Jermaine Hopkins [Interview]

Today I have an amazing interview with a man I have been trying to get into the TWS universe for quite some time. In fact, when I originally came up with the idea for this site, and I was considering all of the folks I would love to ask some questions with, Jermaine Hopkins was right up there at the top of the list. I will admit, the original reason was simply for his hilarious role in a film that helped guide me from adolescence into becoming a man, the great Def Jam’s How To Be A Player. I know, I know. It may not seem like a film that is most appropriate for such a thing as human growth, but I truly took in the message at the end of the film. And of course Jermaine was the highlight of the film, even in those post-pubescent years, and he was what made it so enjoyable to me.

And beyond just this one film, Jermaine Hopkins has appeared, and is appearing, in some of the greatest works of our modern times since he was a very young man himself. He really brought attention to himself with brilliant roles in the films Lean On Me and Juice, which truly kickstarted his career in a major way, and the man hasn’t looked back since!

So how about I stop babbling and let the genius speak for himself. Ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy some great words from the brilliant Jermaine Hopkins!

When did you first realize that you wanted to join the world of acting? I know you started at a pretty young age, did your passion go back that far as well, or did you just sort of fall into it?

Lean on Me was my first film, I got the role by attending a casting call; I thought I was lucky. Then I landed a role in Juice but I still thought it was a fluke. After Juice I realized that people really thought I could act and that’s when I decided I wanted to make acting my career.

Jermaine Hopkins as Samms in Lean On Me.

When I was a teenager, Def Jam’s How To Be A Player was in regular rotation of my viewing habits. I absolutely loved it, and still do. And one of the main reasons I loved the film so much was the brilliant paring of yourself and Anthony Johnson. So with that, what was it like to make this film? Was it as much fun to create as it was for fans like me to watch?

Making How To Be A Player was a blast, we had a great cast with great chemistry. It was also my second opportunity to work with Russel Simmons (I’d previously worked with Russel on Rhyme & Reason), when we began filming he told me to bring the fun and that’s what I tried to do with my character.

You also appeared in another film that is still a classic in my mind, and millions of others I am sure, featuring the dearly departed poet Tupac Shakur, known as Juice. What was it like for you to work on such a dark tale at such a young age, and under the guise of a legend like Ernest Dickerson?

Juice was my second feature film role, and to be working with such talented individuals so early in my career was a blessing. Tupac was just starting his acting career, Ernest Dickerson who had previously been Spike Lee’s camera-man was making his name. To name all of the talented people involved in Juice would take forever. The great thing about filming Juice was with all the talent involved, it was still an even playing field; the best of both worlds.

Jermaine Hopkins with Juice director Ernest Dickerson.

I am also a huge fan of the largely underrated, and also featuring the belated Tupac Shakur, know as Bullet. Again, what was it like to work on this brilliant and dark project?

The filming of Bullet was a unique experience; the whole project definitely had that dark brilliancy that you mentioned. It was cool to work with Tupac again, even though by this time his life was in a different place, he had become outspoken on social issues and had gained a good bit of notoriety. Bullet was being filmed while Tupac was facing sexual assault charges, with everything going on in his life, I admired him for his professionalism; being able to keep it altogether while on set.

Jermaine Hopkins as Dupree on the seminal classic sitcom The Wayans Brothers.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I recently relaunched my film company J Hop Films. We are developing quality content for television and the big screen, our motto is good projects done right; look for us in 2018! Hit me @ Jermaine Hopkins on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or check out our website (under construction)!

What was the last thing that made smile?

I smiled when I woke up this morning. I’m always smiling!

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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