A Conversation with Jessie Godderz

(Photo courtesy of Jessie Godderz)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is a privilege to welcome actor and professional wrestler Jessie “Mr. Pec-Tacular” Godderz to Jake’s Take.

Jessie first stepped into the public eye when he entered the Big Brother house in 2008 during the CBS Reality TV competition’s tenth anniversary season.  He returned to compete in Big Brother 11 and currently holds the record for the most annual appearances of any Reality Show Star on any primetime competition series in history.

He took his Big Brother experience and carved his own path in the entertainment industry. While he entertained wrestling fans through Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and other various organizations, Jessie appeared on various web dramas including Tainted Dreams and New Dogs, Old Tricks.  He also made headlines when he teamed up with singer-songwriter and 98 Degrees member Jeff Timmons to record “The Girl is With Me,” which caught the attention of various worldwide entertainment media outlets.  

In this edition of A Conversation, Jessie reflected on his Big Brother experience, spoke about participating in the New Dogs, Old Tricks filming process, and revealed if he and Jeff would team up for a new music collaboration.

Jacob Elyachar: 2019 marks your eleventh anniversary being associated with Big Brother. You had the unique opportunity to play the game twice. How were your two experiences similar and different?

Jessie Godderz: When I was a player on Big Brother, I had the time of my life and made some incredible memories. On Big Brother 10, I was brand new to the show and while I had been a huge fan of the series in the past, it’s still a lot different watching on TV than playing the game so I basically just had to learn the nuances as I went along.

When I returned for Big Brother 11 however, I was a lot more familiar with everything, so I adjusted my game a bit and took a little more of a backseat in the beginning so as to not make as many waves because I learned from experience how to best maneuver through the game. I probably performed overall much better game-wise in Season 11 than Season 10.

I also made lifelong friends during both seasons and they were the most amazing experiences I could ever have on any television show. Big Brother is Family. BEST SHOW in the world. Those are not just words, they are facts. Who is my family? None other than THE MAN himself Chris Roach, Robyn Kass, Rich Meehan, Allison Grodner, Don Wollman, Shawn Laws O’Neil, Heath Luman, Jordan Kranis, Clayton Halsey and of course, our show’s host, the One and Only Julie Chen!!!

By the way, to this day, I get stopped on the street by BB fans all the time who tell me that “Keesha’s Birthday” during Big Brother 10 was the most hysterical, ridiculous, over the top fight in the history of reality television. Everyone got involved and it became a farce like an SNL skit. That’s truly one for the ages.

Jacob Elyachar: The Big Brother fan base has asked producers for a second All-Stars season. If they asked back for a Big Brother: All-Stars 2 season, would you participate? Also, since you have made numerous guest appearances on the show, would you have an advantage since you saw a majority of the houseguests perform?

Jessie Godderz: Would I come back for an All-Stars 2? HECK YEAH!! (Laughs) My experiences on the show were AMAZING and I would go back in a heartbeat. Less than a heartbeat if possible. (Laughs) As for having an advantage, I do not think I would have. When I return for surprise guest appearances, I am only with the houseguests for a few hours and we have minimal interaction, so I basically do not know or see anything more than anyone else sees on television. So there really would not be any kind of advantage.

Please let me just add that I am absolutely honored to hold the record for having the most number of annual appearances on Big Brother than any other houseguest in history with 11. 

I also hold the record for having the most annual appearances of any Reality Show Star on any prime time competition series in history (also at 11):

BB10: Player

BB11: Player

BB12: Pandora’s Box

BB13: Pandora’s Box

BB14: Pandora’s Box

BB16: Special Press Day Episode for CBS.com

BB17: Bowlerina Veto Comp Host

BB18: Dunk a Hunk Luxury Comp Host

BB19: BB Revengers Movie Trailer Star

Celeb BB: Song & Dance Number Cameo

BB20: Space PECS Veto Comp Host

The long-awaited Season 2 of Celebrity Big Brother premieres Monday, January 21st. ONLY CBS!!! I cannot wait.

Jacob Elyachar: What are some of the biggest professional challenges you faced throughout your career? How did you overcome those obstacles?

Jessie Godderz: I have been very fortunate in my career that I have not encountered too many obstacles as of yet. I guess the main obstacle that I’ve had to face so far is because of my size and my physique, people may sometimes get the wrong impression of me (that I could be standoffish) but once they meet me and get to know me a bit better, that usually changes pretty quickly.

