Man-baby Meat Loaf
might believe that he's the biggest star on The Celebrity Apprentice
but someone else has stolen the show: Marlee Matlin's
sign language interpreter Jack Jason.
I've been fascinated by him and was tickled to see him on American Idol
at the weekend. Did you spot him in the audience? Marlee was at the show and he was sitting two seats away from her, looking at her through his usual doting peepers.
It's been intriguing to see how he manages to capture every nuance of what Marlee says, right down to when she doesn't complete a word or changes a thought in mid-sentence. His voice is
her, despite the fact that he's a guy.
After seeing his delight at her making the final two on Monday night I decided to find out more about him and discovered that he's been signing for her for over 20 years. They met while Marlee was filming Children of a Lesser God, which she won the Oscar for.
In an interview with About.com
he talks about their first meeting. Marlee was staying in New York while filming the movie and wanted to go out but she didn't know her way around town so her co-star William Hurt (who she was dating at the time) organised an interpreter for her for a day out - who happened to be Jack.
He wasn't going to be her permanent interpreter because of being a guy but they clicked immediately and that was that. After that they became business partners too and still are.
They have a company together that focuses on finding projects for Marlee to act in. They look at new scripts, find roles that suit Marlee - roles that would usually be played by hearing actors - and come up with ways in which she could play the roles. They then approach the production company doing the project to suggest Marlee for the part.
This from The Los Angeles Times
about what he's been getting up to behind-the-scenes on Apprentice: "He's worked mostly as her interpreter but has also conferred with producers on how to accommodate Matlin on the show, specifically in Donald Trump's boardroom, says Page Feldman, an executive producer for Apprentice."
Both of Jack's parents are deaf which is how he became so astute at sign language. Interestingly he was doing a PhD when he met Marlee and gave it up to be with her - he studied film which is why he's been in-the-know as her business partner too.
In various interviews as he's described as her interpreter, business partner, advisor, conduit and confidant, which you can see he really is. I've constantly found myself thinking that he obviously knows Marlee better than anyone else does, possibly even herself.