Jharrel Jerome breaks down what makes Cootie, his character in Boots Riley’s I’m a Virgo, relatable to the audience.

While talking to Shadow and Act Managing Editor Trey Mangum, Jerome said that Cootie goes on a large (no pun intended) coming-of-age story in a short amount of time.

“Cootie’s lived 19 years inside…by his parents, who are loving parents, which is the cool difference [from] him ‘being trapped’; it’s that he was being protected, so there’s this naivete that goes with him,” he said. “I think he’s very smart and very intelligent, and like a Virgo, he believes he knows it all but there’s so much that he doesn’t know and I think within the seven episodes, you kind of watch Cootie grow 10 years of life.”

“I think for 19 years, he probably stayed stagnant, and within a month of his life, he probably grew…into the 19-year-old that he is,” he continued. “I think there’s something really cool and relatable to Cootie. I’ve found it in myself where I feel like I know something and then I learn and I’m like, ‘Woah, okay I wasn’t right.’ And [understanding] ‘I wasn’t right’ is a strong quality to have. And Cootie learning that is definitely something that I feel like people can hang onto and relate to.”

Watch the full video of spoiler-filled interviews with the rest of the I’m a Virgo cast also including Brett Gray, Allius Barnes, Kara Young, Olivia Washington and Carmen Ejogo, below.