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Jharrel Jerome, 25, made his debut in the film industry in 2016 with the critically acclaimed movie “Moonlight,” which earned an Academy Award.

He also achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first Afro-Latino to win an Emmy for Best Lead Actor, thanks to his captivating portrayal of Korey Wise from the Exonerated Five in Netflix’s limited series “When They See Us.” Jerome’s recent venture as the lead actor and executive producer in the highly anticipated Amazon Prime series “I’m A Virgo,” which premiered in late June, marks a significant turning point in his career.

During an interview with BET, Jerome reflected on a pivotal meeting with his team and underscored the importance of meticulous planning as he forges ahead on his journey. Rather than seeking fleeting fame, his focus lies on establishing longevity and showcasing his multifaceted talents.

In addition to his acting prowess, Jerome is an ardent musician who debuted his music in 2020 and has released several songs, including his latest single, “Chinatown,” in 2023.

Elevating in the industry

Jharrel Jerome acknowledges the societal constraints that can often limit individuals interested in pursuing multiple career paths and expressed his desire to avoid being pigeonholed solely as an actor. In an interview with BET, he shared his admiration for the versatile artist Donald Glover, who has successfully ventured into various creative domains, and he expressed that he aspires to make a similar impact. 

Jerome also places great value on selecting roles that present new challenges that offer him opportunities to learn and grow as an actor. He revealed to BET that when pursuing a role he reminds himself to, “Choose roles that pose the same level of challenge as the previous one. If it doesn’t, then how can I have gotten better?” 

When director Boots Riley recognized Jerome’s exceptional talent, he cast him as the lead in the Amazon Prime series “I’m A Virgo,” granting him the unique chance to delve into the role of an executive producer. 

Reflecting on this experience, Jerome expressed his gratitude to BET, stating, “Boots brought me in early on. I realized I had a role beyond just acting. I could collaborate equally, creating a world beyond!”

Jharrel Jerome in “I’m a Virgo”

In “I’m a Virgo,” Jerome assumes the larger-than-life character named Cootie, who stands at a towering height of 13 feet. This satirical comedy series aims to tackle profound themes such as isolation, racism, love, and friendship through an extraordinary coming-of-age story.

Jerome revealed that his portrayal of Cootie has pushed him beyond his comfort zone in a positively exciting manner, remarking, “I find myself doing things I never thought I’d be capable of, like playing a 13-foot-tall character… It’s so exhilarating.”

“I’m A Virgo”  is comprised of seven captivating episodes that have already received positive reviews from critics. It has been hailed as both “beautifully strange” and “politically radical.”

Jharrel Jerome’s journey in the film, television, and music industry has been characterized by unique achievements and a steadfast commitment to artistic growth.

As he continues to push boundaries and explore new creative horizons, Jerome’s dedication to his craft, combined with his determination to defy expectations and embrace diverse artistic pursuits, continue to propel him into future projects.