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ABC‘s newest drama series Will Trent revolves around a controversial Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent who isn’t too popular among other law enforcement officers. But the detective that Will Trent clashes with the most is Michael Ormewood, played by Jake McLaughlin.

Jake McLaughlin, in character as Michael Ormewood in 'Will Trent' Season 1 Episode 1, wears a dark blue suit over a green button-up shirt and blue, red, and tan striped tie.
Jake McLaughlin as Michael Ormewood | ABC/Kim Simms

Jake McLaughlin plays Detective Michael Ormewood in ‘Will Trent’ on ABC

The Will Trent series premiere makes it clear that the audience isn’t supposed to like Jake McLaughlin’s Ormewood when they first meet him. He is brash, stubborn, ignorant, and abrasive. Ormewood takes advantage of his power as a detective with the Atlanta Police Department and regularly threatens and intimidates suspects and witnesses.

During the pilot, Ormewood doesn’t hold his hatred for Will back. As fans came to find out, Will previously worked on a case that outed numerous crooked cops, and many other officers dislike him for “betraying their own.” Ormewood is one of them.

Unfortunately, things get more complicated when Detective Angie Polaski, who has a complex history with Will, gets partnered up with Ormewood. Angie met Will in a group home when they were kids, and they developed romantic feelings for one another. Will and Angie have had an on-and-off relationship ever since.

And Angie, who had a drug problem, slept with Ormewood a couple of years ago. He was (and still is) married, so their partnership has been awkward, especially since Ormewood’s wife, Gina, confronted Angie about their affair.

In Will Trent Season 1 Episode 4, Will, Ormewood, and Angie had to work on a murder case together. Tensions ran high, but Will and Ormewood seemed to come to an understanding by the end of the hour. So their relationship and Ormewood’s character development can only go up from here, right?

Jake McLaughlin’s movie and tv show roles

Will Trent is not Jake McLaughlin’s first starring role in a television series. Most fans might recognize the actor from Quantico, an ABC show that ran for three seasons from 2015 to 2018. McLaughlin played Ryan Booth in the series.

The actor also starred in Starz’s Crash and NBC’s Believe. And McLaughlin had guest spots on other shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Leverage, Criminal Minds, Heroes, Cold Case, NCIS: Los Angeles, Grey’s Anatomy, The Mentalist, Scorpion, and more.

As for his film career, Will Trent fans might have seen Jake McLaughlin in In the Valley of Elah, Cloverfield, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Super 8, Warrior, Safe House, and Savages.

Before acting, McLaughlin was a Dismount Infantry Squad Automatic Weapon Gunner in the United States Army. He served from 2002 to 2006. After leaving the military, McLaughlin auditioned for In the Valley of Elah because the director wanted to cast real veterans. He got the part, and the rest is history.


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Meet the rest of the ‘Will Trent’ series cast

The Will Trent cast is full of seasoned actors, including:

  • Ramón Rodríguez as Will Trent
  • Erika Christensen as Angie Polaski
  • Iantha Richardson as Faith Mitchell
  • Jake McLaughlin as Michael Ormewood
  • Sonja Sohn as Amanda Wagner
  • Bluebell as Betty the Dog

Will Trent, starring Jake McLaughlin, airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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