November 24, 2023
EDGE Interview: Rising Out Star Jason Caceres on 'Boy Culture: Generation X,' Playing Young & Never Getting Hit on at Bars
Timothy Rawles READ TIME: 5 MIN.
"I play very, very young," chuckled Jason Caceres in a telephone interview with EDGE. It was a throw-away remark at the tail end of the conversation about his role as Chayce in "Boy Culture: Generation X," but it may have been the most telling. The 33-year-old actor often gets roles that exploit his boyish appearance, which, even if that makes for repeated typecasting, still gets him something every actor wants: Work.
"Boy Culture: Generation X" is Caceres' most recent role. The film, directed by Q. Allan Brocka, is an anticipated sequel among the LGBTQ+ community. The first film was released in 2006 and followed a young sex worker named "X" (Derek Magyar) as he traversed through life, questioning his dalliance over devotion.
Caceres plays Chayce, X's young pimp, who sets him up with various clients – sometimes blindly. Seventeen years ago, it was Magyar playing the young hustler; now he's the middle-aged sex worker blindsided by modern kink and cosplay. Chayce, unlike Caceres in real life, is pretty much down for anything, as long as the client's PayPal transactions go through.
"I think what most interested me about Chayce was his carefree attitude and his confidence," Caceres says. "I like to think of myself as more shy. I know it doesn't seem that way by my social media posts."
But there is that side to him, and over 48,000 Instagram followers seem to love it. His feed is hardly conservative; it's filled with shirtless photos, erotic magazine spreads, and underwear thirst traps. It's a bit of a sinecure, but when you look as good as Caceres does, it makes sense to build upon those inherent gifts.
The real work comes from acting. Caceres might be most known for his role as the missing teen, Jimmy Bennett, in an episode of "Criminal Minds." Not quite the sexy role, but it got him into the mainstream. Before that, he was doing a lot of independent shorts and series to fill out his oeuvre. Playing a lead role like Chayce in "Generation X" was playing against type, at least how he acts in the real world.
"I consider myself a little bit more introverted than who I appear to be," he says. "So, the fact that Chayce was such an extrovert and so out there with himself – his ideals, his body – was kind of boring, in a way. It's not something I do in my daily life aside from, of course, you know, if I get hired as a model."
When asked about his relationship status, Caceres says he is seeing somebody, "but it's a little complicated." He still likes to go out, however, even that has its limits. His friends have a running joke about how handsome he is, but nobody ever buys him a drink.
"I know how this is gonna sound – I can already hear your eyes rolling – nobody approaches me when I go out," he contends. "I don't know if it's because I seem unapproachable or I have a resting bitch face, but nobody comes up and talks to me. Ever."
It appears that even in this modern generation, sexual freedom is befuddling; approaching a handsome guy is still too intimidating for some. Or, perhaps societal norms have changed since 20 years ago and people just respect one another's space.
It might be a generational thing, too. In "Boy Culture: Generation X," the age difference between Chayce and X is explored. The latter thinks the former's generation is hasty, while the former (in his haste) thinks X is too cavil. It is one of the main plot points, and that rift, and what's available to sex workers nowadays, intrigued Caceres when he first read the script.
"The fact that so much has changed from when X, Derek's character, was initially a hustler, who now is trying to get back into sex work, there is, you know, so many new apps," he says, "and the internet plays a huge part in finding clientele. The fact that back in the day, because it was a little harder to find, you could probably charge a little bit more."
In a testament to how young Caceres looks on camera he says that, despite the script, he and Derek are actually close in age. But he also says he's not Chayce's age, either, so there is a thin line between both generations in real life. "It's an interesting perspective for me," he adds, a little gobsmacked at his next sentence. "Basically, I think I'm referred to as an older millennial."
No matter the perceived generation gap, in the series, which takes place in modern times, sex work isn't portrayed as taboo. Some stories deal with lesbian cuckolding, first-time bottoming, and self-deprecation during sex. These sexual tastes have always been around, but Caceres thinks attitudes towards them have changed a lot.
"Even the generation after me, there's much less kink-shaming, there's much less need to kind of, like, hide sexuality," he explains. "It feels like everyone kind of leads with their sexuality nowadays; it seems to be a bit more open. It also feels like everybody and their mother has an OnlyFans now, so nobody really bats an eye anymore if someone's like, 'Oh yeah, you know, I'm a sex worker,' or at least not in Los Angeles. I live in a bubble, and I'm very aware of that."
It's been 12 years since he made his onscreen debut. He appeared on television in two episodes of a Nickelodeon kid's show called "Grachi." From there, he kept busy doing shorts, movies, and other television roles. Today, he has several screen projects in post-production. But Caceres is, at heart, a stage actor, "I grew up doing theater. I went to college and got a degree in theater performance. So, the stage is always kind of, like, where my true passion lies."
Living on the West Coast, he doesn't get as many opportunities to tread the boards as he would in the East, and since he has to pay his bills and keep himself fed, sound stages provide his bread and butter these days. However, had he limited himself to only doing theatre he may not have had the opportunity to do "Generation X," which, he says, gave him a new perspective about Hollywood.
"I don't know if this is gonna sound so corny, but 'Generation X' was the first set that I worked on for an extended period of time where I was basically one of the leads and was coming into a family that had already been developed," he said, recalling how the team had worked together 15 years ago with the first movie. "I was this newcomer that came in where they could have easily been like, 'Who is this kid? We're not going to talk to him, have lunch in the bathroom by yourself.' You know, because they are these people that I looked up to. They didn't do that. They were very welcoming. They were very helpful. So, I will take that with me going forward and try to do unto others as was done to me, you know; create a welcoming environment in every set."
"I can be helpful rather than a monster, which we hear a lot, and it's very disappointing," he adds. "But the sense of community and collaborative artistry that was created, I will take with me."
Caceras just finished another upcoming series called "Open to It," and begins working on a new horror movie in November.
For now, you can watch "Boy Culture: Generation X" streaming on Dekkoo.