The prestigious Primetime Emmy Awards were a whirlwind of surprise (and disappointments) this year, what with Fleabag taking home the biggest haul of Emmys. But there were some wins that were well-deserving and honestly if anyone else had won them, it would have been nothing less than blatant injustice. And one such win was 21-year-old Jharrel Jerome who won his very first Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series
Bringing to life the widely known true story of the Exonerated 5, Jerome played the part of the wrongfully-accused Korey Wise in Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us. His heartfelt approach to the role and gut-wrenching performance won millions of hearts and of course, which he rightfully deserves.
And today is the rising star’s birthday, how about we get to know the young actor a little and if you don’t love Jharrel Jerome already, well, then you’ll now:
- Wanna know what he did the second he came to know that he has been nominated for an Emmy?
In one of his interview post the Emmy win, Jharrel shared he was sitting in a restaurant, mindlessly watching the broadcast of the Emmy nominations on a phone. To say he was shocked when his name was announced as a nominee, would be an understatement. But as soon as he got over the momentary surprise, he proceeded to call his mother, wanting her to be the first person who came to know of the big news.
- He is not only the youngest winner in a Limited Series Acting category but also the…
…first Afro-Latino to win an acting Emmy! “It’s an honour. It’s a blessing, and I hope this is a step forward for Dominicans, for Latinos, for Afro-Latinos. It’s about time we are here,” he said while receiving the award.
- Forever dedicated to his art, he starting doing roles while he was still in college
Falling in the footsteps of other renowned actors, Jharrel enrolled in the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, to gain exposure to the entertainment industry and polish his skills.
In fact, it was while he was pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, that he landed the first major role of his acting career- Barry Jenkins’ independent film ‘Moonlight,’ which is one Jerome’s most critically-acclaimed films till date.
- Even though Jerome wasn’t the first choice to play Korey Wise in When They See Us, the real Korey Wise was moved to tears when he saw the actor’s performance on screen
Initially, Jerome had auditioned and bagged the role of a young Korey Wise in the series. But when the ‘When They See Us’ director Ava DuVernay saw him on screen, she was impressed and asked to audition for the role of adult Korey Wise as well. And, the rest we know is history.
Ava might have been taken by Jerome’s magnetizing performance but what he craved was acceptance from the real-life character the role was based on. So, when he sat down to watch ‘When They See Us’ with Korey Wise and the rest of the exonerated five, he wasn’t sure whether Korey would like his performance. But all his fears were laid to rest when Korey was moved to tears by Jerome’s acting and said “you’re Korey Wise now,” as he hugged him, overwhelmed by emotions.
The biggest fan he has? His mother, Radoyka Jerome!
A son who chooses to share the biggest moment of his life with his mom first is proof enough of the beautiful relationship they share. Radoyka was also present at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, cheering him on as he accepted the first Emmy of his life.
While Jharrel Jerome received a standing ovation from actors like Sterling K. Brown, he chose to give the credit of his success to his mother. “I have to thank my mom, who’s with me today. My beautiful mother. Damn. I couldn’t do it without her,” he said in his heartfelt acceptance speech.
A skilled rapper as well and well on his way to carving his niche in the world of music as well, Jerome recently finished shooting for Idris Elcarvingba’s Concrete Cowboys, which is all set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January next year.
So young and already rewriting history? Well, we are excited to see what magic he has in store for us next! Happy Birthday, Jharrel Jerome!