BET began 2017 on a high with the successful premiere of the long awaited The New Edition Story. Premiering January 24th and concluding January 26th, The New Edition Story focused on the history of R&B group New Edition and their rise to fame, attracted 29 million total viewers. According to Shadow & Black, the biographical miniseries attracted 29 million total viewers. Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the stars and this talented individual is Melvin Jackson, Jr.
Born in Washington, D.C., Jackson is an Actor, Comedian, Writer, Producer, and Director who played Kurtis Blow, the first commercially successful rapper, in The New Edition Story. Besides the biographical miniseries, Jackson has been in a slew of TV & film projects including The Wire, Everybody Hates Chris, Step Up, and even the web series Black Boots. Check out my interview with Melvin Jackson Jr. where he discusses playing Kurtis Blow, what his dream role is, what’s next for him, and more below.
1-How did you get into acting?
I got into acting after a modeling agency I was represented by had me audition for a PSA that was being cast. I booked the role and that was the beginning to the start of my acting career.
2-You’ve been a part of two critically acclaimed TV series–Everybody Hates Chris and The Wire. How was it working on these shows?
It was amazing working on The Wire because it was one of my favorite shows and I started on the show as an extra. After auditioning for the show 15 times, I finally landed a role that people remember til this day. The cast became a family and it helped to spear head my career. I loved working on Everybody Hates Chris. The cast was so amazing and it was great to be directed by Chris Rock.
3-You were also part of the successful web series Black Boots. How was that experience?
It was a great experience because Geno Brooks is a friend of mine as well as some of the cast so it’s always good working with friends. I wanted to be a part of this show because I always wanted to be in fraternity while in college.
4-In addition to TV series & web series, you’ve also been in a slew of films. Which one is your favorite to work on? Why?
My favorite project that I have been in is BET’s The New Edition Story because New Edition is my favorite group and their story is important to the culture. And I had the honor of portraying Kurtis Blow.
5-You starred as Kurtis Blow in The New Edition Story. How did you get the role?
My agent got me the audition, I went in to audition, and then was chosen by the network.
6-How did it feel to be able to portray such an iconic rapper?
It was a true honor to portray Kurtis Blow. I was very nervous and I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure I did a great job.
7-Besides acting, you are also a director, writer, & producer. How did you get into these three fields?
I’ve always wanted to create my own projects, after watching the film making process, so I started writing scripts. My first project as a producer was on a documentary I was the moderator for. The first project I directed was my short film I wrote and produced entitled A Scandal Skit.
8-What is your dream role?
My dream role would be to portray Eddie Murphy in a movie as well as play Eddie Murphy’s son in a movie with him.
9-What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into acting?
I would say do your homework and research about being an actor. If they still want to pursue it, they have to put in the work and build their body of work. I’d tell them to create their own acting opportunities by creating their own projects that they can film.
10-What is NEXT for Melvin Jackson, Jr.?
I’m finishing up filming my Christian based film about the entertainment industry entitled The Price of Fame. I plan on filming a few feature films that I wrote. My goal is to produce a few TV shows and made for TV movies this year. I also want to speak at more schools and colleges to help empower the youth.
Photo Credit: Melvin Jackson Jr.