Cedar Grove High alumn finds niche on the Internet

A Cedar Grove High School alum is finding his niche on the Internet.

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On Oct. 26, Cedar Grove’s Jakob Hawkins launched his web series, “Fake Henrik Zetterberg.”

Hawkins stars in, writes, and produces the series.

It’s promoted as a fish out of water story about a hapless misfit who dresses in full hockey gear.

Hawkins hopes the series serves as jumping off point to what has already been a successful young career.

The Cedar Grove resident first caught the acting bug as a child, when he was cast in the St. James Episcopal Church Christmas Pageant. At Cedar Grove High School, he performed in the school musicals. As a senior, his peers voted him “Most Theatrical.”

As he prepared for college, however, Hawkins assumed his acting days were behind him.

While attending Marist College, he skied competitively and sought a career behind the scenes. During his second year, he took an acting course out of curiosity.

“I thought that if I was going to work with actors, I should at least get a sense of (acting),” he said.

With the encouragement of his instructor, Hawkins continued with Marist’s acting program and hasn’t looked back.

After graduation, he moved to New York City and spent a year studying at the historic Actors Conservatory before making the audition rounds. He received mostly commercial and radio work prior to getting his first big break, a lead role in the 2007 film “Divergence” a performance that earned him a best-actor nomination at a California film festival.

Hawkins has since made guest appearances on the popular television shows “As the World Turns” and “Gossip Girl.”

“Fake Henrik Zetterberg” got its start from a resemblance between Hawkins and the real Zetterberg as noted by Greg DeLiso, the series’ director who Hawkins met and befriended on the set of “Divergence.”

Though he says he was obsessed with sports while growing up, Hawkins thought nothing of DeLiso’s comments until he picked up a Sports Illustrated while waiting in his dentist’s office. On the cover was Zetterberg, Stanley Cup MVP and star of the Detroit Red Wings. Hawkins immediately called DeLiso.

“I said it was too bad we couldn’t do something with (the resemblance),” says Hawkins.

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