardly had to act during those construction scenes. Like his character, Demos really can renovate a house. For years, he worked in construction.
"It’s quite bizarre," Demos says in a phone interview with Refinery29. "When I started construction, I used to dream about being an actor. Then all of a sudden all these years later I’m on set acting, pretending to do construction and I don’t actually have to do it."
The set of Falling Inn Love even resembled the construction sites of his past. Gradually, the inn was fixed up by a construction team — only he wasn't doing the dirty work this time. "Filming is the opposite of being in construction. You have all the luxuries!" Demos laughs.
Jake Taylor is written to be the ideal rom-com leading man. He's goofy enough to sing during a road trip and capable enough to fix your house. He's tough enough to run into a burning building and sensitive enough to talk about his feelings. And his abs glisten.
Though Jake was written to be the perfect love interest, he actually is thanks to Demo's performance. Demos can give the look. You know — the look that indicates he only has eyes for one person. After spending an hour and a half watching Jake gives the look, odds are you will want to know everything about Demos. We don't blame you.
How did Adam Demos become an actor?
The 33-year-old actor was born and raised in Wollongong, a coastal city in New South Wales, Australia. Demos dreamed of traveling, so worked in construction to save up money. He took gigs in demolition, roofing, tiling, and at a steelworks company.
Through these jobs, Demos got to travel around the world (ironically, his first trip to New Zealand was for Falling Inn Love). Why not attempt his other dream, acting, next? There was just one problem: Demos had no clue how to start. So, when he was 23, Demos signed up for an acting course in nearby Sydney.
"I'd tell my mates I was working overtime on a job. The acting world was so foreign to our upbringings," Adam told Now to Love, an Australian newspaper. One of Demos' cousins is a performer of another variety — Tyson Demos is an Australian basketball player.
After that first foray into the acting world, Demos got cast in Australian shows like Home and Away, Rescue Special Ops, and Winners & Losers, as well as a play. Then came Hollywood.
“People from any walk of life can do acting,” Demos told Illawarra Mercury, an Australian newspaper. “I worked construction in the Gong and then I gave it a crack, and it all sort of worked out.”
What else has Adam Demos appeared in?
After a string of minor roles, Demos' big break came in 2017 when he was cast to play Nate Baldwin in the ABC Australia drama Janet King. On the set, Demos found out about a tantalizing role in Hollywood explicitly written for an Australian actor. He got the gig and flew to Vancouver to start filming season 2 of Lifetime's UnREAL.
Chances are, you recognize Demos from that role as the Australian dreamboat August Walker on UnREAL. August is one of the contestants on the fictionalized dating show Everlasting, the show within a show in UnREAL. He's a surfer who served in the Peace Corps, with an attitude at odds with UnREAL's manufactured reality. Rebellious and romantic, August falls for one of the show's producers, Rachel (Shiri Appleby), instead of the Suitress (Caitlin FitzGerald).
Falling Inn Love is Demos' first film. In addition to its being construction-themed, the movie offers another full-circle moment for the actor. Demos' romantic rival, Dean, is played by his UnReal co-star, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman.
As for what's next? Demos tells Refinery29 he's once again focusing on traveling. After filming Falling Inn Love, Demos has been back to New Zealand multiple times. The world, and surely more rom-coms, await.