Everything to Know About 'Tell Me Lies' Star Jackson White

Get to know the actor who plays Stephen DeMarco in Hulu's latest drama series

Jackson White may star in Hulu's Tell Me Lies — a seven-episode drama based on Carolina Lovering's best-selling novel of the same name — but in an interview with PEOPLE, he shared nothing but the truth.

In the show, he plays Stephen DeMarco, a college upperclassman with smarts and charm on the outside, but a deceiving darkness within. This leads to his entanglement in several relationships filled with toxicity and never ending — wait for it — lies.

Though the actor hopes he's convincing in the role, "I'm very opposite of Stephen," White tells PEOPLE. "I'm very talkative and really emotional, really a puddle."

He continues, "I share everything and talk about everything, and [Stephen] is very locked in and stoic. His survival mechanism is to keep everything in, don't show anyone your cards. And I show everyone every card, almost to a fault."

White also credits his character's "sexual ability" for helping Stephen navigate perilous situations, but shares that, while the scenes may be steamy, the process of filming them is somewhat more awkward.

"There's all these weird toys you've got to use," the actor confesses. "Sometimes you put these deflated yoga balls in between your hips and it makes it look like you're thrusting. It's the weirdest thing ever."

From his musical background to his transition into acting, here's everything to know about White.

Tell Me Lies isn't his first acting gig

Mrs. Fletcher Jackson White
Sarah Shatz/HBO

Prior to starring in Tell Me Lies, White held several roles through the years. He's best known for playing Brendan Fletcher in the HBO miniseries Mrs. Fletcher. Other titles White's appeared in include The Middle in 2009 and Ambulance in 2022.

He wanted to be a professional drummer growing up

Prior to discovering his love for acting, White's passion was music. "I was going to be a drummer and that was going to be my job," he says. But despite dabbling in musicals in high school, it wasn't until he graduated that his interests changed.

"I took another path," White admits. "I got to college and I realized that I wanted discipline... something structured that I had to be accountable for." He adds, "Acting was the thing that let me do that."

He studied music in college, but didn't graduate

Musicians Katey Sagal (L) and Jackson White of Katey Sagal and the Forest Rangers perform onstage during day 1 of 2014 Stagecoach: California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 25, 2014 in Indio, California.
Frazer Harrison/Getty

White attended the University of Southern California and studied music. He spent a year there before realizing that college wasn't for him.

"I was a drum major and I hated it," White tells PEOPLE. "I was so distracted and all over the place, I was barely taking any regular classes. I think I was doing plays too. I was so ready to get out even before I even started."

He was thrilled to work with Emma Roberts on the show

Jackson White
Jackson White/Instagram

Emma Roberts served as executive producer of Tell Me Lies, a collaboration that White describes as "a dream" because he was "such a big Unfabulous fan."

About Roberts, he raves, "She's so cool. She's great. She's such a sweet person, so smart and thoughtful and cheeky."

His mom is Katey Sagal

Jackson White and mom, Katey Sagal attend the Los Angeles premiere of HBO's "Mrs. Fletcher" held at Avalon Hollywood on October 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

White's mom is Golden Globes winner Katey Sagal. Known for her roles on Married... with Children, Sons of Anarchy, Shameless and currently The Conners, there's no denying that acting is in White's blood.

He has a passion for work behind the camera

Tell Me Lies - Lucy Albright (Grace Van Patten) and Stephen DeMarco (Jackson White)
Josh Stringer/Hulu

In addition to acting, White has an interest in work behind the camera as well. "I directed a short film and I love to write," he explains. "I love to write screenplays, pilots, and little short films."

He continues, "The end goal is to arrive at a place where I have established myself well enough that I know a lot of great people and I can start making things that I am passionate about and that I want to take another side of. That's definitely the long-term."

He hasn't abandoned a career in music

Though White's main focus at the moment is acting, he said his passion for music isn't going anywhere. "You just shelve it because you need to make money, you just put it somewhere because you need to," the actor says. "I want to do the thing that's working for me right now and that's acting."

Despite placing his music on the back burner, tying it back into his career is still part of his plan.

"I think it's all fluid," he explains. "I get to use one to support the other and vice versa. I get to act until I get the opportunity to play music maybe on the road, whatever it is. But no, it's all connected for me. I think it's all one piece."

"Tell Me Lies" series premieres Sept. 7 on Hulu.

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