Ten years ago today (March 24) the world met Hannah Montana, the pop star that taught us we could, indeed, have the best of both worlds. With the show’s premiere, Miley Cyrus became a household name, and Disney Channel was never the same. While Miley Stewart (Cyrus) had to deal with keeping her alter ego a secret, she also grappled with the same struggles most teenage girls face — namely, boys.
Linley’s character led an emotional rollercoaster, from his arrogant personality, to romantic moments like his first kiss with Miley, to that dreaded cheating scandal — not to mention the love triangle that inadvertently developed between Jake, Miley, and Jesse (Drew Roy).
So, what’s it like to play Miley’s TV boyfriend for four years? Just as awesome as you’d expect. In an interview with MTV News, Linley fondly remembered his time spent with Cyrus, describing her as “super sweet” and “very fun;” someone who “taught [him] how to have fun on set and just, you know, laugh.”
During lunch breaks, the cast would rock out to Guitar Hero in Cyrus’s room, play the piano together, and even try their hand at ping pong. It’s clear the teens became a family on set.
Later in the series, Linley’s character appeared more sporadically, but he said there was always the same vibe when he returned, and everyone was continuously grateful for the show’s success.
And while he doesn’t get the chance to see his TV girlfriend very often anymore, he still follows her achievements and is delighted at everything she’s accomplished. “Miley’s success has continued to grow, so I’m proud of her and her work ethic and to have been a part of something that made an impact.”
Traveling down memory lane, Linley revealed some interesting facts about Jake and Miley’s first big kiss on the show — arguably one of the most iconic moments in the entire series. For starters, had their kiss happened a few years later, it wouldn’t have been nearly as special.
Apparently, Disney Channel has a show rule that programs can’t linger on a kiss for too long. A lot of the time, you only get to see the end of the kiss, usually because another character will walk past the smoochers and block most of the action. Thankfully, when Jake and Miley had their first kiss in a 2006 episode, they pre-dated that regulation, so fans were able to see the entire kiss from start to finish.
Unfortunately, when Lilly Truscott (Emily Osment) and Oliver Oken (Mitchel Musso) started dating and kissing in 2009, the rule was strictly enforced. Rewatching episodes now, you can clearly see the difference in time length between the two couples, which is a bummer for Loliver fans, yet Jiley ones lucked out.
But if you think the kissing scenes were unnerving or awkward for Linley and Cyrus, you’d be wrong. “Every time Miley and I would have a kissing scene, the prop guy would always have a fart machine somewhere and make the sound,” Linley said. “And Miley would, you know, go, ’Larry.'”
So next time you come across a GIF on Tumblr of Jake and Miley kissing, just picture Larry the prop guy pressing a fart button offscreen.
The Hannah Montana love triangle was certainly a major turning point for the show — it ended on a downer for Jiley shippers after Jake cheated on Miley and ruined their relationship once and for all. But had that not happened, Linley believed the two would’ve definitely stayed together. (Sorry, Jesse.)
“I think that it was just such a match made in heaven,” the actor stated. “I even thought that we were going to be together, and it was so sweet, cause Miley was I think kinda bummed that they wrote my character out [of the show], but you know it’s a show, there is only two ways they could go with it, so I was happy for the time that I had.”
But alas, Linley finished out his run on the series in the 2010 episode “It’s the End of the Jake as We Know It,” and fans were sad to see him go, especially because he never had the chance to make amends with Miley. According to Linley, though, Jake Ryan is (sort of) making a comeback this summer.
Having just finished wrapping Sharknado 4, the newest edition to the Syfy franchise, Linley revealed his character Matt in the movie is super similar to Jake, both personality and fashion-wise. He teased how both characters share similar experiences, so it sounds like we might be getting a Jake Ryan 2.0, except sharks are involved this time (and everything is better with sharks).