‘Ordinary Joe’: Who Plays Joe on ‘Ordinary Joe’?

Ordinary Joe is the newest drama heading to NBC this fall. Who is the actor who plays the lead character, Joe? Here’s everything we know about the television series and its star.

What is ‘Ordinary Joe’ about?

the lead actor for ordinary joe appears in three different costumes--a nurse, rock star, and police officer
Poster for ‘Ordinary Joe’ | NBC Entertainment

Ordinary Joe takes viewers along Joe’s life journey. We get to see how his life would turn out if he made different choices. Depending on the choice he makes after college graduation, he could become a nurse, rock star, or police officer. “Life is all about the choices you make–and sometimes what you do in a single moment can change everything,” says NBC in a statement introducing the show.

We also get to see how life would turn out for Joe if he chose to marry different people. One choice leads him to having the family of his dreams, and another choice leads him to a life where he and his future wife struggle to conceive.

Who plays Joe on ‘Ordinary Joe’?

The actor who plays Joe on Ordinary Joe is James Wolk. One of Wolk’s early roles was in the 2006 movie The Spiral Project. In 2008, he had a spot on the daytime drama As the World Turns.  In 2010, Wolk landed a recurring role on Lone Star. He played Bob Allen for five episodes.

 Wolk joined the cast of The Crazy Ones in 2013. He played Zach Cropper for 22 episodes until 2013. During that time, Wolk also played Bob Benson on Mad Men for 12 episodes. Wolk’s other acting roles include appearances in Harley Quinn, Watchmen, Tell Me a Story, Goliath, and You Again.

When does ‘Ordinary Joe’ premiere on NBC?

Ordinary Joe Season 1 premieres Monday, Sept. 20, at 10:00 p.m. on NBC. The new series will face some stiff competition over at CBS. NCIS: Hawaii, also premieres on the same night at the same time. This new series has received a lot of buzz because it’s the first time in the franchise’s history that a female will play a special agent in charge. Vanessa Lachey stars in the television show as Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant.

James Wolk on playing Joe in ‘Ordinary Joe’

Wolk tells Rotten Tomatoes that playing three different versions of the same character, as opposed to playing three different characters, was challenging.

“In some ways, it is more challenging because you can’t just go and create three different characters,” says Wolk. “You have to really think about, in a nuanced way, how someone’s life can change in 10 years. So, it’s basically creating the same backstory from birth until 21. And then everyone takes a divergent road.”

Each character on the show has a very different wardrobe. Wolk says that helps him with separating the characters. He tells Rotten Tomatoes that he takes on different “posture” when playing each version of Joe.

“All three versions of this guy are so different, right?” says Wolk in his Rotten Tomatoes interview. “You have the rock star, who is super confident, versus the nurse, who’s down on his luck. I think that’s a posture thing, for sure — just the way we hold ourselves when we’re feeling really confident versus when we’re feeling down on our luck. And then the cop, who’s to me is kind of like a big kid. So, he’s just kind of like a big Labrador. Wardrobe helps big time.”

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