Recently, Black Talent TV had the pleasure of interviewing a talented man who’s already on his way to stardom and his name is Jamal Johnson. Born in Los Angeles, California, Jamal is an actor & producer who’s “performed in the theatre, starred in several domestic and international commercials and print campaigns for Pepsi, Sprite, Coca Cola, Gatorade, and Direct TV, and starred on TV shows for The CW and CBS as well as in several short and feature films.”
Jamal’s currently project is the Andy Cruz directed short film 2 Wrongs. The project tells the story of a single father, with a troubled past, who dreams of creating a better life for his daughter. The film touches on many of the societal issues of today such as: single parenting, racial profiling, bullying, and most importantly the film’s title, ‘Do 2 Wrongs make a right?’” 2 Wrongs has won several awards, including the special Jury Award & Official Selection—World Film Fair New York, Best Dramatic Short Film—Blastoff 2018, Official Selection—SOUQ Film Festival 2018, and Award of Merit—Accolade Global Film Competition.
Check out Black Talent TV’s interview with Jamal Johnson where he discusses 2 Wrongs, what his dream role is, what is next for him, and more below.
1-Growing up, when did you first decide that you wanted to pursue a career in acting?
Elementary school was the first time I caught the acting bug. I attended a progressive independent school, which at the time, helped kids release their artistic expressions. I performed several plays and dance shows throughout my time there. I performed in a variety of plays that ranged from your typical holiday plays to Shakespeare.
2-Who is your favorite actor/actress?
I don’t have one particular actor that is my favorite, but I do have many actors with whom I would love to work with one day. They bring amazing authenticity and truth to each role they play. I also tend to gravitate to the bigger framed actors and how they can show their vulnerabilities on screen. Some of these actors include: Hugh Jackman—there is nothing this guy can’t do. Sing, Dance, be a bad ass, and he’s 6’2. Chadwick Bozeman, the most iconic actor of 2018 that will forever be immortalized as an actor with the amazing Black Panther.
Idris Elba…his artistic range is incredible. From playing Nelson Mandela to a villain in Star Trek, which I’m sure most people don’t even know. He’s truly one of the greatest talents of our time, and he’s 6’3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, my fellow bald headed brother from another mother. We used to workout at the same gym when he lived in LA…super great guy who has turned himself into more than just an actor. He’s an international brand. His work ethic and dedication is every bit what he portrays it to be on social media. If I can mirror a percentage of his success, I would be just fine, and he’s 6’5. Last, but not least, is Will Ferrell. A 6’3 hilariously funny guy that isn’t afraid to take risks. One of his films is always on in my house.
3-You’ve been in several commercials & print campaigns. Which was your favorite to shoot?
My all-time favorite commercial was the Sprite Kung Fu commercial I shot over a decade ago. That commercial ran everywhere—TV, movie theaters, etc. It helped me pay for my first house, and that is why it will always be my all time favorite.
4-Out of all your film and TV projects, which was your favorite to shoot?
I think my favorite, at this point, that I had the best time shooting, is 2 Wrongs. It was my first lead role in a film. The cast and crew were all exceptionally talented and professional. It’s always an amazing and fun time when you have a cast of talented actors that bring their A game.
5- How did you become part of 2 Wrongs?
I had previously filmed a pilot from the same writer/director of 2 Wrongs, Andy Cruz. I remember he invited me to lunch at Fred 62’s here in LA. We sat down and he pitched me the concept and wanted me as the lead. He hadn’t written the script yet, but I already loved the concept. It only took a few days to write the script. I read it and fell in love with it even more. The rest is history.
6-Are there any similarities between you and your character, Devon?
One of the reasons I gravitated to the role was because I felt there were parts of myself in Devon. I grew up at a time in the LA area where drug dealing and gangs was a very real thing. I lost a few close family members, my uncle and favorite aunt as well as friends to drug or gang related homicides. All of them had traces of Devon inside them and I used that and my previous personal experiences of raising my 12 year-old daughter as a single father to bring the role to life.
7-2 Wrongs has been winning several awards at festivals. Why do you think the project resonates so well with audiences?
People always love to resonate with authentic characters and experiences, especially ones that deal with societal issues. Audiences also love the opportunity for second chances. 2 Wrongs does both and I think that’s why it’s receiving both domestic and international recognition.
8-What is your dream role?
I prefer doing films over TV and would love to star in a film that resonates with all 195 countries. This year, Black Panther pretty much did that. My dream role would be to do a film that does that and combines a beautiful blend of kick ass action, drama, love and triumph.
9-What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in acting and/or producing?
Never give up if it is something that you actually want to do, but make sure you have a stable job that can allow you to invest in your entertainment career. I have sacrificed so much—my first marriage, regular vacations, house with a white picket fence and much more to accomplish my dreams. Nothing is achieved without sacrifice, but with that great sacrifice comes that great triumph. My final note comes from what a friend told me—if you see a penny, pick it up because that means that your dreams are calling you. Always be the dream chaser.
10-What is NEXT for Jamal Johnson?
We are in early discussions to do a feature film based on the concept of 2 Wrongs, with a few A list actors to co star. I also filmed a comedy pilot for a leading on-demand network that is looking at a 2019 release.
VISIT Jamal Johnson’s official website for more information on him.
VISIT the 2 Wrongs official website.
Photo Credit: Noel Johnson