Jharrel Jerome immersed himself in the duty of portraying Korey Wise-the eldest of the Central Park 5. From the speech to the mannerisms, he gave a performance that viewers could feel and sympathize with.
What We Know:
- Jerome was born October 9, 1997, and was raised in the Bronx. He is of Afro-Dominican descent and attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art in Performing Arts in New York City, New York. Prior to ‘When They See Us’, Jerome was best known in his performances in ‘Moonlight‘ in 2016 and ‘Mr. Mercedes,’ a Stephen King series in 2017.
- Jerome was in the midst of filming ‘Mr. Mercedes’ when he decided to send in an audition tape for the role of Korey Wise, he was asked to shave his facial hair and at the time was unable to. Upon wrapping up for ‘Mr. Mercedes’ he learned that the role for Wise had not been filled, so he flew to New York to meet with Ava DuVernay. He read the script and she wanted him to play both a young and older version of Wise. In an interview with Awards Daily Jerome says, “I didn’t understand the depths of the story,”. “I didn’t know about it until I saw and met Ava (DuVernay).”
- He wanted to honor Wise as best as he could, he achieved that by learning who he is now and by placing himself in the shoes of Wise, even though he knows that it was incomparable to what he endured. He says, “I spent time with him and that’s how I got to embody him.”
- In a heartfelt speech, Jerome accepted the award by thanking his mom who was present in the audience, his family, Ava DuVernay but most importantly he dedicated the award to the actual Exonerated Five: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Wise.
- Jharrel Jerome is the first Afro-Latino to win an acting Emmy Award; he says that it is an honor and a blessing and he hopes that this is a step forward for the community. View his full press speech below:
A video posted on Twitter shows the younger cast of ‘When They See Us’ celebrating the win, while Wise holds Jerome’s Emmy Award. TMZ has more of the post-Emmy celebration.
— Tre’vell Anderson (@TrevellAnderson) September 23, 2019