[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Sex Lives of College Girls Season 2, Episodes 1-6.]
The Sex Lives of College Girls is back and has welcomed a new man to the Essex campus with Mitchell Slaggert‘s “climate refugee” Jackson.
The undeniably good-looking co-ed has been full of surprises as Season 2 of the HBO Max series has unfolded, particularly when it comes to his connection with Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet). In the show’s most recent episodes, “Taking Shots” and “Doppelbanger,” the pair got even closer, taking things to the next level.
“You’re gonna get a better sense of his character,” Slaggert tells TV Insider, teasing what’s ahead for Jackson. Among the things fans should expect to uncover are his “morals and integrity,” the actor notes. He adds that people may be wondering, “is this guy a good person, or is he playing his cards?”
So far, it would seem Jackson’s a pretty good guy, despite any preconceived opinions viewers may have about his frequent sexual activity on the other side of Kimberly’s dorm wall. Apart from sharing an Irish Literature course together and Jackson’s efforts to help a classmate with a crush connect with Kimberly, he really shined while caring for her following an egg retrieval procedure when she was locked out of her dorm.
In other words, he’s more than the initial “eye candy” he appears to play, breaking stereotypes as the story progresses. There are a few arguably gratuitous moments for Slaggert’s Jackson as he jogs around campus shirtless or, in the same state of undress, hangs a flatscreen TV from his dorm wall, but the actor doesn’t mind.
“Thankfully, I have a fantastic team that I work with, and they’re smarter than I am on the whole situation. So I always follow their judgment.” Don’t expect the same thing from Slaggert’s real life, though, as he says he tends to “lean away” from that “eye candy” status. “When I’m taking videos of myself [for work or] building stuff, I leave my shirt on, and that’s kind of hard for me because I grew up just like no shirt, no shoes.”
Otherwise, it’s been a smooth transition into a previously established series for Slaggert, who says, “I’m a little quirky and weird at times.” Once his costars figured that out, Slaggert says, “I could totally hang out with them.” And along with meshing well with his costars, Slaggert says of his character, “the more [co-creators Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble] got to know me, the more they tailored the role around who I kind of am.”
Just like Jackson, who transferred to Essex after a tornado demolished his old college down south, Slaggert says, “I moved around a lot, so being the new kid in school, I leaned into that.” And it’s Jackson’s newness that connects him to Kimberly, who is struggling to fit in when she’s worried about how she’s going to pay her tuition without a scholarship.
After Jackson’s brief stint of caring for Kimberly following her procedure, that bond seems solidified. The only problem? Kimberly feels like Jackson only sees her as a fragile patient, but she works up the courage to tell him otherwise, informing him she’s “ready for anything.” The loaded statement leads them back to his dorm room for an apparent hookup.
So where does this leave them? “There’s definitely some unforeseen layers within Jackson and stuff that you definitely wouldn’t see coming,” Slaggert teases. And when it comes to a more romantic relationship outside of the initial hookup, he says fans will be “rooting for that. They’ll definitely be rooting for them.”
Could this mean that Kimberly will be part of Jackson’s noisy hookups? A teaser for the next episode certainly indicates that. But how are those theatrical trysts captured behind closed doors? “ADR,” Slaggert explains. “You just go into a booth, and you make the noises. And then it’s funny ’cause when you’re on set [we] just make it as comical and far off from normal as we can.”
Stay tuned to see how the relationship between Jackson and Kimberly unfolds as The Sex Lives of College Girls continues on HBO Max.
The Sex Lives of College Girls, Season 2, Thursdays, HBO Max