Brett Davern: Edmonds’ other Hollywood star

Edmonds-Woodway graduate Brett Davern has a ball with ‘Party Boat’
By Brian Soergel | Sep 21, 2017
Photo by: Crackle Brett Davern on the set of “Party Boat,” an original movie for Crackle.

Brett Davern stars in a new original movie on the Crackle app, gained a modicum of fame on a TV show called “Awkward,” and lives in sunshiny L.A.

But he grew up in Edmonds and graduated from Edmonds-Woodway High School. So, of course, we want to know: Is he acquainted with Anna Faris, the famous E-Dub alumna who stars in “Mom” on CBS and carried a funny segment Sunday during the Emmy Awards?

“I’m not,” he said over the phone recently. We had a bad connection – the line seemed to … well, crackle. “I know she’s from Edmonds, and Chris Pratt is from the area as well (Lake Stevens). I just think we’ll run into each other at an event or work together on a job or something so I can make that connection. But I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her.”

That meeting just might happen in Edmonds, which Davern frequently visits – he spoke at the Edmonds-Woodway commencement two years ago and says he returns every New Year’s Eve to ring in the new year.

At the commencement, Davern said he specifically pointed out the guiding influence of David Quinn and Bruce Mindt, who teach performing arts.

“They both were the most caring, the two guys who gave everything to students. It was cool to see them at commencement, and I’m just so happy they’re there. I went to college in New York and have taken tons of acting classes in L.A., but they were just the same things I learned in high school.”

Before Edmonds-Woodway, Davern attended Madrona K-8. His parents, Tim and Vicki, still live in the house he grew up in near the school. His brother, Brian Davern, works for the city of Mill Creek.

Making his mark

After making his big-screen acting debut in Chad Lowe’s “Beautiful Ohio,” Davern scored roles in numerous TV shows, including “CSI: Miami,” “In Plain Sight” and “The Deep End.”

His life-changing break came courtesy of MTV, which cast him as one of the leads, Jake Rosati, in the teen comedy-drama “Awkward.” It ran from 2011 to 2016.

“It’s funny, because it feels like I went to high school twice,” Davern said. “Sometimes I get confused about which memories are real and which ones are fake. It was an amazing experience. It came along at the perfect time – when MTV was looking to get into the scripted world, and ‘Awkward’ fit perfectly. It was looking to be relevant for the demographic it was going for, but they were also able to push the envelope.

“It was definitely my big break, if you want to call it that. I got to literally go over the world because of it. It’s pretty much given me everything.”

Davern’s latest starring role is in Crackle’s “Party Boat.” Crackle, a unit of Sony Pictures Television Networks, is available on all streaming platforms. A subscription is not required.

Davern is Max, a 25-year-old who is throwing his wildest party yet – a birthday party for his best friend, Kiley (Katie Leclerc.) When Max discovers Kiley’s boyfriend plans to propose, he does all he can to win Kiley’s heart.

All while throwing the best party ever. On a boat.

Davern was offered the role after starring in Crackle’s series called “Chosen.”

“They called me up,” Davern said. “You know, we have this movie called ‘Party Boat.’ I said, Say no more. ‘Party Boat?’ That sounds amazing. Let’s do it. That’s pretty much what the movie is. It’s a party on a boat.”

Indeed. If you think the movie – which also stars “Awkward” co-star and Davern’s best friend Beau Mirchoff – appears to be the type of exploitive teen-sex movie popular in the ’80s (think “Porky’s” and “Class”), you might just be onto something.

Maybe “homage” is the right word?

“It’s such a throwback, like the movies I grew up on, silly comedies that are easy to follow,” Davern said. “It’s a party on a boat. It writes itself. I’m really proud of it. And anytime you get to go on a boat and work with your best friend for three weeks, jump at the opportunity, you know?”

When not working in television or the movies, Davern keeps busy with two other hobbies: racing cars and a podcast. He actually was the top celebrity finisher at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2014.

And, in June 2016, he started a podcast called, appropriately enough, “The Brett Davern Show.” Guests have included Kevin Hamedani (another E-W alum), Ryan Lewis, Robert Patrick and Emma Kennedy, the latter who stars as Debbie Gallagher on Showtime’s “Shameless.”

Davern made a memorable guest appearance on “Shameless” in season six as a creeper with a pregnancy fetish who takes advantage of Kennedy’s role as a pregnant teen.

“I made friends with Adam Carolla, who is like the biggest podcaster in the world,” Davern said. “I had also hosted a midday show for ESPN LA. He showed me what to do. In Hollywood you don’t get to stay in touch with people you’ve worked with as much as people think. The podcast helps bring us back together.”

After more than 100 episodes, the podcast is now on hiatus.

The age question

Yes, the internet insists that the youthful-looking Davern – kind of a cross between Matt Damon and Jesse Plemons – is 25. At the same time, the internet says Davern graduated from Edmonds-Woodway in 2001.

That’s a conflict. “I kind of like it that way,” he said, adding that he doesn’t like to discuss his private life. “I like keeping things close to the vest, keeping my personal and private life separate.”

Still, the truth is that he did graduate 16 years ago. Davern admitted to being a member of the class of 2001 when pressed. Like much of Hollywood, illusions are part of life, and Davern said his youthful looks help him get roles – see “Party Boat.”

But look at the bright side. Instead of being 15 years younger than Anna Faris, he’s only five. So they may have more in common than anyone knows. In the meantime, keep an eye out for Davern in Edmonds.

“I’m there all the time,” he said. “I was just up there for Seafair. I’m Northwest through and through. I root for the Seahawks and the Huskies. I live in L.A, but I’m a local boy. My dad reads the Beacon religiously. I’m so prideful of where I’m from.”



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