You may recognize actor, Jermel Howard from Marvel’s Luke Cage series or from STARZ’s hit show, POWER but today, we’re admiring Howard for his role as Lorenzo in The First Purge. In this exclusive interview, we got to know the passionate actor and just how he’s been able to master his craft as an actor in the world of entertainment.
Tell us about yourself! How did you get into the world of entertainment?
Well, I’m an actor, writer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. I got into the world of entertainment when I was a child. I started off in the music business. Later on, I saw more opportunities for myself in film and so I jumped into that business.
Can you tell us about your character in The First Purge? What can viewers expect to see?
My character is Zo, Lorenzo. He is more like a lieutenant to a General who is Dmitri. The First Purge is nothing like the other Purge movies. This movie is more about the urban community and the different things that are going on in the world today. There are a lot of similarities in the film that can be compared to what is going on with African Americans right now. The movie is a prequel to how everything got started. The idea was to test The Purge out in the urban area and see how it does. It aligns with a lot of things that has been going on with oppression and more.
Do you have a favorite role thus far you could tell us about?
Well, my favorite role really would be Lorenzo in The First Purge but I also really like the character I portrayed named, Shameek from Marvel’s Luke Cage series. Shameek was fun to portray. The writer and director of the series really gave me a lot of freedom to fall into the character. It was a good character. He was fun and had numerous sides to him. He clowned around a little all while snapping on people back and forth. He was an opportunist as well that showed dangerous side of him. That character was cool because it allowed me to play a character with many layers to himself.
What do you believe acting has taught you about yourself and do you have any advice for people that may want to be an actor/actress?
I’ve always known many things about myself but acting has taught me a few things that gave me more confidence. It has allowed me to be comfortable no matter how silly I may think I look. The skill has taught me to be comfortable no matter what may be in the script. I definitely appreciate the skill of acting and it is a tool that you can use socially. It’s something that you carry with you.
My advice would be to stay consistent. Care about your craft enough to look to put 120% in it. There are a lot of people that think that once they get booked, they’re off to Hollywood and it simply does not work like that. You’ll get more “no’s” than “yes.” So, I would say to stay consistent and sharpen your craft everyday. Do something even if it’s not professional film. Record yourself so that you can observe the little things.
What can we expect to see from Jermel Howard in the future?
I’m getting more into writing. I just wrote a couple films, one was picked up. So I will continue to write and head back into the character roles. You can look just forward to seeing more roles from me.
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All Images by Benjamin Campbell | Instagram | provided by Kirby Carroll Wright