Wolf Pack's Armani Jackson on Working with Sarah Michelle Gellar: 'There's No Advice She Didn't Offer'
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Armani Jackson is on a wild ride.
The 19-year-old Wisconsin native, who previously appeared in the horror-comedy Cooties with Elijah Wood before reaching his teens, now plays Everett in the new Paramount+ series Wolf Pack. His latest project comes from Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis — and it's also produced by his costar Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Of getting to work alongside Gellar, Jackson exclusively tells PEOPLE: "She's the best."
"There's no advice she didn't offer us. From the day she stepped on set, she had conversations with each of us and she wanted to let us know that she knows what it's like to be a young adult series regular on a supernatural show," he continues. "She's been lucky enough to be in basically our exact position because she wanted us to, off the bat, just know that she's here for us."
Gellar, 45, played Buffy Summers in the famed show Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1997-2003. Now, she stars in Wolf Pack as investigator Kristin Ramsey in addition to her role as executive producer.
"She's been guiding us through this whole production the entire way. Having her is a complete blessing, especially on the producer side," adds Jackson. "It's kind of insane to have her as a mentor on a set like that."
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As for Jackson's own "anxious" character, Everett, the bridge between role and reality was easier to make than he first expected.
"I think I resonated with that part of the character when I saw that he was an anxious kid. I was like, 'Oh, this is great.' It's a very common thing that a lot of people deal with, but you still don't see that as much in characters, especially auditioning," the Grey's Anatomy alum explains. "So when I saw that, I kind of sat up from my chair and I was like, 'Oh, I think I want this role because I don't think I'm going to have to do too much acting.'"
And, while Jackson admits that Everett has a penchant for getting himself into trouble, he jokes that he possesses a little more "self-awareness" in real life.
Wolf Pack comes nearly six years after Teen Wolf concluded its six-season run on MTV. As for why fans of Teen Wolf should tune into Wolf Pack, Jackson credits creator Jeff Davis as the reason "number one."
"He knows what those fans want, and I think he knows that they sometimes wanted to see a show with a little more maturity to it," Jackson says.
"And number two, I think for the werewolves. It's the next werewolf show! You got to find them somewhere," he adds with a laugh.
Wolf Pack is by nature a supernatural show that Jackson refers to as "scary, but very grounded." He also thinks it can be watched by anyone, regardless of age or interest.
"It's definitely aimed at teenagers and young adults, but I've heard so much good feedback from even older adults, and it doesn't have to be watched by someone who loves supernatural stuff. It's good on its own as a drama," he explains.
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Jackson's older sister, Talia, 21, is also an actor, having starred in Netflix's Family Reunion for three seasons. He says watching her has already taught him "a lot" about the industry.
"Just the work ethic alone, I mean, having to work that much and be on set that much and be on that much is definitely something that you have to prepare for," he says of his sister. "And watching her do that for so many years helped me get ready for my moment for sure."
Jackson's "moment" also includes a budding music career. His song "Drain" is due out Feb. 17.
He is also working on his family's nonprofit, Beautiful Minds 999, which helps educate people on alternative treatments for mental health and drug addiction.
"My sister had a loved one who passed away a year ago, and that was kind of the final thing that made us really want to start the foundation," explains Jackson.
As for his plans for the future, Jackson hopes to one day star in a Marvel movie. "I think it'd be cool to play Miles Morales, maybe cameo with Tom Holland," he says of his love for the Spiderman universe.
But for now, Jackson keeps himself busy, still thinking back to that nine-year-old boy in Cooties.
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"I've always had a thing for the horror genre, and I think that's when it really sparked me. I was like, 'Wait, I want to do this forever,'" he says. "And so being able to now, as an adult, be on a horror show is full circle for me."
New episodes of Wolf Pack hit Paramount+ on Thursdays!