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Jackson Hurst revealed to PEOPLE that he quit his job in finance in order to become an actor

By Brittany King
Updated December 19, 2019 10:35 AM
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Credit: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Jackson Hurst has landed his fair share of roles in various films and television shows, but did you know he up and quit his corporate job in order to pursue acting?

Hurst recently opened up to PEOPLE about his new role in the movie VANISHED | Left Behind: Next Generation (in theaters Wed., Sept. 28) and revealed just how far he’s come from taking on guest roles on Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, to portraying Grayson Kent on the Lifetime comedy series Drop Dead Diva.

Here are five things to know about the 37-year-old actor.

1. He quit his job working in finance to become an actor.

“I was old,” Hurst said about starting his acting career later in life. “I always took to it, but growing up I was more into sports and just getting into trouble. I studied business at Baylor … I did theater there, but I also played sports there. Even after graduating, I still didn’t know what direction to go, but I always knew I loved acting.”

“I had started doing independent film when I was living in Dallas, and then when The Mist came along, I was out of vacation days, so I quit,” he admitted. “I gave away everything and packed up my car and moved to Austin where I got Tree of Life.”

2. It was Tree of Life that allowed him to work alongside Brad Pitt.

“I played [Pitt]’s brother-in-law, so we actually worked together a lot,” he told PEOPLE. “We had fight scenes and arguments and Jessica [Chastain] played my sister, so we had even more stuff together, but I thought he was awesome.”

“He was a class act,” Hurst added. “We were shooting in the middle of no where and he was just awesome. He kept on throwing me curve balls … just to get some of that organic stuff flowing.”

3. The actor’s new film, Vanished, is based off a book series, but he prefers to do his own thing and skip the literature.

“I used to obsess over having to read the book, but now I just don’t,” he said. “I stay away from the books and just kind of do my own thing. It makes the most fun for me and I think it makes it more interesting for the character too. If you’re trying to match some image or fantasy that somebody has or the audience has, I think you’re doing a disservice to yourself and for them.”

4. He loves to travel with his family and build furniture on his downtime.

“I’ve been married for two years almost, we just bought a house in the Valley where I can work on my truck and my motorcycle there,” Hurst said. “I build furniture. I have a ’64 Chevy that I like to work on, and we travel a lot. I like to show my son the world and my wife and I love to travel.”

5. His adorable son loves to eat feet.

“My son just turned one and he’s crawling around trying to eat everybody’s feet,” the actor said. “Everyday it’s something new with him. We have dogs, so he will chase after them and when he finally catches up to them, he will give them a big hug. When we turn our heads, there is no telling what he’s doing.”

VANISHED | Left Behind: Next Generation comes to the big screen for a special one-night event on September 28 including an exclusive Q&A with the cast. For tickets and more information click here.