Image credit: Diana Ragland
We recently spoke with Emmy-nominated actress Kelly Jenrette (The Handmaid’s Tale) who stars in The CW’s brand-new series All-American: Homecoming which premiered on February 21, 2022. The sports drama series also stars Peyton Alex Smith, Geffri Hightower, Netta Walker, Camille Hyde, Cory Hardrict and Mitchell Edwards and follows the journey of student athletes as they navigate life at the prestigious HBCU Bringston University. We asked Kelly about the series, her character in particular and being a storyteller. Check out our conversation below!
What excites you about the storytelling?
Kelly Jenrette (KJ): What excites me about storytelling is that I get to step into the shoes of someone else and experience life through their lens. Storytelling affords me the opportunity to grow and share those different experiences with people all over the world.
What can you tell us about All American: Homecoming?
KJ: All American: Homecoming is a show all about Black excellence! Going back to my previous comment about viewing life through a different lens, Homecoming allows us to do that in the best way possible. For some of us that means taking a trip back down memory lane; remembering what our college experience was like. For others, it means looking ahead to what the future could offer them. I feel like All American: Homecoming gives viewers a chance to peek behind the curtain and get a taste of what life for the average and not so average Black teen at an HBCU looks like.
What can you tell us about your character?
KJ: I love me some Dr. Amara Patterson! She is a woman driven by purpose and passion. She reminds me of the Proverb: Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. Her passion is always backed up with the receipts to prove her stance. She is a woman who loves hard and expects excellence, while also understanding that life can be challenging and people have to find their own way.
What’s the best advice someone has ever given you about acting and storytelling?
KJ: The best advice anyone has ever given me about acting and storytelling is to always be present by actively listening and to focus on telling the truth. It’s very easy to judge your character based on your own experiences, however, we must honor the text and the characters by focusing on being very honest in how we tell the story set before us.
What’s the best advice you can give someone about acting and storytelling?
KJ: The best advice I can give someone about acting and storytelling aside from what I was told is to get into a great acting class. Again, the Proverb lets us know you that you can have all the zeal, desire or passion for acting that you want but if you don’t have knowledge, you may be too hasty and miss the way altogether. I’m still in class because I want to always sharpen my tool. And lastly, know your why! Why do you want to be an actor? You’ll need to hold on to that why when things begin to feel impossible. Your why will remind you to keep fighting and pressing onward. My why is the only reason I’m still here!
All-American: Homecoming airs on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. ET on The CW and on Hulu Live.
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