Jake Foy plays the charming and dependable Tuff McMurray on Hallmark’s Ride. He plays a sexy cowboy and the co-foreman of McMurray Ranch. He’s the glue of the family, and he’s often the family member protecting others.
Tuff has spent so much time helping his mom save the ranch and helping Cash and Valeria that he hasn’t devoted enough time to his singing career or his blossoming relationship with his new boyfriend, Julian.
TV Fanatic with Jake about Tuff’s personal dreams, how Tuff was coping with the family drama, and some teasers for the finale and a potential Season 2. Check it out below:
Hi Jake. Tuff has become one of our favorite characters on Ride. What have been some of your favorite moments of the series?
I love it whenever we’re taking the dirt road relics on stage in the show. It means that everybody is together on those days. Those are some of my favorite scenes to film, and the rodeo scenes.
Anytime we’re in the rodeo arena, we have an ensemble of 500 background players, and we are lucky enough to shoot in Calgary, Alberta, where there is an authentic rodeo culture. Everybody is there to work and enjoy the sport they love.
Yes, it has been a lot of fun. We also enjoyed the singing. Is that you singing?
Yes, that’s me singing. I’m lucky that the network and creators respected my wish to be Tuff’s voice. I’m fortunate to bring my love of music and singing to the show. I promise that if Tuff’s singing, it’s Jake’s voice.
Why did Tuff hide that he had written original songs for so long?
That’s a great question. That part of Tuft’s journey throughout Ride Season 1 allowed for some space for himself. At the beginning of Ride, there’s tremendous pressure to keep the ranch together on behalf of Mom and the entire McMurray legacy.
By proxy, Tuff has silenced some of his inner voice in that process and only made space for what others might need from him and around him. The idea of pointing the spotlight at himself and his feelings is not something that he’s used to. I hope that changes over time and in future seasons of this show.
Did you find it ironic that Janine was the one that found out the truth first?
I did, actually. What’s unique about Tuff’s relationship with Janine is that it is a bit of everything and has the space to be vicious and friendly, sparring and playful, and creative and destructive.
We’ll get to see much more of Tuff’s dynamic with Janine and what it speaks to how important family is in the world of the show. Tuff concedes to singing with Janine, but mainly on the premise that it’s a big night for both Mom and Hank.
We’ll see how their relationship evolves. They won’t always be in complete agreement, but that makes for good television.
Absolutely. So, Tuft seems to be the family’s rock and holds the family together. That sometimes means that he puts his own dreams on hold. Will he achieve his dreams or get his happy ending with Julian?
You’ll have to tune into Ride Season 1 Episode 10 to discover what’s next for Tuff and his dreams. What’s lovely about the show’s writing is that we all wrestle with that. What we want most from the world and whether we’re brave enough to pursue it, whether it’s in concert or conflict with those around us.
We will watch Tuff find a way to pursue his big and small dreams while keeping his roots in the family. I am excited to see how that plays out as well.
Me too. I’m rooting for him. After the truth bombs about Val’s past and Austin’s death, how is Tuff coping?
There’s a bit of I told you so in Tuff’s perspective on everything around the ranch, but he’s been pressed to find a more forgiveness approach to the world. It’s easy to point fingers and hold others accountable when he’s not trying to confront the world bravely.
While Tuff is an honest and hard worker, he leaves out a little of his own story in that process. We saw on Ride Season 1 Tuft’s realization that he may be guilty of the same crimes of omission as Valeria. There’s a new humility for him in the way that he confronts the McMurrays’ shortcomings.
How will he move forward with Cash, knowing that everybody kept stuff about Austin from him?
That’s an excellent question. I’d love to explore some of that in a second season. Beau and I have a lovely offscreen and onscreen rapport. I think the unspoken stories between Cash and Tuff are some of the most interesting. I love that we addressed that in Ride Season 1 Episode 9.
What’s even more remarkable is that they also need each other in the ring. So there’s this push and pull between Cash and Tuff that they lean on each other to survive in the bull riding ring and everything that goes on at the ranch.
But there’s a big gap in their history together from Cash’s time away in the war. They’ll have to work through that, and it will take time, and I hope we get to delve into all of it in a second season if we’re so lucky.
What else can you tease about Sunday’s finale?
I can tease that the McMurrays are going to Cheyenne. What comes of them making it there has a lot of history to it and weight and very high stakes. But the McMurrays make it to Cheyenne. You’ll have to tune in to see what happens.
Do you think the series will be renewed for Season 2?
We’ve found a fantastic and loyal audience. Everyone that’s tuning in considers them family. We’re doing very well in our live ratings and are also available to stream on Prime, Apple TV, Hallmark Movies Now, and Peacock.
We’re out there to watch and finding a growing audience, which has been fantastic. So, I have high hopes we’ll be back in Canyon, Colorado, in no time.
I certainly hope so. What would you like to see in Season 2?
I’d like to see Tuft’s journey continue with finding his voice. I use that phrase to speak to many things. Finding more vulnerability in the way that he’s honest instead of the black-and-white of the truth around him. I also hope that he continues to find his voice and his music.
Beyond that, what’s fantastic is we tell this story on the network where love happens.
That is most true for Tuff — a love for family, his art form, and the pursuit of romantic love. There’s space for Tuft to pursue all three of those essential life landmarks. We’ll see more of that in future seasons as we go ahead.
I hope so. I’ve been enjoying the McMurrays. You guys have become one of my favorite families.
The Ride Season 1 finale airs on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, May 28 at 9/8c.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.