BORN IN MANHATTAN on a block with seven thousand people, Jeremy Watt Iversen and lightbulbs were both named after his great-great-great-great-great grandfather James Watt, who invented the steam engine.
Aware the good genes had been lost by 1876, Jeremy resigned himself to Abbot-and-Costello with the jokers in first grade. (“Watt’s your middle name?” “Yeah.” “What?” “Watt.” “No, what?”)
He knew that he and the lightbulbs were in it together, and he appreciated their solidarity.
Jeremy went to Phillips Exeter Academy, a boarding school older than the Constitution where every day felt like winter but never Christmas. He survived the odds, wrote the new school anthem, and graduated cum laude with highest honors.
After spending some time print modeling for magazines in New York, Jeremy set off for college to Learn Things. He majored in international relations and political science at Stanford University, where he would eventually graduate Phi Beta Kappa with distinction.
He interned at investment bank Merrill Lynch and worked with both Republican and Democratic state and federal campaigns on policy and fundraising. Shortly afterward, the economy collapsed and people began to speak of government as broken, so Jeremy decided it was time to lend his special touch to yet another pillar of civilization.
So he spent a semester undercover posing as a seventeen-year-old surfer at a Southern California public high school. The only person who knew his real identity was the principal, and she forgot.
Trading in his suit and tie for skinnies and skater shoes, Jeremy enjoyed the acting project of a lifetime. He took six classes five days a week, dissected a cat, got sent to detention, hung out at the mall, signed yearbooks, and graduated in cap and gown. He infiltrated the homes of his teenage friends, met their parents, and went to their parties. Actually in his twenties, he led the life of a modern-day high school student—going back undercover and telling about his experience for the first time since Cameron Crowe donned his backpack to pen Fast Times At Ridgemont High.
The true story of Jeremy’s shocking life among the Millennial Generation cool crowd appeared in his book High School Confidential. HSC went into hardcover, paperback, and reprint editions, quickly becoming a bestseller on a number of must-read lists. Highlights include so much sex, drugs, corruption, and ethics violation by our nation’s youngest that even Merrill Lynch and the politicians would be impressed.
HE ALSO CREATED A NOVEL. The TA in Jeremy’s required Stanford freshman English class was a crew-cut woman with a chain wallet who had just won a world powerlifting competition. She assigned him to keep a journal. He asked if he could write a short story instead. “No,” she snorted. Eventually she shrugged. “Oh, whatever. I’m not going to read it anyway.”
So he wrote a story about a college junior hitting a life crisis on his 21st birthday. Drawing on his experiences as vice-president of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Jeremy expanded the piece and showed it to an editor friend on a whim. She passed it to Simon & Schuster, and the very first person who saw it published it as the novel rush. True to her word, the TA never read it.
rush centers on the popular and deadly ritual of celebrating a twenty-first birthday with twenty-one drinks, so Jeremy set off on a nationwide promo tour to Playboy’s Top 21 Party Schools. He crossed America by bus, from Florida to Washington State, speaking, signing copies for thousands and, well, partying.
Although he has not yet managed to pull off the next Industrial Revolution, he’s done other things.
A fluent Spanish speaker, Jeremy traveled to twenty-nine unsuspecting countries and even lived in a few of them. He was selected to debate the Communist Party at the People’s University of Beijing, addressed the University of Havana in Cuba, and volunteered his time for Amnesty International. All of which explains why he gets searched at the airport.
ACTING IS HIS FOCUS and he moved to Santa Monica to pursue the craft, unlike anybody else in the L.A. area. After dilligently unlearning twenty-two years’ worth of Type-A intellectual Stanford business skills under the guidance of Hollywood’s top acting coaches, he obtained eligibility in the Screen Actors Guild and signed aboard with some premiere representation.
Jeremy has also appeared as himself on a bunch of radio and television, both local and national. Contrary to reports, his favorite color is silver-gray.