Evan McLaine (Jessie Godderz) flexes his 20-inch bicep to an admirer in “New Dogs, Old Tricks.” (Photo courtesy of Jessie Godderz)

Jacob Elyachar: Last year was a major year for you as you starred in the Amazon original series New Dog, Old Tricks. What was your favorite part of the filming process?

Jessie Godderz: Filming New Dogs, Old Tricks was AWESOME!! My favorite part of the filming process was getting to work with two of my close friends from CBS’ Big Brother, Cody Calafiore and Paulie Calafiore (a.k.a. The #CalBros) on a scripted series of this nature. They are both so ridiculously, incredibly talented. It was so much fun!!

The series is a spinoff of the mega-hit Sony Pictures Television feature film What Happened, Last Night and is created, directed and produced by a good friend of mine, THE BRILLIANT Candy Cain from Gemelli Films. I play the show’s top jock Evan McLaine!  The first nine episodes of New Dogs, Old Tricks: Season One were recently released on Amazon and I could not be more proud of the series. What a tremendous honor it is to be part of this amazing production. 

Plus, it has a star-studded cast. In addition to Cody & Paulie, New Dogs, Old Tricks stars Clayton Snyder, Shelley Regner, Eric Roberts, Clay Aiken and many others.

Also, I just want to add that you could currently see me starring in season two of another uber-successful Amazon series…the multiple Daytime Emmy Award-nominated dramedy Tainted Dreams! I play leading man Dylan Buckwald. That series stars some of THE BIGGEST legends in daytime drama history such as Alicia Minshew, Austin Peck, Kelley Menighan Hensley, Walt Willey, Terri Ivens, Grant Aleksander, Bobbie Eakes, Natalia Livingston and many, many more!

The series is created and produced by THE EXTRAORDINARY Sonia Blangiardo (who is one of my closest friends). She’s also currently Director of NBC’s Days Of Our Lives, and was previously Director of ABC’s General Hospital, CBS’ As The World Turns, and Producer of ABC’s All My Children and One Life to Live.

(Photo courtesy of Jessie Godderz)

Jacob Elyachar: You also worked with Jeff Timmons on “The Girl is With Me.” How did that collaboration come about? Would you two work together on another song?

Jessie Godderz: Yes!!! Yes!! And Yes!!! Jeff is AMAZING! It was an incredible honor and privilege working with such a legendary music superstar on this project. Jeff is an absolutely extraordinary artist in every sense of the word. Just a phenomenal person all the way around. 

I actually met Jeff a few years ago through LinkedIn. He asked me to host his Men Of The Strip show at that time. The timing did not work out for that specific project, but we kept in touch and then last year, Jeff suggested that we collaborate on a song together. I had not sung since high school choir but ultimately decided to give it a shot…and it went incredibly well.

Like I never dreamed we would have so much success with it. Our music video actually went viral less than a week after it premiered!!! The video was produced by Sonia Blangiardo’s production company, the Usual BS Productions producers (and very close friends) Brandon Goins, Bryan Edwards, Tee Cicala, and James Long! I owe them the world, they did an unbelievably awesome job.

We received press all around the world including India, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Here is just a sample: https://forums.jokersupdates.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=BBAlumni&Number=28176360&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&rc=&fpart=1

Let me also add that the incredible Morgan Willet co-stars in our music video with us! She was PHENOMENAL! She was the winner of Big Brother Over the Top and currently stars on MTV’s Ex on the Beach. She was personally recommended for the video by BB legend (and a good friend of mine): Rachel Reilly. 

Collaborating with Jeff on the single and on the video was one of the most incredible experiences in my entire life and we have become good friends ever since. I cannot wait to work together again, and yes, we have discussed the possibility of re-teaming on another song and it’s definitely something we would both like to do soon.  In fact, Craig Fechter (one of the BRILLIANT writers of “The Girl is With Me”) even already to us that he had another idea for our next video so it’s definitely something I really want to do.  Jeff and I are also talking about the possibility of working together on other projects outside of music. We make an unbeatable team and fans seem to agree.

Jacob Elyachar: If you had the opportunity to meet with athletes who want to enter the entertainment industry, what advice would you share with them?

Jessie Godderz: My best advice would be to develop your own niche so that you can stand out from the crowd. Use your attributes to your advantage. Concentrate on trying out for the offbeat, irreverent roles and try to make a name for yourself that way. It is sort of the nontraditional path I followed to gain success and notoriety and it has worked wonders for me. I would even say, it was PEC-tacular!!! Come on now, you did not think I’d go through a whole interview without getting that in, did you??? (Laughs)

For more information about Jessie, visit his website! You can also connect with Jessie on social media. Visit his Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube channels.  

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar