Jake Johnson may be best known for his role as Nick Miller on New Girl, but with his role as Sergeant Chris Vail in The Mummy, he’s poised to make even more of a name for himself on the big screen.
You've likely seen Jake on TV or in movies, but how much do you really know about him?
1. Jake’s Movie and TV Roles
Jake has appeared in a number of movies, playing smaller roles such as in Get Him to the Greek and No Strings Attached. He also co-starred with Aubrey Plaza in the 2012 indie film Safety Not Guaranteed and the 2013 comedy Drinking Buddies, alongside Olivia Wilde and Anna Kendrick. Jake went on to work in bigger films like Let’s Be Cops, Jurassic World, and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.
His big break came on the small screen in 2011 when he landed the part of Nick Miller on New Girl.
2. He Had to Lose 15 Pounds for 'New Girl'
Jake told The Advocate the thrill of landing the New Girl role was quickly squashed by the order to lose weight. He explained: "What’s funny is that the network actually asked me to lose 15 pounds, and I did. I basically got told I was too fat for Fox. I was so excited when I booked the pilot, so my wife and I went out to get Mexican food and celebrate. In the car, I was already thinking about what I was going to order. I was going to get chips and guacamole, a blended margarita, a quesadilla for the table, and a chicken burrito for me. I knew she was going to get tacos, so I figured we’d do a little mix and match on that."
Things quickly changed, however, as he noted: "Then I got a call from my manager, who told me I needed to lose 15 pounds before we started shooting. So when I got to the restaurant I had chicken salad with no dressing."
3. Jake Got to Act Alongside the Legendary Prince
In season 3 of New Girl, singer Prince guest starred in an episode, an honor that wasn’t lost on Jake. Following Prince’s death, Jake shared an inside look at the kind of person he was, posting this amazing comment on Twitter: “Meeting big stars is mostly disappointing in one way or another, but that was not the case w Prince. He was everything I hoped he'd be.”
And Prince was a total New Girl Nick and Jess fan, too, as Jake tweeted: “In terms of @NewGirlonFOX Prince was a fan of Nick & Jess & asked that he help bring them together during his appearance. @ZooeyDeschanel.”
4. Jake Was the Inspiration for ‘Drunk History’
The web series (and eventually the TV series) Drunk History were inspired by a drunk conversation Jake had with series creator Derek Waters. His drunken attempt at trying to describe the story of Otis Redding’s death to Derek sparked the idea. Jake appeared in the very first Drunk History web episode, playing Aaron Burr. He returned in episode 8 of the first season and episode 9 of the third season.
5. Jake’s Wife Urged Him to Take 'The Mummy' Role
In an interview, Jake explained that it was his wife who wanted him to do The Mummy, as he noted, "I remember saying to my wife 'I have a chance to play Tom Cruise's friend in 'The Mummy' but I don't know if I want to do it' because there were a lot of stunts and I know that Tom does them himself and I didn't want to die on the side of an airplane for a movie.”
He continued, "And my wife said 'I have never said this before but I really want you to do it because I really want to hear more about Tom Cruise.' There is no PR team telling me to say this but he is genuinely just a sweet, passionate, awesome guy.”