Jurnee Smollett has been acting since she was four (she played Michelle’s friend Denise on Full House), but her career has really taken off in the past few years. She turned a lead role in WGN America’s acclaimed Underground into playing Black Canary in Birds of Prey, and she’ll soon star in HBO’s Lovecraft Country, one of 2020’s most anticipated shows. The show’s subject matter — racism, police brutality, the Black experience in America — has led many to dub it “timely,” but Smollett disagrees with that sentiment.
Lovecraft Country has, unfortunately, been timely for generations.
“We’re telling the story of heroes that go on a quest to disrupt white supremacy, and it’s maddening that in the year 2020 it’s still relevant,” she told the Hollywood Reporter, which added “that the series, from Jordan Peele, J.J. Abrams, and Underground‘s Misha Green, would be so had it come out on any day of any year since 1619.”
Smollett also discussed the on-set sexual harassment she’s faced since before she was even a teenager. “I don’t know that I can confidently say that I worked on one job prior to Lovecraft — from the time I was 12 on — where I hadn’t been sexually harassed, whether it was by an AD, a co-star, director, producer,” she said, before praising Green and Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Shonda Rhimes, among others, for giving her the courage to speak out about her experience. “And we’re no longer asking for a seat at the table,” Smollett said. “We’re building our own motherf*cking table.”
Lovecraft Country premieres on HBO on August 16.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)