Just as online dating is the modern answer to the old-school matchmaker, the CW’s Beauty and the Beast is a contemporary take on the traditional fairytale. This epic love story explores the relationship between two seemingly opposites – the beauty and the beast. But what first appears to be a mismatched duo may actually become an unmatched love story.

Austin Basis stars in Beauty and the Beast as J.T. Forbes – the funny sidekick to Vincent, the show’s “beastly” star played by Jay Ryan. However, Vincent has changed this season: his memory has been wiped clean and he returns as a supercharged beast on a mysterious mission. J.T. will need to help Vincent’s love interest, Cat (Kristin Kreuk), unravel the reasons behind Vincent’s change in order to save her soul-mate. So, just as Austin Basis is helping two soul mates save their fated love on Beauty and the Beast, we thought this happily married Jewish actor would be the perfect person to help JDaters® with their own epic love stories!

JMag: Your character in Beauty and the Beast is charming, yet provides the comic relief. What a fun role to play! Do you play that role in romantic relationships as well?

Austin Basis:  Oh yeah, definitely. Growing up, I always used my sense of humor to relieve the tension of trying to talk to girls. And I continued that in relationships. In any and every relationship – whether it’s in my marriage or in my past as a single – trying to impress with humor was the most fun. I always find laughter is the best medicine. But also if you don’t approach life with humor, I feel bad for you.

JMag: You must think humor is important in relationships then.

Austin Basis: Humor is definitely important. You know, I’m always shocked at how relationships are sometimes depicted as so serious on the screen, whether it’s on TV or in film. And then to reflect on my relationship with my wife, and how silly and fun it is, in a healthy way. I guess healthy relationships aren’t necessarily the ones that are most dramatic for film and TV though. We’re silly with each other. And I feel like intimacy wise, it’s another level of being close to someone by being able to just be yourself – your silly self, your playful self.

JMag: Speaking of TV relationships, the second season of Beauty and the Beast premieres this month. Has shooting the show taught you any lessons you can use in your romantic life?

Austin Basis: Well, the overarching theme of the show is to fight for what you believe in and to defend your love, which is a sacred part of the human experience. When it comes to standing up for what you believe in, like fighting to stay in a relationship or to get into a relationship – like Catherine fighting for Vincent — then it’s worth it, if you believe in that love and you believe in that cause. It’s a romantic ideal, but that’s what the show is. It’s a supernatural, super-hero, fairytale with the core of that fairytale being a love between two people that don’t seem like they would necessarily be fated for each other – a beauty and a beast – and yet they are fated for each other because they believe in it.

JMag: That’s a very romantic answer. You talked about how at first glance the beauty and the beast shouldn’t be together, but yet they are fated to be together. How can singles apply this theme to their own lives?

Austin Basis: Trust your instincts. When I was in acting school, we learned about the Alexander Technique. And one of the things we learned is that sometimes your body learns bad habits – like slouching – and then you become used to slouching and begin to feel relaxed in that position. So, sometimes you have to listen to your body and look a little deeper to see whether your body is really feeling relaxed in that position.

It’s the same way with dating. Early on, there are a lot of things that make your defense mechanisms go up, and you look for ways, defenses, and excuses to get out of certain things. You may ask “why isn’t this the relationship of my dreams?” or “why isn’t this happening?” Questions like that excuse you from the challenge of finding the right person for you.

You have to trust your instincts, but also challenge your intuition to really see if those are the right choices to make. You have to take those risks. It’s a balance of risk taking, self-reflection, and trusting your instincts.

JMag: Did you ever try online dating before you met your wife?

Austin Basis:  I did. I did it for a short time when I first moved to LA. My brother and a couple of my really close friends actually met their significant other on JDate.

JMag: What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your friends who are JDate Success Stories?

Austin Basis: Be yourself. Don’t try to make up some profile because you think it’s what someone else wants to hear. It’s like if I go into an audition, and try to act the way they I think they want the character to act, it’s just a guessing game. In my case, as an actor, the parts that match up for me will come. And the parts that don’t, will fall away. It’s the same thing with dating. Be yourself and trust yourself, and hopefully you’ll find someone that wants the same things and you’ll find a match.

Image of Austin Basis from austinbasis.com, and QUILLARD, Inc.

Laura Seldon is the Managing Editor of JMag and JBlog. A former television news anchor, Seldon has also written for sites like The Huffington Post, Rock The Vote, and theKNOW. “Beauty and the Beast” airs Mondays at 9pm PST/8pm CST on the CW.
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